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Discussion Starter #1
Dow said the following before:
For successful stocking, it takes repeated introductions of a species (over the course of years) to get an established population.
They say most fisheries are stocked illegally by some bucket biologist, usually at most once. How did walleyes get in my only walleye fishery juniata then (they are very, very established)?
I know a guy that says old hatchery hands say that most "illegal introductions" are more like "accidental introductions" for example at juniata they got the rainbows (mcanagee rainbows or however the hell you spell it) from a place in nebraska that has a bunch of walleyes in the same lake. There must've been some walleye with the trout when stocked then. They also say suckers infested the grand mesa lakes because there were suckers with the trout they stocked.
Interesting how there can be two different sides of it. I personally don't know what to believe because everything contradicts everything else? Anyone want to contribute?
 

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It really depends on whose point of view you are looking at, if a bucket biologist hurts a fishery or not.
Technically when stocking a lake or creating a pond there are alot of factors you should look out when choosing a species to stock. Some species can be directly determental to a fishery... look at the problems they are having with snakeheads in the east. Rainbows can push and hybridize (is that a word) with natives and slowly push them out of a water system. A dominate supply of predators can keep a new species from taking hold. Lack of forage can kill off both the new species and an established one threw lack of resources to support both species. Spawn times and the ravage of eggs by other or new species can cause drops in fish populations. Many many many more things ontop of those.
Sometimes a bucket biologist wont hurt a fishery with a stocking sometimes probably most the times he will.
The State usually has a plan for the water systems that takes alot to manage, bucket biologists can really hurt this plan.
 

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Not all species or all bodies of water require repeated stockings to establish a population. There are many variables. What species? What are the current species present? What are their populations? What is the forage base? Is the forage base being utilized by existing species? For what species are there favorable spawning conditions? What time of year does spawning take place? What is the pH of the water? What is the temperature of the water? What type of habitat is present? How prolifically do they spawn?

I bet there are tons of other variables that I have never considered.

I do find it unlikely that walleye and rainbow were mixed together in a stocking. Not impossible but very unlikely. I don't understand why rainbow trout from western Nebraska would be stocked in a west slope water. Was this a recent occurence? A response to WD?

For suckers and trout being mixed in a stocking the same thing applies? Unless it was a transplant of rainbows I am not certain how suckers would get mixed in. It seems that the hatcheries would be pretty careful to not mix species in their facilities. Again is the presence of suckers relatively new or is it an old problem perhaps going back decades when things were different.

As we have seen it is hard enough for the professionals to manage the waters in this state and we have seen things definitely not turn out they way they anticipated. So I think a bucket biologist is not doing anyone a favor by putting perch, trout, bass, walleye or any other fish into an ecosystem where they are not already. There actions are selfish, self-centered and irresponsible. (not to mention illegal)

My .02 worth.

Dan
 
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Dan said:
I don't understand why rainbow trout from western Nebraska would be stocked in a west slope water.  Was this a recent occurence?  A response to WD? 
If I remember right these were supposed to be McConaghy strain rainbows. I think they were touted as fish that were genetically predisposed to make big spawning runs up the feeder streams in the Spring.

It was a number of years ago and I'm real hazy on the details.
 

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The McConaghay (I don't know how to spell it, either) rainbow trout is not even a Nebraska species, since no trout actually lived in Nebraska before being stocked there. They are a strain that did very well in the lake there after stocking and became well adapted to the system. Regardless of strain, rainbow trout are not native to any Colorado westslope water, even though they reproduce in the wild, there. So the question might really be, "why were rainbow trout stocked in Colorado in the first place."

The answer to this question, and frankly to the question of why stock Nebraska rainbows on the West Slope in Colorado is simply that it has only recently been recognized that genetic differences among stocks might be important, and the diversity of genes in a species greater when you maintain distinct stocks without mixing than when you dilute one or the other of their genomes by mixing or hybridizing them with other strains. Now that managers care more about maintaining distinct strains, they don't move stocks around so much. Where lacustrine (lake adapted) strains can be stocked in reservoir with minimal risk of wrecking a stream system deemed important for conservation of another stock of value, managers will still stock the lacustrine strain many times - because there is nothing to lose, and the lacustrine strains reach larger sizes than stream trout that just happen to occupy a reservoir.

There's really no such thing as a native fish to a Colorado Reservoir, because reservoirs are not "native" waters. They're large, man-made impoundments on what otherwise would be stream or river habitat. Many of the fish in reservoirs could not thrive in Colorado Streams. Invasive species are much more likely to catch on in distrubed habitat which resemble the native habitat of the invasive more closely while being quite different from the habitat the local native species have evolved in. The creation of reservoirs and impoundments really made the establishment of many invasive species possible, and baitbucket introductions contributed many of those nonnative species, as did accidental introductions.

