Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Paying fishermen to kill fish?

If it sounds like a wasteful government program, you have a good ear.

The federal government is paying fishermen $3.7 million dollars this year to kill northern pikeminnow. Why? They've been caught eating young salmon by forensic pathologists.

Kill fish that eat salmon and get more salmon, right? Well, maybe not. The missing pikeminnow will probably be replaced by smallmouth bass and walleye, both non-native gamefish that eat plenty of salmon, maybe even more than pikeminnow.

Why not kill walleye and smallmouth bass? Because people like them so managers try to keep the Columbia river "teeming" with these salmon-eaters.

With all of the things wrong in the Columbia River, you'd think we could spend our money on something a bit smarter than chasing attractive myths like "killing pikeminnow to save salmon."

And this is just the beginning...we're also paying good public $$ to harass birds that dare to eat salmon, like cormorants and terns. Next time you fork over $60 to fill your tank, remember that you may also be buying gas to chase cormorants with a boat.

3 comments:

tom said...

When ecological illiteracy, a phenomenon usually reserved for the public (when dealing with cases like Mute Swans), creeps into the realm of federal policy, you know it's going to be bad - this is definitely cringe worthy. What do the Canadians make of this?

Also, that guy's cab must stink! ;)

fishguy said...

How about the vilification of spiny dogfish in the US northeast? We've killed all the cod, and now some want to blame dogfish for the carnage.

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