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Smallies here are non-native and are targeted for removal.

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Here is a location where smallies are targeted for removal. I thought this was interesting to share.



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smallies should not have been stocked there in the first place. same problem is happening o n the new england trout streams . rich


Jim. Interesting link. You can see from the negative reactions on the board to the USFWS management plan there that the idea of preserving native fish isn't one that has caught on in most/some quarters.


The responses are all pretty typical.


"What's so special about chubs anyway?


Why are they playing God?


If I'm catching fish it must be a healthy river so back off."


What's so special about chubs? We don't even have enough information to know yet. Every species is unique in what it can do and what compounds and activities it creates. Once a species is lost, you can never get back what was unique to it. Medicines, useful compounds, ecological services of kinds we don't even understand yet all go down the tubes when we allow a species to go extinct. If the choice is one more of many choices to engage in sport fishing vs. losing a species...preserving the species should trump fishing.


Playing God? Stocking the bass there in the first place was playing God. Taking them out is trying to restore the natural balance.


Judging the health of a river by how big your favorite fish are there? By that standard, we should all be fishing the brood stock raceways and ponds at the hatchery.



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I would say this about that program, though...


...they might do better to promote hook and line management of the existing smallmouth population than to try to remove them with more invasive means (they probably can't accomplish a full removal anyway...might as well get the benefit of the fish that are there).

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I agree wth Tim that in the vast majority of cases the introduction of non native species whether by intent or by accident is a bad thing.But as with most things there are exceptions.Had it not been for the introduction of brown trout on the heels of the demise of the native brookies caused by overharvesting and habitat destruction trout fishing in the eastern half of the country would have for all practical purposes ended a cupl hundred years ago.In that instance the introduction was good in that it filled what would have otherwise remained a void.On the other hand the introduction of browns and rainbows to the rocky mountain states despite the existence of a viable native cutthroat population is a much more difficult issue as is the the move in recent years to eradicate them for the benefit of the cutts.Intellectually I understand the reasoning but emotionally I feel the rockies would be poorer for not having browns and rainbows, the latter being my favorite fish(if beautiful women were fish they'd all be rainbow trout).If we are accused of playing god the fact is we do have dominion for better or worse be it from God or Evolution at least until Nature, fed up with all our crap, sends us the way of the Dodo.

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Maybe "dominion" is just a fancy word for being able to do something...if that's true I agree with you Ron that humans surely do have "dominion".


I also agree that some of these cases are knottier than others. There are plenty of grey areas.


Still, not every lake and river was made for fish and fishing. Hopefully anglers can agree that even though fisheries are obviously an important ecosystem service, anything that contributes to the extinction of another species is just wrong if you can avoid doing it. Those "voids" have other species there that probably can't handle competition and predation from sportfish.


One reason for bringing all of this to the fore here, is because anglers are in a unique position where this issue is concerned. A large, educated group of anglers that focuses targeted effort on an exotic species might make a difference. We won't ever remove an exotic species, but we might dampen their effects...and maybe enjoy doing it.

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