Friday, May 17, 2013

Bait and switch…trade you trophy pike fishing for a handful of muskies

Matt’s Rant: Stocking tiger muskie is something that I applaud greatly for many reasons. However, there is little evidence to support the argument that tiger muskie help control certain fish populations while avoiding others. What this article clearly suggest in my opinion is the fact that Western Slope water managers continue their efforts to remove pike from the area altogether (along with a few other game species such as mackinaw\lake trout and smallmouth bass). When all is said and done these efforts will eliminate non-trout species on the Western Slope and when anyone complains they will respond with, “Well we put a couple of tiger muskie in there for ya all.”

In closing of this rant I want to reiterate that stocking tiger muskie is great for sport fishing. But I do not wish to trade a handful of tiger muskies in exchange for the end of trophy pike fishing in Colorado. Pitching this idea as native species management is greatly flawed. In my view this is nothing more than a bait and switch. As you read this, more waters are being targeted.

Below is the article from the Denver Post that started me on this rant.

State wildlife managers plan to save endangered fish along the Colorado River by importing a striped, saber-toothed predator, in hopes it will devour existing invaders that prey on vulnerable natives.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers are talking about transplanting tiger muskies, which they believe will aggressively hunt down northern pike. First, they must protect it from the growing practice of spearfishing, archery fishing and gigging — a pitchfork-like device.

Northern pike — imported in the 1940s for state-led stocking and later spread illegally — are prolific spawners and are proliferating around the river basin. Tiger muskies are crossbred from northern pike and muskellunge and are sterile.

The pike threaten recovery of four native species struggling to survive as flows of the Colorado River and its tributaries are disrupted by water diversions to cities. Those are the Colorado pikeminnows, razorback suckers, humpback chub and bonytail.

Link to full article below:


Anonymous said...

Matt, thanks for the update on the news and sharing your opinion.

I don't know much at all about overall fish management, but, just can't buy the logic with this plan. Predator fish have their food preferences, but, they don't discriminate when they have a choice of Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie. I would think that "all fish" are on the plate when a Tiger Muskie gets hungry. Just my two cents worth.

The NOCO Nympher said...

Thanks for keeping us in the know. Definitely not a rant! I gotta agree with Mel, a tiger muskie is not going to change his appetite because DOW says he should. Balance...

SilverKingLodge alaskanfishing said...

All I can say is that before to undertake Fishery Activities consider first the issue on the sustainability and protection of the natural habitat.