In any case, baitbucket biology doesn't necessarily screw up a system with respect to all anglers. Baitbucket introductions don't reliably cause the same effect in every place, and it's not so much that they will always wreck a system that is the problem, as that they have the potential to really wreak havoc on some valuable fisheries that is the problem. There are no rules or laws in the field of ecology (including fish ecology), because ecological systems are variable enough that prediction of outcomes are difficult. Monitoring has proven to be the best way to tell us what is really going on in each lake, and the only way to improve our ability to predict how introduction might affect a system. Experience has taught biologists that introduction of the same species in two lakes can result in two very different outcome. The frequency and number of fish introduced can also affect the result.
 
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bucket biologist, now what exactly is such a person?
someone that aquires fish from some place, such as a hatchery, another lake, bait store, etc. and diliberately or not puts them into a body of water where they did not originate? i suppose.

how pervasive are these types? my expereinces have been over the years that fish caught (during open water seasons) and attempted to be transported in a bucket, live well etc. are pretty hard to keep alive for lengths of time - like a length of time it would take for someone to catch a walleye someplace and drive hours to another just to intro the species. catfish have proven to be the most hardy.

back in ohio my father has a pond on his property and over the years we have stocked from hatcheries and as i think you would call it bucket biologist stocked from species we have caught elsewhere. our pond, no laws broken. the success of either has been limited. the exception being my niece dumping goldfish in and now the pond is overl loaded with them.

i don't have an opinion either way about the ethics of doing this in water one does not own. but it sure seems interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cutthroat that is the best post I've read in a long time....thank you for that info. I agree fully.
Afterall, if it wasn't for bucket biologists (or accidental introductions), I (and other west slopers) wouldn't be able to fish for ANYTHING warmwater at all. it depends on your point of view whether it is good or bad, and the effect it has on the ecosystem. For me and fellow westslopers, it is mostly a very good thing. For example, the illegal introduction of pike in crawford reservoir saved the fishery....conversely, the illegal introduction of yellow perch in blue mesa may ruin the fishery........ Yeah, bucket biologists may be "selfish" in same cases but in many cases they want what is best for the fishery and best for the people. Like I said it depends on who is doing those illegal introductions and what they know.
tekneek, that is exactly what a bucket biologist is. although many are much more advanced than that.
BTW: I don't know if they stock mchongay rainbows in juniata anymore; but I know they still stock rainbows of some sort in there that grow rapidly. The fish stocked at a mean length of 9.8" fall of 04 were 15-20" this aug/sept. DOW recently shocked it and the bows averaged 20-25" according to the shocker. Sick growth rate there, kinda like vega's and spinney's. It is having a slightly negative effect on our only walleye fishery as their body conditions are not as adequate as before (crawfish surplus is down) but the boom in nice smallmouth may also be effecting that. However they shocked a few walleyes over 10 pounds. A couple anglers I know (not me sadly) have caught 10 pound plus walleyes there. This would be the kind of place if a bucket biologist put ANY new species in it would almost certainly have a detrimental effect if established. I hope some moron doesn't decide he needs yellow perch close to home.......ughhhhhhhh.......
 
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TroutFishingBear said:
in many cases they want what is best for the fishery and best for the people.
I don't believe that for a minute. They're criminals who will sefishly risk a fishery to satisfy there own selfish desires to have "their species" in a given water, never mind what nit may due to the rest of the fishery.

Look what they've done to Yellowstone Lake with the introduction of lake trout. That introduction threatens to destroy not only the Yellowstone cutthroat population in that lake, but also to severely damage the rest of an ecosystem that depends in large part on the availability of cutthroat in shallow waters and feeder streams that lake trout simply don't ever inhabit.

Bucket biologists?? Naw. They're just criminals. Shoot 'em on sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
pike in crawford. I do not have to go further than that to justify that statement you quoted don. Before the pike, perch were 6-7" max and very overpopulated. Also, there were some small stocker trout, the occaisional bass and catfish. After the pike (and crappie) were illegally introduced there are much bigger perch. They are still overpopulated but the size is very quality with many up to 13" caught last year. Also, there are more bass and catfish. The trout that are in there are also larger than before. Game point and match. However don, you are correct in some cases.
 

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Don In Denver said:
TroutFishingBear said:
in many cases they want what is best for the fishery and best for the people.
I don't believe that for a minute. They're criminals who will sefishly risk a fishery to satisfy there own selfish desires to have "their species" in a given water, never mind what nit may due to the rest of the fishery.

