Poison in park waters
Boy am I confused after reading EVERY POST on the "killing rainbows" thread!
As a recent "transplant" from Maine who is very familiar with BONAFIED Native "genetically pure" brook trout restoration I think that POISONING waters to "restore" tyhem on behalf of brook trout (that would need to be stocked) is TOTALLY ABSURD.
IF THE INTENDED DESIRE IS INDEED RESTORING A SPECIFIC FISH TO IT'S NATIVE WATERS WITHOUT COMPETITION FROM "INTRODUCED NON-NATIVES" I BELEIVE THE ENTIRE EFFORT IS FOOLISH.
Maine was blessed when large scale genetic testing of brook trout revealed that many brook trout waters had never been polluted with hatchery fish or transplanted fish. There are more than 100 up-country ponds that have genetically "pure" fish.
What is most interesting may surprise you all.... fish from different waters... sometimes only a few hundred yards apart had different genetics! The ice age essentially stranded fish into different waters and over time each water had GENETICALLY DISTINCT attributes. (coloration, growth potential, longevity etc. etc.)
Several years ago Paul Guernsey and me visted a bunch of "genetically pure brookie ponds" that had been aquired by the App. Mtn. Club; the article in FF& reel told the story about how all the ponds in this reserve were " genetically pure unto themselves" and after fishing the ponds we could see the differences in the fish.
The brookies definitely varied in physical appearance from one PURE POND to the next and all were like sparkling jewels with no fish over 10 inches caught through the week.
Maine has "reclaimed" many ponds over the years; at first they would rotenone and then stock with hatchery brookies. Later they grew a brain and started to re-habitate to some extent with brookies that came from sources where no stocking had ever influenced original genetics.
I don't know the extent that National TU, the Little River Chapter or any of the Federal experts from the Dept of Interior or Commerce have "studied & tested" the genetics of the Park brookies.... I would bet that brookies from different basins would show that they are genetically different.
I applaud all of your for your tremendous efforts to restore brook trout habitat in the park as well as efforts to restore the "range" of the brookies without competition from non-natives BUT ask you all, "what is a non-native"?
In our world of science & technology it has become commonplace to accept the notion that JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SOMETHING MEANS YOU SHOULD DO SOMETHING.
IMO it is far better to protect something from destruction than destroying everything in order to re-establish something of dubious integrity.
Killing rainbows, browns and every other living thing in small mountain streams in a speculative (pun) endeavor to increase brook trout range without regard to the genetics of each individual stream is poor science.
It would be far more noble to protect genetically pure native brookies in the park where they have not been disturbed by non-native or non-genetically distinct brookies by closing these waters to fishing or creeling.
"Restoration" with chemicals is totally irresponsible.... with all critters in the stream affected you are messing with more than the fish.... you might be killing genetically distinct species from bugs to salamanders to whatever and I find the entire notion selfish.
You may now beat me with a stick... but you've already killed the genetically distinct brookies you wanted to protect.
Last edited by Corbo; 01-11-2011 at 06:23 AM..