Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver announced last week that they will begin euthanizing nonnative smallmouth bass that they remove from the Yampa River in spring rather than transferring them to Elkhead Reservoir east of Craig.
Too many of the relocated bass are escaping over the dam spillway, they say, and returning to the Yampa, where they threaten endangered native fish including the Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail.
The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program has removed and relocated an estimated 6,000 bass as well as large numbers of northern pike from stretches of the Yampa downstream from Hayden since increasing those efforts in 2003, recovery program Nonnative Fish Coordinator Pat Martinez said in a news release.
Matt’s Rant: I am not a big fan of the trout only management for the Yampa River and most of the western slope. Due to the fact that so much of that water is beyond my travel range, my dog in this fight is limited as well as my voice. If a “trout and chub only” scene is what the general public of that area wants…I guess that is what they are going to get. I feel genuinely sorry for those on that side of the divide that have fought this battle and lost. This program mentions nothing about nonnative trout such as the rainbow, brown or brook.
Even though my thoughts are completely biased towards multispecies where habitat is prime for their existence…I greatly encourage this debate on my fishing blogilicious. What are your thoughts?