Look what they've done to Yellowstone Lake with the introduction of lake trout.  That introduction threatens to destroy not only the Yellowstone cutthroat population in that lake, but also to severely damage the rest of an ecosystem that depends in large part on the availability of cutthroat in shallow waters and feeder streams that lake trout simply don't ever inhabit.

Bucket biologists??  Naw. They're just criminals.  Shoot 'em on sight.
I agree 100%. Fisheries professionals dedicate their lives to their work and spend a lot of time in school to get their jobs. Nothing worse than having a plan that went through rigorous review jepordized by some gomer that was too impatient, ignorant, and selfish to go through the proper channels. There is loads of information out there on consequences of illegal fish introdutions. If someone has a gripe about how fish are managed . . .get educated on the matter and engage a biologist in a discussion. Otherwise, leave it to the professionals.

TP
 

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Discussion Starter #13
TP,
if fisherman left it to the professionals we wouldn't be able to catch fish over here ;) Remember the endangered fish recov. program? They "can't" and won't stock warmwater fish over here that may help a fishery out.
zman, I said some cases referring to bucket biologists....
 

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TroutFishingBear said:
TP,
if fisherman left it to the professionals we wouldn't be able to catch fish over here ;) Remember the endangered fish recov. program? They "can't" and won't stock warmwater fish over here that may help a fishery out.
zman, I said some cases referring to bucket biologists....
TFB - you just said it yourself. There is an effort being made to recover an endangered fish. Is that not a good enough reason to limit stocking of fishes that are detremental to the endangered fish? Is it really so important to have the opportunity to catch an invasive/exotic sport fish when it means the demise of a native fish? So we have to drive a little farther to catch a bass . . .big deal.

TP
 

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Discussion Starter #16
whatever troutpocket........said like a true east sloper. Once you live it over here you will know what it is like; much different attitude over here................you guys get wipers, walleye, bass, catfish, tiger musky, anything you want basically stocked. we don't. Science really doesn't even back up any of the principles. Oh well. I feel this thread is once again causing tension among members which was not my intent. My intent was to discuss more how a fish gets established in a fishery rather than to bash bucket biologists or refer to agencies that are not meeting people's demands. Unless the thread goes back to my original intent; I'm finished posting on it.
 

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Wow, I'm on both sides of the fence on this issue.

TFB, I agree with you that the west slope sucks when it comes to the variety of fish. I grew up over there and catching trout can get old after awhile. Ilive over here now and am having a blast "trying to catch" all the different species. I just can't get used to the crowds and all of the noise. I do have to disagree with you on one of your statments. Bucket biologists are in it for themselves and thier own greed, not for the good of the fishery. Some times it work out for the best. Two examples are the one you gave of Chambers and another one is Stagecoach. Pike were first put in there so that somebody didn't have to go all of the way to Elkhead.

Troutpocket, just because sombody goes to school on a subject does not mean they are educated. Some of the decisions made by the DOW in the past were not studied or reviewed. Some were mistakes and some were just wims of some DOW personel. Another thing, how does somebody in Washington D.C. really know what is going on in some high mountain lake in Western Colorado? I am not for the extinction of any species, due to human influence, but I don't think that we should reverse everything that has been done in the past just because sombody back East thinks it is a good idea at the time. An example of this is a mountain lake in the Flattops. Years ago it was planted with lake trout by the DOW. Other species of trout that had been stocked before didn't do so well. A few years ago The DOW went up there and tried to remove all of the Lakerw. The recovery program say that only Native species can be in that lake even though it was pretty much a dead lake before. So what about the DOW person who made it his lifes work to make that lake a great fishery only to have it destroyed by sombody who has never even heard of it. let alone been there?
 

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jamiehughes said:
how about some barracuda in chatfield????
That would be great, wouldn't it?  Man, they have all the good fish on the coasts, and it's been proven that all those saltwater fish can live in fresh water, if you add enough salt to it.  Why can't the DOW stock Barracuda in just Boyd Lake.  Just Boyd would be enough.  Then it might not suck so bad to live here.

I heard the grass is greener on the coasts, too. :)  I'm sure we'd all be happier if we could just get all the coastal species established here, and I'm convinced that it would be good for the lakes and the native fish numbers would probably increase, too (not that I care, because I'm tired of catching walleye all the time). You know what, maybe we could stock fish from the Amazon into Lake Loveland, too.  Boy, we'd have some sweet fishing then, wouldn't we?
 
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