Stop Steelies, Browns Salmon Stocking?
I just heard about a draft being circulated by "our friend", TU.
Basically, they have "joined up" with Great Lakes United to put pressure on senators, congressmen, etc. to try to restore the Great Lakes to their pristine state, and original fish species. A "quickie" sketch of what they want to do is:
1. Stop stocking exotics (e.g. Pac. salmon.Steelhead, Browns, etc.)
2. Restore original fish (lakers, burbot, sculpin, coastal brookies, yellow perch, bloaters, etc.)
3. Amend existing law to prevent introduction of "exotics" (salmon, steel and browns, etc.)
4. Make it federal mandate so that State agencies must comply.
I am procuring a copy of the original draft, and will forward it. In the meantime, I am NOT going to renew my TU membership, etc.
Yes I would like to see that and will watch in my TU mgazine and other email newsletter for this.
What the Hxxx are they thinking sometimes I wonder about these purist stuff goes way to far. Besides it will never happen with the commercial sport fishing $$$ the andramous non native fish have brought to the great lakes.
Just remember the steelhead were stocked in the 1880s.
They must be atlantic salmon purists who want that species to have a chance again in Lake Ontario where it was once native.
Obviously you know which way vote goes on this one.
Hal, I am getting a copy of the draft from a member of another site - www.lakeontario.org You have to scroll down to hit on the "click here" in bold print, then hit the first topic. He gives a little more detail. (Seven points, in all).
I think he is a charter captain - they have a lot to lose if this thing gets legs. I have e-mailed him to get a copy of the original draft, as he offered.
I am beginning to think that TU is falling into the tree hugger and Friends of Animals camp of eco-terrorists! Too bad - but you are right - "purists" can get carried away.
Incidentally, one of the problems with recovery of atlantics - atlantic salmon feed on alewives (among others), which result in a "vitamin blocker" in the fish producing limited stocking success. (I forget the details, but I believe it is a B vitamin derivative). Other salmonids are less susceptible to this.
I understand that Great Lakes United carries a lot of political clout on BOTH sides of the border - I guess it's up to us to turn public opinion the right way!
Hey thats a fairly aggressive position, I am supriesed that TU has taken such a definitive position on the issue of introduced stock.
I am looking forward to this disscussion it will be a nice break from the normal problems of the West Coast Salmon Wars.
As to quitting TU because of this position, I would suggest just the opposte get in involved and learn all you can about how and why they came to take that position and then work towards either modifying the position or accepting it.
With all the problems that are fisheries resources are faced with today its not really a good time to br dropping association with "the oldest defender of the trout", over a policy statement!
Found it and read it, interesting, that will never fly in the great lakes due to the current sport fishery. TU needs to focus on saving our many rivers that are at risk and get off this non native stuff IMHO.
Interesting on the atlantics there if they ever get reestablished there in any numbers I will be out for sure. Lets hope for the best.
Alewife issue and atlantic salmon was new to me.
I think trying to have the atlantics spawn at the same fall time period with the kings, cohos, and browns is just to much competition for their already very limited numbers in the GL tribs. Thank god the steelhead spawn in the late winter and spring.
Keep us posted on developments.
The great lakes is an inland ocean system that has a huge capability to produce gamefish as proven over the years. Whether indigenous species or exotics, I would think that it's yield would be great if as much energy went into producing native species as does into exotics.
If I were a stakeholder in this argument, I would clearly argue in favor of restoring native species and I take a stand with TU on this one all the way.
IMHO - to say that native atlantics, brookies, lakers, and the vast array of species that once filled the lakes is less desirable or important than the put-and-take pacific species is a sad indicator of the mentality behind the fishery.
Maybe it's not practical to try this on all lakes, but it seems that there is currently ZERO focus on native species that any progress in that direction is better than none. A phased, fully qualified step-by-step approach could do no harm.
Look where the distribution of browns for sport purposes got us - whirling disease and it's impacts on our native american trout.
It's not about sport or personal indulgence, it's about respecting and preserving what God gave us - and the responsibility that comes with it.
You have it exactly right.
We sportsmen sometimes don't realize that we can be part of the problem. That the non native fish we introduce or encouraged to be introduced over the years is a form of polution different from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana but still it is a form of polution.
Again with many sportsmen it comes down to catching when in this case and many others across the country should come down to the entire experience. Give TU great credit for what they are doing across the country from restoring native cuts in Wyoming to what they envision for our great lakes.
I hope our great lake friends will take the needed time and think about why they fish their local waters and that just maybe those waters will really become home waters when the native fish is king again.
I think you're on the wrong side of this one. The Great Lakes will never be "pristine" and support their native species again unless we do away with all human habitation around them. We would have to totally eliminate the cities of Green Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Toronto, Montreal, etc. to name a few, do away with all habitation and farming, etc. and create wilderness areas within 100 miles of the lakes, not to mention disrupting too many people's way of life.
I guess it boils down to fishing for a select few elites, or fishing for the masses.
Choose sides VERY CAREFULLY on this one - I still have an open mind until I read the original document!
