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Sky Hiker
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PostThu Oct 12, 2017 10:32 am 
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Wow SS you sound kind of partial to planting Brown Trout in places like Rock Lake. What does the WDFW think about Brown trout being planted?
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SingleShot
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PostFri Oct 13, 2017 11:21 am 
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Brown trout were stocked in Rock because it had a stunted population of EB,s and it had a previous history of brown stocking. The agreement WDFW has with federal agencies allows for previous history stocking on USFS land. A SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) is required for an introduction of a new fish species into state waters. This SEPA is published and other state, federal agencies, or organizations, can inquire about possible harmful actions of the introduction. The ESA has magnified potential downstream problems with browns. Under Section 7, the concern is these fish, through competition, potential spawning, will harm ESA listed fish and slow their recovery.

In 2009, I made a proposal to use tiger trout in Merritt Lake, Chelan County to prey on stunted brook trout. These fish are a sterile cross between brown trout and brook trout. The limit on trout, in this lake, had been raised to 16 fish years before in an attempt to deal with the stunting problem. The Wenatchee National Forest Fish Supervisor, the Yakima Nation, and the local state Wildlife Commissioner all supported the plan. Icicle Outfitters offered to take the fish in by horseback. We did a population survey, took otoliths for aging, and wrote the SEPA for the agency. Everything looked good. Here is the story

The following spring, after the WDFW Regional bio (Ephrata) had the Section 7 talks with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, I received a call from the boss man in Olympia. He said he was sorry but the project couldn't go forward. The USFWS raised concerns about downstream issues and the WDFW was concerned they might lose some funding if they planted browns, or tiger trout, in lakes that had outlets to bull trout waters. I said I was disappointed but I asked if he knew that Fish Lake, a few miles from Lake Wenatchee, had been planted with 30,000 brown fingerlings 2 weeks previously? I added, the outlet drains to the Wenatchee River where you are tracking tagged bull trout! What I got was an "Oh S--T reply. He hadn't realized the Regional bio had his own ideas about browns.

The WDFW is still stocking browns, and tiger trout, in waters that drain to bull trout habitat. They leave it to the discretion of the local bios.

Currently, we are proposing a new apex predator for stunted lakes. One that is native and is already downstream.

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Jim Mighell
Fish Rsrch Biologist



Joined: 26 Oct 2011
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Jim Mighell
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PostFri Oct 13, 2017 12:38 pm 
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Just a mention of explosives:  Back in the 50's, California used explosives very effectively, and can be useful for controlling excessive populations, thus, leaving fewer to use the available food, and grow to more exciting sizes.
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alpendave
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alpendave
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PostSat Nov 25, 2017 5:20 pm 
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What about tiger muskies? Usually sterile and very voracious eaters.

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Like a ray of sunshine in a drought stricken land.
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Brian Curtis
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Brian Curtis
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PostSat Nov 25, 2017 9:08 pm 
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alpendave wrote:
What about tiger muskies? Usually sterile and very voracious eaters.

There is an ongoing experiment currently underway with tiger muskies and they have been used with some very positive success in Idaho. Initial results in the WA experiment were quite promising as the size of the eastern brook increased and invertebrate populations rebounded. But, as typical these top predator experiments, the tiger muskies reached a size where they stopped targeting smaller fish and moved their diet to larger fish. The eastern brook remain stunted, but the tiger muskies are huge. Tiger muskies were re-stocked and the cycle repeated itself with the lake again improving, but never fully recovering. This pattern has been observed with other predators such as brown trout and bull trout (in Idaho). From an angler's perspective the fishing certainly has improved with a chance to catch very large fish. But from a biological perspective, not enough of the EB are generally removed by the predator species to allow native species to fully recover.

Idaho is now experimenting with YY male EB that produce all-male offspring when they spawn in the wild. If you keep stocking the YY EB the entire population of the lake will eventually become male and the population will die out. If this proves successful it could  be a game changer.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Juan del Bosque
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PostSun Nov 26, 2017 12:51 pm 
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To me it's like blackberries, why fight it?  Nature (including man) is taking her course.  Certain introduced species enjoy temporary advantages, and then nature rebalaces.  Meanwhile, like blackberries, brook trout are quite tasty!

I was hiking on Mt. Washington and I ran into this woman who was pulling up all these blooming foxglove.  I avoid confrontation, but I wanted to point out to her that pollinators--including hummingbirds--must be getting a big boost, judging by the fertilization rate and seed spread of this "alien".  I would almost say that these pollinators are counting on it.    Then, on other parts of Mt. Washington, foxglove just can't seem to compete with the native goatsbeard, which like foxglove has a spectacular inflorescence.
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Brian Curtis
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Brian Curtis
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PostMon Nov 27, 2017 6:04 am 
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Juan del Bosque wrote:
To me it's like blackberries, why fight it?  Nature (including man) is taking her course.  Certain introduced species enjoy temporary advantages, and then nature rebalaces.  Meanwhile, like blackberries, brook trout are quite tasty!

You, apparently, don't have blackberries in your yard? I've spent a lot of time fighting blackberries. Otherwise I wouldn't have much of a yard and I far prefer the raspberries we have planted to the blackberries that would take over, if allowed.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Juan del Bosque
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Juan del Bosque
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PostMon Nov 27, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
You, apparently, don't have blackberries in your yard?

I keep blackberries out of my yard, and I grow raspberries, strawberries, flowering quince fruit, pears, apples, assorted herbs...but all that is my garden, not nature at large.  If I want blackberries I go down to the park and pick them in August.  Seattle has a no spray policy on them, although they're occasionally dug up for some native planting projects.

My yard has always been strictly organic, and I find blackberries are easy to control in comparison to suckers on my apple, various dandelions, edging along concrete, ivy, the list goes on.
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Juan del Bosque
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PostMon Nov 27, 2017 8:08 pm 
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Are any of the fish and wildlife gurus out there aware of the extent of osprey participation in high lakes fishing?  I've seen them take fish from the Snows (both the Snoqualmie and Enchantment), Hatchet, Wildcat.  As far as I know the fish were cutthroat.  I would wonder if the osprey population has become intertwined with the high lakes fish population, and if it would be wise to upset that.  I think their nests must be close to their forage: it would take too much energy to fly 20 miles from the lowland fishing areas to the high lakes.
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Brian Curtis
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Brian Curtis
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PostMon Nov 27, 2017 8:49 pm 
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The idea is not to get rid of the fish in the lakes, it is to get rid of overpopulated, stunted fish and then to replace them with non-reproducing fish. The non-reproducing fish would be stocked in numbers that would allow native species that have been knocked back by the stunted fish to recover. I've seen Osprey go for stocked (non-reproducing) rainbow so they don't require a lake full of stunted fish.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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