Native vs. Non-native
Considering the subject of native vs non-native species we discussed recently, I would encourage all of you to get a hold of the Jan/Feb 2001 issue of Fly Rod & Reel and read Paul Schullery's piece titled "Because They Belong There". Rather than just looking at it from the point of view of an angler's changing sensibilities and his own "zealotry" as he describes it, Schullery has pulled back to try and grasp the big picture with regards to this hot issue. He weighs the views of other non-angling groups who tend to coincide with our views of restoring native species but likely, for entirely different reasons. He argues that understanding what is behind this tide of changes in people's sentiments is the key to finding out what's in it for us as fly fishers. A well thought out and well written piece, something we don't see all that often in fly fishing mags theses days.
This whole issue reminds me of a debate that raged on in the Adirondacks a while back. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) decided to re-introduce "Heritage" strain brook trout to parts of its native Adirondack range. In order to do so, the lakes targeted for re-introduction were first treated with rotenone to eliminate "undersirable" species which could possibly be a hinderance to the viability of a sustainable population of brook trout. Some groups argued that this poisoning of the waters eliminated bi-valves and other organisms present in those lakes, and that it would be folly to do so considering that we do not really have any idea of what the impact of removing these species for good, would be, in the larger scheme of things.
Weighty issues to think about on this snowy day in Montreal.