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 Post subject: invasive fish
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:03 pm 
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http://www.georgesmithmaine.com/article ... sh-species

I'd like to know what you all think. - George


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:43 pm 
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Location: Sidney, Me
I think it's a very complicated issue. Those salmon you treasured in Long Pond weren't anymore "native" than the pike that wiped them out. However, they were a legally introduced and managed exotic. Probably the biggest tragedy I've observed, IMO, is the spread of bass into the upper Kennebec watershed. Paul Johnson right out in a public letter and said that Wayne Hockemeyer did it, yet Wayne has never been charged and seems to be celebrated as the "father of rafting" in Maine. I think it's very difficult to catch someone in the act or prove it afterwards, and the spread of organisms in general seems to be a function of modern life and indeed goes back centuries. When I read that the earthworms I dug as a kid are invasives from Europe, it kind of blows my mind and induces a sense of futility about the situation.

Or something.


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Rory- agreed, but there's differences between exotic and invasive.....lls are exotics in some waters, invasive in others


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:39 pm 
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Location: Bangor
A bucket brigade is a bucket brigade. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:41 pm 
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i like the pike in Pushaw too. That was a nice touch.

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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:00 pm
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Location: Brunswick
You hit it on the head when you said that we are very conflicted about non-native / exotic / invasive (or whatever you want to call them) species. Folks on this board wax poetic about brown trout, a species not even native to North America, and urge the state to play an active role in re-establishing them below Shawmut Dam, and yet they curse the existence of smallmouths in the same water. Rainbow trout, originally found only west of the Rockies, are celebrated on the upper Kennebec, but bronzebacks are "the biggest tragedy." I've never heard anyone complain about landlocks in Rangeley Lake, but they are as non-native there as smallmouths are in the Kennebec. True, landlocks are native to Maine, but political boundaries are recent and arbitrary. Biological and evolutionary boundaries are not.

Much is made of the real and imagined detrimental impacts of non-native / exotic / invasive warmwater species on native brookies and landlocks, but I have yet to see anyone question the negative impact(s) of the introduction of coldwater species into drainges where they are not native. There, much (but not all) of the angling community is considerably less conflicted. All coldwater fish, with the possible exceptions of togue, splake, and other hatchery hybrids, are good regardless of their origins and may be tolerated and even encouraged to prosper in all Maine waters with the exception of a few of the traditional "crown jewels" like Grand Lake Stream. All warmwater fish are bad and should at be strictly contained within those waters that will not support coldwater fish, or perhaps, be eliminated entirely within the State of Maine, if not New England.

I wonder, if someone had caught a brown trout rather than a largemouth bass in the St. Croix, would the sky still be falling?

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This mighty river is both my savior and my sin.... - Kristian Matsson


Last edited by Aldo on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:19 am 
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Posts: 905
Location: Harrison
Rory wrote:
When I read that the earthworms I dug as a kid are invasives from Europe, it kind of blows my mind and induces a sense of futility about the situation.
.

I was also very suprised when I learned honeybees are not native to North America, either. But can you imagine Maine's blueberry crop without their help? My own garden benefits greatly from both invasive earthworms and honeybees, but is severely damaged by the japanese and asiatic garden beetles.
Oh yeah, this is a fishing forum...


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:42 am 
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Location: Lyons, CO
My issue with management of non-native fish is that DIFW always winds up having to run a stakeholder process on each body of water, with all kinds of judgment involved. My preference would be for them to get ultra-serious about protecting certain more pristine, more remote watersheds and throw up their hands on the rest. For example, the response to pike in Pushaw has been to put a certain amount of resources into slowing their spread, but not nearly enough to actually stop them. If they were really serious about it, they'd have put money into blocking the outlet with nets and an electrofence and serious resources to keep the nets clean. The whole thing is frustrating. If you don't have the resource to fight all the battles that need to be fought, you need to choose your moments and conserve resources.

