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Thought this might stimulate some discussion.

 

Tim,

Thanks for you nice letter -- It's in our paper this Sunday.

I love catching smallmouth -- they rank just after rainbow and brown trout -- but there are too many of them in the Columbia. Why don't you come out next June -- bring friends! -- and enjoy some great surface popper fishing? We could even have a fish fry later on.

Two Columbia tributaries -- the John Day River and the Yakima River -- also have world-class smallmouth fishing. I've had 50-fish MORNINGS on both rivers.

I've never fished in Illinois, although I've visited Chicago several times -- usually in January! I have fish smallmouth in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and it was fabulous. Your website and forums are very good.

Chester Allen

-----Original Message-----

 

Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 7:55 PM

To: Allen, Chester

Subject: no protection for Columbia River smallmouth bass

 

 

I'm the science director of the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance and I saw your article about smallmouth fishing in the Columbia dated September 22, 2006.

 

We are very serious about protecting and conserving smallmouth here in their native range in the MidWest, and especially Illinois. However, I support your stance that the smallmouth of the Columbia River don't deserve protection. Smallmouth bass are exotic species in the Columbia and they're salmon killers. I'm surprised to see in your article that your state officials don't agree. Catch and release is for native fish, not invaders.

 

Come see our website at http://www.illinoissmallmouthalliance.com/about_us.html and check out our forums for some first-rate smallmouth flyfishing advice.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim B. Smith

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Guest rich mc

the john day river has been metioned in many flyfishing magazines as a great spot for smallies.who stocked them in? also read where the colombia river has a problem with walleye, they are treated worse than carp by locals rich

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the john day river has been metioned in many flyfishing magazines as a great spot for smallies.who stocked them in? also read where the colombia river has a problem with walleye, they are treated worse than carp by locals rich

 

I assume the state stocked them in, Rich. Most western reservoirs are stocked to resemble eastern fisheries (because the anglers know eastern fish and there are only a few species of sportfish in the west). There are similar issues with pike in Lake Davis in California (that's the one they've tried to kill out the pike several times without success).

 

Smallmouth are all over California and elsewhere in the west. I remember trout fishing in the Merced and getting really excited when a massive fish started following my lure in a plunge-pool just outside Yosemite...until I realized it was a smallmouth.

 

That was a blow to the gut to see them in a famous western trout stream like that. That's not where they belong.

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I would agree with you for the most part but just to play the devil's advocate....

 

"Catch and release is for native fish, not invaders"

 

By that logic, one would not practice C&R on smallmouth bass in the BWCA or Quetico or, if I'm not mistaken any of those Canadian lakes. Right?

 

An if Chester comes to visit, kindly ask him to leave his filet knife at home. ;-)

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I would agree with you for the most part but just to play the devil's advocate....

 

"Catch and release is for native fish, not invaders"

 

By that logic, one would not practice C&R on smallmouth bass in the BWCA or Quetico or, if I'm not mistaken any of those Canadian lakes. Right?

 

An if Chester comes to visit, kindly ask him to leave his filet knife at home. ;-)

 

I think those two sites have native smallmouth populations, Mark, but your point definitely does apply elsewhere in Canada. Algonquin Provincial Park in northeastern Ontario does not have native smallmouth and they're causing problems there too. The smallmouth that have been stocked in the lakes have impaired the lake trout fishery by driving the lake trout out of the productive shallow areas during the spring.

 

Think about this from the perspective of the natural history of the system. If the steelhead fishery in Lake Michigan were wiping out the smallmouth in Wisconsin, or had somehow made it's way into Illinois and done the same, we'd be pretty pissed too.

 

I think our smallmouth are safe from Chester. He's advocating harvest of non-native smallmouth out west only. Here in the Midwest, smallmouth are native and our conservation stance for catching and releasing smallmouth is appropriate. Smallmouth are our fish, our prestige fishery...they belong here. Not there.

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Is the same Columbia River?

 

http://www.boats.com/boat-articles/Catchin...ronze/2098.html

How long have smallies been estabblished?

 

Yep. That's the one. First stocked in 1887, about 1/10,000th the time the salmon have been there.

 

http://pnwhandbooks.orst.edu/Dept/ODFW/inforeports/97-3.pdf

 

http://www.wildlands.org/AIA_ucpaper_final.pdf

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