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  #16  
Old 12-23-2002, 03:44 PM
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We all realize that this subject is a hot one and one that will pop up more often than not in the future. From re introduction of native fish and hatchery fish going by the wayside it will be a hot item.
We as sportfishermen will have to look deep and find out why we really fish.

In the 1960's the great lakes were just about dead. US and Canadian citizens along the lakes worked so hard at bringing back the lakes from the dead. It became a pride issue for all citizens across North America. Why must we stop now? There were a lot of industry and their supporters that said it was too late to bring the lakes back so leave them as they are. If we had done so then those grand lakes would still be dead.

It has come time to complete the job started over 40 years ago and yes it will probably take more than 40 more years to complete. To say that the native fish can not be brought back is the same as what the industrialist said in the 60's about bringing the lakes back. Are we seeing defeat in some of our sportsmen that it can't be done, that it's too great of a project to complete? If so they are wrong because just getting life back into the lakes probably took ten times the effort it will take to restore the native fish. Maybe this defeatest stand is something totally different. What are sportsmen who would oppose such an idea be so concerned about? Truth now.

Inland,
Wouldn't it be increadible if the Henery's Fork, Silver Creek, the Madison all went back to native fish. Can you imagine such wonderful rivers to be fished without all the ego that now wades those banks and in such large numbers. That goes for our eastern and mid western rivers also.
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  #17  
Old 12-23-2002, 03:49 PM
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Inland, with all due respect you've totally lost me on this one.

I read this as "there is no such thing as success in degrees, only absolute extremes so live absurdly or shut up". This kind of argument is void of reason or hope, and makes no sense to me. Futhermore if you read what I posted it contradicts what I said.

I am not a spokesman nor am I a critic of TU, I am simply expressing my opinion on the matter (despite a tendency to be misquoted). I don't know their policies on the rockies, and yes I do believe we should have never introduced brown trout to the US.

As far as your emigration example - there is a fundamental difference you have chosen to ignore... no one is manipulating us into or out of existence, we are making the choices to move, leave, survive or perish.

Do the native fish species of North America control where they survive? Hardly. In fact it's by our hand that they have perished. If there were some greater power causing our demise, would you not have the passion to resist it, the pain of being incapable of resisting it, and would it be wrong if some portion of these superior beings cared that you existed or not? That is the "extrapolation" of which I speak.

I see nothing wrong in some progress being made toward their recovery by our hand, afterall - we caused their demise.

.02

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Originally posted by inland
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.

Sound absurd?

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.
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  #18  
Old 12-23-2002, 04:09 PM
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Thumbs down atlantics and alewives

This is one of the problems I alluded to. One of the simple facts that have to be accomplished is this:
1. Thiamin (vitamin B-1) is necesary in spawning salmonids for successful reproduction.
2. Thiaminase is an enzyme that inhibits ability in salmonids to absorb thiamin.

Thiamin is critical to development of eggs and fry.

Alewives (or "sawbellies") are loaded with thiaminase! They are one of the forage base fish for salmonids.

New York State has been conducting studies on this for a number of years, wondering why Atlantics had poor returns, and couldn't spawn with any success, even though they have been stocked in numbers for the past 20 years plus.

The most recent test that I am aware of is this:
6 return atlantics were captured. They were pampered and kept in clean water dosed with thiamin until ready to spawn. (3 died in this "storage). The remaining 3 did successfully spawn, and they now have 20,000 eggs which will be reintroduced into the system.

Incidentally, this affects all salmonids to varying extent. They are also running studies on rainbows (steelies) to determine the effect of thiamin injections during spawning runs versus spawning success.

This points out the need to totally clean out the lake of all species before starting out a restoration. Just from the sheer volume, the varying "turnover" rates for the different great lakes, etc., this is an exercise in futility.

Not that I am against the basic idea - it is just that man does not have the ability with today's technology to do this. Someday - maybe, but not now or in the foreseeable future.

Leave well enough alone until you have the tools and technology to perform the task successfully!

BobK
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Old 12-23-2002, 04:46 PM
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Bob K,

Good post on the Alewives. Were Alewives introduced to the great lakes? What did the native Alantics eat before the Alewives when Alantics were part of the system?
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  #20  
Old 12-23-2002, 05:03 PM
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Alewives, themselves an exotic specis in the Great Lakes, were introduced during the 1950's if I am not mistaken, with the exception of Lake Ontario where they are believed to have navigated from the Hudson through the boat canal system or mixed in the stocking of shad that occurred there as well in those days. In any case, alewives in Lake Ontario did not thrive until the disappearance of lake trout and atlantic salmon due to overfishing and habitat destruction. In Lake Michigan, they have become the primary biomass in the lake since their introduction in the 50's.

