Welcome to our weekly roundup of news from across the world of fly fishing, featuring interesting stories, new records, important conservation news, and anything else we think you should know about.
Most state environmental agencies are pretty strict when it comes to allowing private citizens to mess about with streambeds, but many of these rules were relaxed in the wake of Hurricane Irene in Vermont and New York because the property damage was so widespread and extreme. However, many anglers and environmentalists are now concerned that there’s an excavator-and-bulldozer free-for-all causing damage to fragile trout habitat. Even famed trout waters such as New York’s Au Sable have not been spared. Writing in the Schenectady Daily Gazette, Morgan Lyle quotes longtime DEC officer Ed van Put: “I’ve had town supervisors tell me, ‘I know it isn’t doing any good, but it makes people feel better that we’re doing something.’ That is insane.”
We’ve all heard (perhaps apocryphal) tales of poachers using a car battery to illegally harvest fish, but now fisheries biologists in Montana are looking to use the same tactics to eradicate lake trout from Swan Lake in the northwestern part of the state. The plan is aimed at protecting the watershed’s bull trout population. The “targeted destruction” of lake trout embryos will involve the same equipment used for electro-fishing that helps determine fish populations, but this time it will be cranked up to a higher voltage.
Meanwhile, a similar battle against lake trout is ongoing in Yellowstone Lake, with mixed success. Writing in the Bozeman Chronicle, Thomas Lee offers a history of the lake and the threats its cutthroat population now faces.
Finally, Tom Stienstra of the San Francisco Chronicle offers a touching story about what may be an ailing friend’s final fly-fishing trip. That friend just happens to be Ed Rice, one of California’s best known anglers, making the story even more poignant.
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