There are some low or zero-cost measures that can be taken, though. I'm in favor of only allowing certified live bait on certain watersheds, i.e. certified with where it was purchased, when purchased, and the specific species purchased and only allow licensed bait dealers to sell, or a statement with origin of bait and only allowing bait procured in the same watershed. Then have major fines for transporting live bait that isn't marked, etc. I'd run no live fish in possession in certain parts of the state. The other big idea is to announce that certain species are going to have no season, size, or bag limits statewide. I'd go with various recent intros, i.e. pike, crappie, walleye to start. These will never be managed as gamefish in Maine, not ever.

On the opposite end of things, I'd put less money into managing difficult (i.e. coldwater) exotics in their non-native areas, like landlocked salmon all over the place.

Last, if we want to protect headwaters from invasives, I'd put up strategically-placed barriers to fish passage, i.e dams. Save the money you were putting into trying to manage pike in Pushaw and put it into building dams on headwater streams to keep the pike out. We should be mapping our native coldwater fisheries and existing natural barriers to fish passage, and then proceed on the assumption that certain lower watersheds are just doomed to having invasives show up.


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2003 12:00 am
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Location: Monmouth, ME & Tampa Bay, FL
Aldo -- I like the post, but must warn you -- if you keep thinking like that, you stand the risk of being coated with Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails and topped of with hackle made of tin foil!! :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: There is little room for logic in Maine's coldwater fishing (at least the FF chapter).


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:59 am 
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Location: Bangor
Aren't we removing dams on the Penobscot so the pike can go upstream? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 12:00 am
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Location: Old Orchard Beach
Overall, I think our pastime is well served if there is a consensus that we like to fish for salmonoids and prefer to do so in waters that can support a population. Waters that have native and wild populations can and should be managed to sustain 1st the native salmonoid and then the wild salmonoid. Waters that are stocked to maintain a population of salmonoids should favor their management as well and in each case,if there is a presence of Bass, then management should favor their elimination.

It is OK to to prefer to manage for salmonoids (invasive or not) over bass or other "popular" invasives. Good trout water and fisheries are getting scarce as compared to historical ranges and you can find Bass nearly anywhere in the continental US, but not trout or other salmonoids.

I know there is strong following for taking Bass on a fly rod, but really, are we more engaged and satisfied when we take a trout or salmon on a fly or a bass? I suspect that we all prefer the former.

Furthermore, Bass are so well established in certain watersheds that I suspect that even despite a policy of favoring salmonoids over bass, the bass fishing will still thrive, but if we can favor trout and salmon on the Kennebec, the Andro and the Penobscot and other watersheds, where they can do well, we should.


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:33 pm 
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The reality- the best man-made fish passage barriers in the world are no match to the illegal movement of fish via bucket, baitwell, or other means; but they are very effective at disrupting or continuing to disrupt native fish runs such as adfluvial trout populations and sea-run fish.

Education is the best defense, but only if folks are willing to be educated.

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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:00 am
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Location: Scarborough, Maine
Quote:
All coldwater fish, with the possible exceptions of togue, splake, and other hatchery hybrids, are good regardless of their origins and may be tolerated and even encouraged to prosper in all Maine waters with the exception of a few of the traditional "crown jewels" like Grand Lake Stream. All warmwater fish are bad and should at be strictly contained within those waters that will not support coldwater fish, or perhaps, be eliminated entirely within the State of Maine, if not New England.


EXACTLY! I am doing my share for the cause. I don't fish for bass, so everyone that I catch is somewhere it doesn't belong (by definition). Therefore, they end up on the bank.

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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:02 pm 
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Location: Brunswick
Neal, do you shoot pheasants and quail and leave them to rot in the field, too?

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This mighty river is both my savior and my sin.... - Kristian Matsson


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 Post subject: Re: invasive fish
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:56 pm 
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I've seen many discussions here lamenting the effects of non-native togue in sebago, or LLS in rangeley, etc

Painting with a broad brush often goes both ways


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