Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Letter Response

Okay, so for those of you who didn't read the letter I sent to fisheries regarding species being stocked in our area lakes, please click here and take a look.

This post is just going to sum up the response.

Basically, the province is trying to lower the number of foreign fish being stocked into certain areas, and the province as a whole.  So this more or less means that rainbows will be the standard in many areas, like mine, because try as they might they never could become established into streams or lakes, so the risk of invasion is minimized.  Brookies on the other hand have played havoc on trout streams all over the west (as I'm sure we all know), out-competing native species and hybridizing will bulls trout, screwing them over, too.

So in short, no, they don't have plans to diversify the fishery.  Apparently, most people who fish for trout (around here, probably 80%+ of them will be limit-hunters, which only a relative few being mostly C&R types who'll keep the odd bleeding trout) are just as happy catching rainbows, and catch more of them than the brookies in the lakes with both species present.  Rainbows also have a higher chance of overwintering (no kidding, we've all been watching the brookie disaster at Chickakoo for years) and they are actually planning on not putting brookies in C.L. anymore anyway.

Well then...

So I sent off a little response, and while I don't necessarily like the answer given, it will have to do I guess.  We have enough problems getting the creation of restricted kill and no bait lakes, so species will need to be an afterthought for me.  And I think I could live with it, even through pictures of slug browns and brookies from Manitoba and Saskatchewan are enough to keep me lying awake at nights, I'll take big rainbows in a specially regulated lake or pond over 8" stocker brookies in a 5-trout limit meat hole any day.

The province is even planning on (they're working on it, now apparently, but I've only heard that through an unofficial source) using a rare strain of rainbows (called the Athabasca rainbow --the only native rainbow whose home-range is East of the continental divide) for planting into lakes in that region, so any accidental escapees couldn't contaminate the native gene pool.  Surprisingly, that whole region is so tough for introduced trout (again, except for brookies --bastards...) to survive in, that even in area where planting of exotic rainbows had occurred, they never managed to reproduce, even by crossing with the native stock.  Thank god...

Anyway, so it's little consolation, but I also found out (through a different alley, again) that they are planning on stocking a few (about 250 per year) brown trout into Muir Lake, our local fly fishing hub and only area lake with regulations and stocking rates designed for producing 20"+ trout.  So while brookies may not be getting more widely stocked, I might have the chance to catch my favourite species of trout from a small (approx 78 acre) lake just 40 minutes form my front door.


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