Trout Unlimited TV - Sunday AM Edition
Just watched the <!--http--><a href="http://www.tutv.org/2000_shows/white_river.html" target="_blank"> TUTV episode</a><!--url--> with Brad Yoder this morning. Very interesting and I just love that brightwater stream. I just don't get out there often enough, gotta change that next year. <!--http--><a href="http://www.anr.state.vt.us/fw/fwhome/html/fees.htm" target="_blank">License fees</a><!--url--> are reasonable with 1, 3, 7 day etc.
I noticed that all the rainbows caught were hatchery stock, which is no different than anywhere else but indicates that they are stocking it with active tank-raised predators during times of atlantic survival problems. The browns looked like holdovers for the most part and no brookies were seen. The adult salmon shown (with the exception of the insert from what was obviously another resgion) were brood stock with virtually no dorsal fish and the characteristic disproportionate bodies that give it away. Don't get me wrong, these are the mothers of the river's future as a salmon stream, it's just a little sad that's all. Cows where there were once buffalo; stray dogs where there were once wolves. One atlantic salmon smolt was caught - very encouraging... but it made me think about the oddysey to the sea it faces.
The CT river system and it's tribs in MA, VT, and NH were once teeming with salmon. I don't know if anyone caught this, but the saying <b>"you could walk across the backs of salmon" did NOT come from Alaska... it came from 16th century Jesuits exploring MASSACHUSETTS!!!</b>
The problem with atlantic salmon restoration, the reason it is failing after millions of dollars and year after year of stocking is <b>DAMS IN THE CT</b>. This topic was briefly discussed but not in the context of restoration, only in the initial blurb to introduce the salmo genocide of the 1700's.
In summary, the only way to restore salmon in the CT river system is to provide effective four state (VT/NH/MA/CT) or even national level management of the waterway to permit bi-directional passage of the once great salmon population in the system.
I was left a little confused by the message, albeit the White River as a trout stream was spectacular - I could not help but think that there were no solutions to the core problem discussed and that the exotic European trout (brown) that allowed humans to bring whirling disease to the US were celebrated in it's stead.
It was beautifully filmed, nicely narrated, and the two anglers were a pleasure to watch. I hope to fish with them someday. Despite all this the true issues of the river system and the plight of the salmon were completely missed.