Pacific species were introduced largely to control alewife populations according to historical accounts to stop the massive die-offs where millions of fish created health hazards along the shorelines, in addition to the recreational opportunities.

Today, although lake trout have been supplanted by hatchery programs, but they are unable to sustain themselves without intervention in what was once their most prevalent habitat on earth - the Great Lakes.

So I guess it depends on where you perceive the vicious circle to have begun. Before the alewife -or- after?
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Old 12-23-2002, 06:47 PM
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Lightbulb

Thanks Juro,

This may sound crazy But: The Alewive problem could be taken care of in no time at all without poisioning the lakes. Simply start a commercial fishery again for the sole purpose of feeding the Aquaculture, chicken and pork industry. Remember 3 pounds of forage fish for one pound of growth in pen raised salmon. The commercials could wipe out Alewives in no time flat if there is money to be made and if there is a by catch on other non native fish so what. I know that will enrage sport fishermen and all the industry related to it but.
a key would be identifying what was native forage fish and making sure they would be able to come back when the time is right. I know there are many other problems to deal with but I believe in the people of the United States and Canada that if they put their minds, hearts and souls into it they could make it work.

And for the great lakes boys I know this is not my territory and should keep my nose out of it but after many years of going along with the masses and believing in hatcheries, non native trout so I could fill my own ego card it's time to look at some changes in beliefs. I also feel we will have to end our own NW hatchery program and shut down all sport fishing sometime in the future on our wild native steelhead.

Do we dare imagine how big the native Brook Trout could be in the great lakes. Anyone know what the lakes record is, how long ago it was caught and where it was caught?:eyecrazy:
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Old 12-24-2002, 01:54 AM
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Juro,

Don't get me wrong- I am not against restoration and conservation. I am certainly not against success in degrees, trudging forward is done one step at a time.

I am not the only one to get the same feeling from your posts this morning- BobK came to the same conclusion, albeit a 'little' more politically written. It is basically going to require total elimination of man from the region to achieve the goal of restoration, even in varying degress of success, of the native fish species. The point of my rant this morning, are you willing to take it to that extreme? There is no way to poison the system without killing eveything in sight, the biomass is just too huge.

The genes from the Native Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon are gone, they have been extinct for over 100 years. All of these attempts to restore are through feral strains of fish from Maine and New Brunswick. Right back to step one here- introduction of non native species. Unless, of course: a salmon is a salmon is a salmon. So how do you propose fixing this problem?

For the thiamin deficiency- what is Roger Greil doing up on the Soo to overcome this? His fish feed on alewives too and continue to return at a very high rate (around 5% SAR).

What about the beating the native chars take from the lampreys? Anybody know the full extent of the negative impacts from the zebra mussel invasion?????????????????

I guess my hesitancy to support TU on this latest crusade comes down to the size of it all. What is the realistic possibility of achieving the goal? About as good as seeing the lower Snake dams breached, which is about 1/1,000,000,000,000 the scale. What about the hypocrisy between calling for native only species management in the GL's and fully supporting the feral species swimming around the famous trout rivers of the mountain west (among all the other places in our country)? That is what irks me the most
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  #23  
Old 12-24-2002, 09:56 AM
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Lots of good replies, guys - My major problem on this proposal is simple - it is long on noble objectives, but totally void of the methods and techniques of doing the job! (Based on my personal experience as a Chemist, Chem. Engineer and Environmental Engineer, it was the usual problem we faced!)

If getting rid of the alewives was so easy, then how come we haven't been able to get a handle on carp? (That is another problem that we have to face, you know! These "spawn grazers" need elimination, too!) These lakes contain a VAST amount of water!

No one yet knows the effect of zebra mussels - or even how to control them! We do know that they consume large quantities of algae, etc. and limit the amounts of oxygen in areas of the lake, creating "dead zones" in the lakes, but control them? There are no methods to date. How about gobies - no one even seems to be concerned or give any thought to them, although limited studies have been done. Not to even mention the others from shipping (example - spiny fleas).

How 'bout the canals and the Seaway? We should eliminate them, too, and in that vein stop ocean shipping to the Midwest.

It's easy to propose the ideas - but implementation is the tough part. These guys should go to college, become scientists, and spend their efforts on SOLUTIONS, not on grandiose concepts and let someone else worry about the details.

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  #24  
Old 12-24-2002, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
It's easy to propose the ideas - but implementation is the tough part. These guys should go to college, become scientists, and spend their efforts on SOLUTIONS, not on grandiose concepts and let someone else worry about the details.
Funny - there are two camps here, one saying "CAN'T" and the other saying "LET's TRY SOMETHING". If these guys "go to college" will they come out saying "CAN'T" as well? I haven't heard a single solution proposed by those in the "CAN'T" camp either, just a verdict of impossibility. Good thing others have tried despite the odds in the past, if not for them striped bass would be extinct and we'd still be building illegal dams without fish ladders on salmon rivers out west.