I am a retired chemist, and did a lot of environmental improvement in my day, including rivers. I am open to anything reasonable, but not dumb and shortsighted!
There's a reason why certain species are native to an area and why they thrive there....it's basic evolution and ecology. To say that an organization such as TU should "get off this non-native stuff" is like saying that doctors should stop looking for disease cures and simply continue treating the symptoms.
The balance of nature works. Certain areas can sustain non-native species, but it's almost always better for the indigenous species if non-natives are not introduced. It's simple biology.
Will everyone agree on this? Hell no. :rolleyes:
BobK et. al. -
Let's not confuse the real discussion with rhetoric. No one in their right mind would think we could have a "pristine" G/L system anymore, that's not the issue.
Even less pertinent is "elitism". Why is it elite to try to restore native species? Would an equal number of atlantics, lake-run brookies, lakers and other native species be less of a working man's quarry or more so? More elite or less? Steelhead and steelheading is as elite as it gets in my book; it seems the masses want to eat cake. If it's really about fish for the masses, let's introduce tilapia.
It would be a miracle and victory for sportsmen if TU is able to accomplish awareness and some isolated progress in the restoration of native species in the region. It would help if some honorable anglers stood by this organization that has done so much for us.
I agree that the restoration of native species is the right thing to work toward in the GL and everywhere in the world. I am really surprised that sportsmen would react this way as if it posed some kind of threat.
Well if TUs agenda is now to restore all non native trout and salmon cold water species to U.S. cold water fisheries they should start with restoring brook trout, atlantic salmon, and graying, etc.. and remove the non native brown trout that were stocked starting in the 1880s which are now pervasive through out the U.S..
Browns are not native to the U.S. but there stocking has been highly successful just like the pacific salmon and steelhead have been to the great lakes. Maybe we should remove the non native browns and rainbows from the Beaverkill, Willowemuc, Pere Marquette, Ausable, Battenkill, etc and spend millions of dollars and decades trying to restore eastern brook trout and maybe even michigan grayling.
Will be watching TU to see just what there agenda is these days.
With all of the american rivers and fisheries on the endangered list impacting native and non native trout and salmon, why would TU spend precious time and limited money on trying to change a healthy non native fishery like the great lakes ?
They will never be successful on this issue in the great lakes, believe me and there are much higher cold water native and non native U.S. trout and salmon fishery issues for them to address.
Must be some political and corporate economic interests driving this, we will be watching this one for sure.
My 2 cents on this one
P.S. Happy holidays from the great lakes in spite of this illogical thinking from a major trout and salmon conservation organization.
You said it best..."IMHO - to say that native atlantics, brookies, lakers, and the vast array of species that once filled the lakes is less desirable or important than the put-and-take pacific species is a sad indicator of the mentality behind the fishery" You may or may not know just how sad the mentality can be. We are at least 10 years behind in terms of fisheries issues thinking. I wrote to TU this morning and asked them directly and specifically where they stand on the issue. I'll post response when I get it.
Too bad you guys are limiting your thinking - this is not restoring species - the lake habitat has changed so much that it's highly doubtful that it will work, and is esentially courting disaster!
I would LOVE to see the native species return. In the same vein, I have a highly technical education and a lot of work behind me that gives me a little vision to what is needed.
It was a totally different habitat that exists today. I won't go into detail (I will, if pressed!), but just look around you.
For starters, you would have to poison the lakes and their tribs to start from scratch. How long would it take to recover to the point where we could even begin putting "desired" species in? Well, try a couple of lifetimes.
Then, we have to get rid of all the cities, towns and people, dams, ad nauseum.
When our species goes extinct (sometime in the next zero to 200,000 years from the Yellowstone Caldera eruption which WILL occur), or maybe a passing asteroid will hasten it, then the lakes and rivers will revert.
For now, all you will accomplish will be to waste more taxpayer's money by pouring it down a hole.
I hate to get involved in this one...
What is TU's stance on the introduced species out west in the Henry's Fork? Silver Creek? Madison? Missouri? Man o man have I heard quite a defense when it comes to these streams, yet, 99% of their fish are introduced from California and Europe. What gives???
Juro- if you are going to take such a hard lined stance on this issue of restoring the earth, and it fishies, to what evolution provided, then let's take it to the next level and extrapolate out what you are saying and how it should also apply to human terms. Put your money where your mouth is- quit your job, pack up the family and migrate back to Europe/Scandinavia. And while you are at it, get the rest of the human population to follow suit.
Unless you live your life, beyond any shadow of a doubt, completely non consumptive and in 100% perfect balance with the earth, then you have already compromised your argument.
Enough on this.
Just a question here, not an opinion.
This is old memory time only:
Something tickles the back of my mind on why the Salmon/Steelhead were introduced into the Great Lakes. Remember something about one, or more, of the lakes being over run with a small fish (Alwaies, or something like that). Huge numbers would die and wash up on the beaches.
The salmon/steelhead were planted as an experiment to control the population(s) of these fish. It worked.
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