Remove limits on fish eaters
In a recent article, a fishing guide was excited about guiding people to catch small-mouthed bass. If he and other guides keep releasing bass to reproduce, though, fishermen will soon be waiting more than the hour he stated to catch a salmon or steelhead. Why is there a limit of any kind on non-native fish eaters like bass? Is money more important than saving our salmon and steelhead?
There are already many native fish eaters that belong here and are doing what nature gave them to do. Sit on the fishing platform at Singleton and watch the fish eaters. They attack, squabble, gripe, fight, dive and disappear. They’re fun to watch.
Now look at the water and think of the fish eaters in there that don’t belong here: large- and small-mouthed bass, blue gill, sun perch, catfish and hard shelled turtles. They’re all non-native species; so are the muskies in the Columbia River. A type of pike with mouths full of teeth, muskies eat many fish.
Besides the non-native issue, other items in the article won’t fly, so to speak. After hatching, smolt stay in area streams for two to three years before leaving for the ocean. Why did the guide think smolt are gone before warm water begins?
One fellow did say he caught small-mouthed bass in 40-degree Fahrenheit water and I believe that. While living in northern Illinois near a lake covered with 2 feet of ice, we caught small-mouthed bass, large-mouthed bass, catfish and many kinds of perch. They’re hardy and prolific.
Our local fish have enough native predators. In the river by Lawson Bar, we saw three huge otters. Besides feeding on salmon and other fish, we saw one sitting on the bank eating three highly endangered lamprey eels.
Neva Gray Haley