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Clean Angling News
August 2011

Stocking Hatchery Brown Trout On Native Brook Trout

      There is a long history of our attempts to "improve" native fisheries by stocking familiar non-native sport fish. This has been especially true with he various trout species that have been mingled freely in waters around the world. While historically we believed this would produce better fishing opportunities, today we realize that many of these stockings were disastrous for our native trout.

     Recognizing that native trout  are badly harmed by the stocking on non-native trout, many conservationists and fisheries managers now oppose this proactive. However, there are still many places in which non-natives are being stocked on top of native trout.

    In a recent post on Ted William's blog, this issue is fully explored, particularly in terms of Trout Unlimited's role in promoting stocking of brown trout on top of native brook trout. This is a very interesting discussion of all aspects of this issue. Read More

 The (Not So) Great Lakes?

   America's Great Lakes have been the subject of a lot of invasive species talk over the past couple of years. However, perhaps too much of the discussion has been about Asian carp while other problem species don't receive as much attention. In August this changed to some extent as a number of news stories report.

   Lake Erie was once badly polluted by chemicals and wastes that were discharged into the Lake. After decades of difficult and expensive action, Lake Erie became a recreational destination and many anglers flocked to hire charter boats to take them fishing for a host of prized species. Today, Lake Erie is facing a complete biological collapse triggered by the Zebra and Quagga mussels that infest the lake in uncountable numbers. In an article in OnEarth entitled Lake Erie Death Watch, author Barry Yeoman provides a thorough examination of the problems that Lake is currently facing. This is a great read.  Read More 

   Just a decade ago, the Lake Huron fishery was ruled by king salmon. From Lexington in the south to the Straits of Mackinac, charter captains charged eager anglers hundreds of dollars to catch hard-fighting, great-tasting kings until coolers were brimming with fish. Today, southern Lake Huron is virtually devoid of king salmon, thanks to food web changes wrought by invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels. The salmon, simply put, have been starved out. Officials estimate that each port city on southern and central Lake Huron has lost more than $1 million in annual revenue that was generated by salmon fishing.  Read More

   The Alicia Rae commercial fishing boat was recently moved to Alaska and for the first time since the 1800s, there are no commercial fishing boats on Lake Michigan operating out of Milwaukee. The boats are gone because the fish are gone. A victim of the quagga mussels that smother the bottom of the lake - their numbers are estimated at 900 trillion. Milwaukee has a long commercial fishing history. In fact, in 1938 there were at least 2,000 jobs in the industry and now they are all gone. The result of the mussel invasion. Read More

   Asian carp are threatening the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River which has provided a lot of attention on the problem of the artificial connection that Chicago built to connect Lake Michigan with the Mississippi system. After losing their court challenge to close this connection, Attorney Generals from 6 Great Lakes states ave asked their counterpoints in 27 other states to join their fight. They point to an Army Corps of Engineers report that identifies 40 invasive species which are in the Great Lakes and could travel into the Mississippi. They very rightly point out that these species have the potential to do serious harm to the entire Mississippi drainage.   Read More

A Prominent Bass Angler Calls For Better Cleaning

   Verne Wagner is a well known Minnesota bass tournament angler as well as being a contributer to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He posted an opinion blog that aggressively laid out the case that bass tournament anglers need to be leaders in promoting boat cleaning. His article was widely distributed on bulletin boards and fishing forums during the month and many interesting comments were posted in many places. Rather than link to the original article, I am linking to a representative message thread that covers the range of reactions to Verne's call for cleaning. Note that the first entry in this post contains the full article from Verne. Read More

Asian Carp Jobs - Boon or Bane?

Asian carp now inhabit some waters in almost unimaginable numbers.  Anyone who has viewed a video of large carp leaping out of the water has just a sense of how many of these invaders are present. This density has led to a lot of interest in finding a way to sell the carp to encourage harvest. We have previously reported on some of the efforts to establish export businesses for selling carp and there is an emerging market  for the product.

   The advantage of creating carp jobs is well stated in an article by the New York Times that examines the emerging Asian carp industry. The article discusses the millions of dollars that are being invested in creating the infrastructure needed to support a large scale carp industry.Read More

    On the surface it seems like a great idea to use commercial markets to achieve carp reduction. However, there is growing concern that creating an industry based on an invader might not be a good idea. The main concern is that there will be no jobs unless there are carp and there will be many who will oppose the elimination of carp because it will cost jobs. Some of the arguments against creating carp jobs are well articulated in a recent letter to the editor in Muskegon, Mich.     Read More

State by State

   Vermont - Beach attendant Ellie Stone keeps a stash of Band-Aids in a box next to her chair. She knows from experience that swimmers often cut their hands and feet on zebra mussels stuck to the rocks at the Lake Champlain beach..  Read More

   New York - The Finger Lakes are being threatened by the recent discovery of Hydrilla, an extremely aggressive invasive plant.  Read More  At the same time, officials continue to battle the Asian clam invasion in the Finger Lakes.  Read More

