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Editorial: No Trout Plants

Editorial: No trout plants, thanks to frogs — again!

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 02, 2019

And the stupidity continues. More lakes that won’t be stocked with trout because some idiot in the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) figures that trout eat frogs. Or at least that they eat enough of them to wipe out an entire species. Absolutely ridiculous, and it’s high time we stop this ridiculous, knee jerk reaction where a state agency jumps through hoops for animal-protection groups.

The DFW has announced changes to the summer trout stocking schedule in backcountry waters in its Northern Region as a result of the candidacy of the Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae) for listing as an endangered or threatened species. Let’s just add this one to the red-legged frog, the yellow-legged frog and any of the other species that are listed as “threatened” or “endangered.”

The Cascades Frog is found in a variety of habitats such as large lakes, ponds, wet meadows and streams at mid- to high-elevation ranges from the Klamath-Trinity region, along the Cascades Range axis in the vicinity of Mount Shasta, southward to the headwater tributaries of the Feather River. And let’s add these locations to the Sierra, Motherlode and many other areas where various little frogs supposedly “struggle for survival.”

The downtrend in mid- to high-elevation frog populations world-wide has already been determined to be the result of chytrid fungi, and it’s believed to have “driven nearly 100 amphibian species to extinction,” according to numerous scientists. Trout are not and never have been a major threat to any frog species in existence, but the DFW continues to cling to their initial incorrect and misguided analysis of the problem.

The result? A total of 41 backcountry locations primarily in Siskiyou and Trinity counties will not be stocked with trout in 2019. An additional 19 locations will not be stocked until DFW can conduct a visual inspection to determine the presence of frogs.

We suspect the DFW is looking more at getting away from raising and planting trout than it is concerned about any species of frog or toad, and they have so much as said they would like to get out of the hatchery, put-and-take trout fishery in the state.

Hey, we would, too! Wouldn’t it be nice to have naturally-spawning rainbows, brown trout and brookies in all the waters of the state? Unfortunately, the reality is that the vast majority of ang­lers in the state depend on planted trout for all of their trout fishing in this state. The DFW plants them in downtown lakes and ponds, and supplements lakes and reservoirs, streams and rivers because of the fishing pressure on them.

Dream on DFW, you can spout all the inaccurate data you want, and invent all the excuses you want, but the truth speaks louder than your lies.

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