Category Archives: environment

Mystery Fish, It Runs, It Jumps, It Eats Salmon

Mystery Solved, unfortunately they eat salmon

Update: It may be missing the yellow and black lateral line, but the Doctor was dead right. It puts me at a dilemma, as these critters have a bounty on their head in Oregon, $4 per fish for the first 1000, up to $8 per fish thereafter. They eat baby salmon, lots of them. The bounty is paid for a specific area, but the dollar totals some of those anglers put away is staggering. I guess they were here first, I will leave them be.

I also found a list of species for Cache Creek, among them were steelhead trout. So I have a new goal, catch a steelhead and a salmon from this little brownline treasure.

Mystery fish, slender, yellow and black center strip

Original Post: Last night’s foray into unknown waters yielded an equally unknown fish. Narrow, silver, and  a bottom feeder. I would classify it loosely as a “sucker” but it has a superior mouth, like a trout. Black and yellow lateral line, very distinctive.

Never seen these before, they fought well and ate anything thrown their way.

Which Zone to draw for

fisheries1.jpgWith the many reports of ocean fish stocks at impossibly low levels, and research suggesting that 90% of the big fish are gone, will the attempts at restoring these fisheries also hold for fresh water?

There are far less anglers, their numbers also are declining, but the inland fisheries are still suffering, even with catch and release management.

President Bush appears to be following the lead of Australia and Iceland in signing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act which likely will pave the way for LAPP drawings. LAPP is Limited Access Privilege Program which entitles a community, individual fisherman, or association, a predetermined share of each year’s harvest. No share means you cannot fish.

If we assume that this practice may be applied to non-commercial freshwater fisheries that become unsustainable, then it will be akin to a lottery, just like hunters have had to do for years.

Granted this is idle musings, but super-popular destinations, like Yellowstone, could have a combination of natural and man made pressures that might result in a depleted watershed, as is happening this year with their weather. Planting may not be an option if a unique species or strain is affected, and the National Park Service may even get a boost in revenue as a result.

Like the man said, these are the good old days.

And two steps back

joe_dirt.jpgIt’s not something I can conciously control, I like the places I find trout as much as I like catching them. Towering pines, bald eagles, both the sights and sounds of the woods are part and parcel of the entire experience.

No, I am not an eco-terrorist, but as I hike back to the car I see my way to bring trash back with me, most of it is other folks’ the rest mine.

I was emptying my vest from Saturdays episode (see below) and tossed the usual suspects; snarl of monofilament, soggy ciger butts (mine), left over wrapper from sandwich, when the radio blared that some well intentioned fellow has just jettisoned a grand piano from the International Space Station.

On the “Mixed Message” scoreboard I would rate this an eight. While Woodsy Owl is admonishing us with, “Give a Hoot, don’t pollute” their sister agency is giggling over whether they can hit Bejing from here…. “I dunno Bob, I would lead it a like a sumbitch,  Houston out.”

I draw the line at space junk, I’ve seen Joe Dirt and unless a martian waves at me – it’s likely something I am better off not touching.

Don’t drink the water


As we are on the subject of water, another interesting tidbit surfaces about a study of the effects of estrogen on Colorado trout.

Specifically, left-over birth control effluent is the root of a number of Evils, including the creation of “Metrosexual” trout.  A 123 fish sample of Boulder Creek – below Boulder’s sewage plant yielded 101 female, 12 male, and 10 “Intersex” fish – showing characteristics of both sexes.

” It’s the first thing I’ve seen as a scientist that’s really scared me..”

While the site and its links are rife with liberal bashing, it is is worth an eyeball.

Metrosexual trout – can this be the real roots of “selective trout?” Females are big, males are small, and the fish we encounter that don’t immediately eat our offering are choosy? I will test this hypothesis by tying a dozen well dressed and perfectly coifed flies – for those choosy occasions.

We the foreign species

poison.jpgI saw that Davis Lake was to be poisoned again. Davis Lake had Northern Pike introduced years ago by anglers unknown, and their potential spread into the California Delta, has most fishery biologists trembling in fear.

My last couple of outings featured prominent signs warning anglers about New Zealand Mud snails , how they might be spread via wader or wading boot.  It appears as if we’re entering a new paradigm, the angler as pollination vector for foreign hosts. 

It is intimidating, what with the mosquitos carrying West Nile virus and Bird Flu, the northward march of Fire ants and Africanized bees, add in Zebra mussels, and Rock Snot, and a side arm seems necessary.

Not minimizing the issue in the slightest, this represents eco-change. Much of it will be for the worst, but what ecosystems and native California species were wiped out with the introduction of Brown Trout (1894), Kamloops Trout (1950), and (1879) Striped Bass

Freshwater is in short supply in most states, so applications of long lived toxic chemicals are out of the question, too many drink it, the rest farm with it. On the surface, it would suggest that once introduced, a foreign species without natural enemies can be slowed, but not eradicated.

Evolution and the process of natural selection are powerful things to tinker with – I would assume that Mother Nature will fight back by making Zebra mussels incredibly tasty to whatever is left.

In the meantime wash your waders – and remember only the cold emptiness of Space has slowed us, and that too appears temporary. Some poor Martian is enjoying  a quiet day afield, unaware that these are the Good Old Days, and fishing was really good before those damn Earthlings showed…

Greening of America

wiener-wars.jpgNo sooner do we reclaim the “Most Hotdogs Ate in 12 Minutes” record, when we lose on other fronts.

Upstaged smartly by the Chinese, the world’s largest toilet facility has been unveiled in an unlikely location, Chongqing – Peoples Republic of China.

Previously, the largest toilet in the World was considered the Hudson River, or the Great Lakes – kinda depended where you were born…

Proof that the Green Movement is working, albeit ever so slow.