BTW -

I agree with your point that it's hypocritical that an organization would be very pro-exotic in one region and pro-native in another. What led to the conclusion that TU is pro-exotics in the rockies?

Happy Holidays, thanks for the healthy debate
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  #25  
Old 12-24-2002, 11:31 AM
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These guys should go to college, become scientists, and spend their efforts on SOLUTIONS, not on grandiose concepts and let someone else worry about the details.


Actually TU has some of the most knowledgable fisheries biologists in the country working/volunteering for them. One of my good friends is working on his degree in fisheries biology and is active in TU and MDEQ. No offense, but, I would trust his opinion a whole lot more than that of a chemist. My 2. I have yet to get a response from TU regarding your statement. When I do I will post it. Merry Christmas Bob.

John
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  #26  
Old 12-24-2002, 12:33 PM
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In the original document, nothing was offered in a plan to implement. Just a grandiose scheme without any underlying science or methodology to back it up. My remarks stand.

By the way, who pays for this effort? The taxpayer? Another few billion bucks down the drain?

The fish and game departments have the rest of their respective states to worry about - and that includes other species of fish, non-trib streams, game, and declining budgets these days.

Not to be a spoil sport - just come up with a logical, scientific based plan, not a proposal based upon idealism. I personally would LOVE to see coaster brookies and atlantics restored, it's just that I see no mention of addressing with an action plan and funding for the problems that exist today.

I have successfully fished for "coasters" where no one thinks they exist (remote Adirondack lakes) with good success. Where? I won't tell you - that's why they still exist!

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  #27  
Old 12-26-2002, 07:20 PM
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T.U. and G/L

Good day,
Introduction of Species is a result of Mans curiosity, not Natures way! Example; A species "overpopulates" an area, someone introduces another species to control it. Someone see's a species decline, they introduce a species thats "bigger and better". This is Mans doing. What we were intrusted with, originally, was not!
You are born into what you have to work with. Because a person or group wants to restore something to its original state, they should not be put down, or told to move back to where they came from. They are instead working to better the state of the area they are concerened with. This is a good thing!
Ever pull a pop or beer can from a stream or river? Ever picked up a peice of trash from a bank? You have contributed to the restoration of that waterway, helping to bring it back to its original state. These issues are all over the U.S., all over the world! Because someone wants to help turn the tide, does not mean that they will come tomorow with the "big nets" to scoop out all the "bad fishes", dumping huge vats of poisons into streams, or hurding vast 100's of thousands of people away in busses! It might just mean a better overall long term goal for the region as a whole!
Stocking in the G/L started in the 1880's? 120 years or so of this behaivor? It might take that long to "undo" this! But men and women who want to see any kind of largescale opperation like this take place, first have to say "hey, wait a minute" , and there opposers, who also have a voice, need to express the same cry!
For we are the great "forward thinkers" that the future generations will look back on and thank for the resulting better fisheries we leave to them!
Let us NOT be shortsited, this small post is not "enough"! Much more needs to be said on all issues regarding introduction of species, and native wild stocks!
You know where I stand, NO compromises!
Deerhawk
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  #28  
Old 12-26-2002, 10:08 PM
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DeerHawk,

Let me use an example of why I think that it is folley to attempt to remove the exotic species from the lakes. About 12 years ago the Utah DWR attemped to poison Strawberry Reservoir to give it a fresh start. They used Rotenone to pull it off, and at the time it was the largest body of water to be poisoned- a mere drop in the bucket compared to the GL's. They did it very smart- all of the headwater streams were cleaned several times of ALL fish life. The main body of the reservoir was also treated to remove ALL fish. The plan was to eliminate the chubs that had taken the lake over reducing it's trout carrying capacity to almost nil. Once completed they reintroduced three species of fish- Kokanee salmon to eat the plankton, Bear Lake Cutthroat (a sub-species of the Bonneville strain that has survived to this day) which was selected because they tend to eat fish, and finally sterilized rainbow trout so they could not interbreed with the cutts. This was set up to compete against the chub if they were ever to return. It only took a couple of years, and yep the chubs were returning. While the management scheme to control them through predators is working to this day, they COULD NOT elminate the chub.

I am not against the 'idea' of restoration of the lakes. Do you understand how much water there is, and to the extent that it has been polluted? Do you know how many species of fish that need to be removed, let alone the invertebrates, mollusks, etc? Do you have any idea of the programs that have been put into place to conserve the native species? The last time I checked, the native Lake Char and Brook Char are not entirely extinct in the system, nor do I see them leaving anytime soon with the programs that are currently in place to see that they don't.