  Washington - Every summer, two Chelan County park maintenance guys crank up the Aquarius Systems aquatic-weed harvester to cut and remove tons of Eurasian milfoil at parks and boat launches dotting the Columbia River.  Read More

  Montana - Flowering Rush has invaded Flathead Lake and River where it disrupts swimming and water skiing, provides habitat for the snails that host the parasites responsible for swimmer's itch, clogs docks and boat slips and fouls the boat propellers that help to spread it. Yet it flies under most people's radar - a fact that should be alarming to all.  Read More

  Colorado - After detecting two potentially destructive invasive species in Eleven Mile Reservoir, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will require mandatory inspections on all incoming and outgoing boats to prevent spreading the problem.   Read More

  Idaho -  It's taken tens of thousands of boat inspections and a lot of diligence, but Idaho's effort to keep quagga mussels from invading has paid off so far. The state has conducted more than 40,000 boat inspections since March and intercepted 24 boats harboring quagga mussels.  Read More

 Wisconsin - VHS fish disease has not spread to new waters in 2011, a result state fisheries and invasive species officials credit to anglers and others following rules to prevent spreading the virus.  Read More

  Nevada - After months of testing, the Bureau of Reclamation and Nevada Department of Wildlife announced quagga mussels have been linked to Lahontan Reservoir. The BOR found quagga veligers, or larvae, during testing in April, and subsequent tests have indicated the destructive mussels are present.   Read More

  Minnesota - As boat inspections become more common, some anglers are going to great lengths in protest. There was an especially disturbing incident that took place during August.   Read More

Invasive Species Poetry Contest Winners Announced

   A call for creative prose brought in nearly 100 entries to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s first-ever Invasive Species Poetry Contest. The theme of uninvited plants and critters taking over Florida’s native habitats sparked a chord with the public, entries were submitted by residents ranging in age from 6 to 84!

  “I was very happy to hear that a lot of children were interested in this, and some schools even did it as a project,” said Christine Jamesson, 57, winner in the adult category. “I think that is fabulous because once kids get an idea and latch on to something – they just take it a run with it.”

  Clever verse from humorous to serious described invasives from bufo toads and Burmese pythons to lionfish, lovebugs, Brazilian pepper and air potatoes. The judges, representing a cross-section of backgrounds, were entertained by poetry in forms ranging from rhymes to haikus, and even a rap. One adult and two junior winners were announced. They will each receive a $250 cash prize.    Read More Including The Winning Poems


  A selection of stories not directly related to aquatic invasives.

   Are new England's iconic maple trees at risk? If a beetle has its way, the answer may be yes. Results from the first study of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in forests show that the invasive insect can easily spread from tree-lined city streets to neighboring forests. Read More

     Wild horses are not what most people think of when they hear invasive species. Yet, in some areas of the west, wild horse populations have grown so large that they are having a significant impact on native species and habitat. This has led to annual wild horse roundups conducted by government agencies. However, there are opponents who argue for leaving the horses alone. Read More

    Butterfly bush, also known as summer lilac (Buddleia), is a very popular garden plant in the Pacific Northwest. Photos of its beautiful blossoms have graced many-a-page of slick gardening magazines, nursery catalogs, television programs and garden-center displays. It is a fast-growing, robust, easy-to-grow shrub that attracts a wide variety of butterflies.Unfortunately, this popular plant can be a very aggressive invasive shrub.  Read More 

     The inspector general overseeing the U.S. Interior Department issued a report late last month warning that the 4,880-acre former nuclear-trigger factory at Rocky Flats is overrun with invasive weeds that could destroy the unique biology that served as the reason for establishing the refuge in the first place.The invasive species raise the specter of nuclear contaminants spreading to surface water, the report says.  Read More 

August 2011

   Some very interesting invasive species stories came out in August and we have tried to highlight a number of the best in this issue.

    Our lead story links to a  debate about stocking non-native brown trout on top of native brook trout in West Virginia. It's easy for anglers to take a hard line stand against invaders like mussels or Didymo. However, it becomes much more difficult when the invader is a beloved trout species. Be sure to read the full comment thread for this story.

     In August there were excellent stories discussing the sorry state of three of the Great Lakes. If you have ever visited any of these lakes you know how huge they are. It is almost impossible to think that such large waters could be so significantly changed by invasives. Read these stories of ecological disruption and how it is impacting on fishing.

     Several readers have commented that they find the newsletter text size too small. If this is a problem for you check out the August newsletter online

     If you have a comment, email us at newsletter@stopans.org Let us know what you would like to see in future issues of the News.

Bob Wiltshire
Executive Director ISAN

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The Clean Angling News is regularly produced by the Invasive Species Action Network. If you have questions, suggestions or would like to learn more about invasive species please contact us:
Invasive Species Action Network
215 East Lewis, #201
Livingston, MT  59047