I am against spending millions and millions of dollars to accomplish little. Why not spend the same $$$ on restoration out west while there is still time to fix it???

Quote:
You are born into what you have to work with. Because a person or group wants to restore something to its original state, they should not be put down, or told to move back to where they came from.
Since that statement is directed towards my offhand remark to Juro, I will try to clearly state where I was going with it.

Each day that you wake up and play on the computer, start your car, eat, drink that beer, shower, etc., etc., etc. you are contributing, in one way or another, to the degradation of our environment. Simple example: In your neck of the woods, the electricty that you use is more than likely generated by turbines contained with in the Columbia River hydro system. Do I need to go into the deleterious effects the dams have with the fish?

You stated in your post 'You know where I stand, NO compromises!'. Have you taken the time to understand how intertwined our modern life is with the items that destroy what we love, or believe to be right? If you are not part of the solution (living your life by avoiding all that damages), then you remain part of the problem- no matter how well intended you may be. Believe me, my intentions closely resemble yours, but I will not stand here and shout it out loud when I know that I am as much a part of the problem as the rest of society.

I would love nothing more than to see our planet put back together and find a harmonious balance between life of man and a natural ecosystem. But, realistically, is this going to happen?

Last edited by inland; 12-26-2002 at 10:20 PM.
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  #29  
Old 12-27-2002, 08:04 AM
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Right on, Inland -

Inland is basically correct! I have seen smaller trout lakes (and all sources of water to and from them) poisoned systematically and repeatedly to get rid of competing species to the "native" brook trout here in the Adirondacks, yet, in a few years, the suckers, chubs, stunted perch and bullheads were again reducing trout populations and growth.

Yes, we all are consumers - we like electric lights, heated homes, cars, and ability to travel. (Do you have ANY IDEA how far 25 miles can be, if you don't have wheels?)

These same guys pushing these actions are the same cloth as the ones pushing electric cars, but don't want any more dams or power plants built! They think that electricity comes in boundless supply from the outlet on the wall.

Maybe if we went back to horses, kerosene lamps, iceboxes, coal or wood burning heat, etc. these guys would be happy.

To add to the confusion, I just checked NY State Dept. of Health's booklet, the "2002-2003 Health Advisories, Chemicals in Sportfish and Game". As an example, for Lake Ontario, for American eel, channel catfish, carp, lake trout over 25", brown trout over 20" and chinook salmon - Eat None - reason: PCBs, Mirex, Dioxin

For white sucker, rainbow trout, smaller lake trout, smaller brown trout and coho salmon over 25" - Eat no more than one meal per month - reason: PCBs, Mirex, Dioxin.

In addition, specific instructions are given as to cleaning and removing parts of these fish.

How well do brookies, atlantics, and the rest of the "native species" hold up to these? Or, alternatively, how do we remove these contaminants from the lake? All of these are unanswered questions. We are being asked to buy a "Pig in a Poke".

I would feel comfortable with a study to determine feasibility of returning native species, and with a realistic cost and benefit analysis performed by an independent group, other than "it sounds and feels good". After such a study, then a planning phase and "test" phase of limitedscope could be tried before jumping in with both feet.

Just my thoughts -

BobK



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Old 12-27-2002, 09:09 AM
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Allow me to summarize:

Inland's post boils down to (1) citing yet another of man's failed attempts at playing God with nature and (2) if we live within modern lifestyles then we can be of no use in benefiting the state of our natural resources whatsoever.

BobK's post (a) repeats Inland's point #2 and adds (3) if it can't be expressed in dollars it's not worth doing at all.

Well, I agree that man's attempts to play with nature have been abysmal at best, horrible - we should stop! Exotics are a perfect example. In fact all of the ails of the Great Lakes have been a product of man.

I disagree with (2), those who are not living in caves can (and do) have a positive effect on the resources everyday. To say that we can't is an over-used argument that I hope people don't believe. We all have a right and obligation to make a difference, even if we drive our cars to clean up a stream, take a child fishing, or vote.

As far as point #3 - dollar values on nature - that's how we got into this mess. I have this discussion all the time with my non-outdoorsmen acquaintances, although I am surprised to be having it with fellow flyfishers this time. They argue that there is no such thing as "intrinsic" value in nature; if it can't be measured in terms of dollars and cents is has no value.

I don't consider myself all that well traveled compared to some folks I know, but when I think of the things my eyes have seen from the peaks of British Columbia to the mangroves on the Florida Keys to the deep wood streams of Maine, native coastal trout in Asia, mountain trout in the French Alps, stripers on my home flats on Cape Cod, native steelhead on my former home rivers in the Cascade Mountains, much, much more than I could list here all without a dollar value...

I will tell you what I tell them: "if I have to tell you there is intrinsic value, well then you just don't know"
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