Skip to comments.Lake Tahoe: Smallmouth bass threatens native fish (Ya Can Blame the Erie Canal..)
Posted on 08/19/2011 2:37:11 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
A highly aggressive species of fish has been found in Lake Tahoe, and environmental scientists are afraid the nonnative invader will gobble up native fish and ruin decades of work to improve water clarity, researchers said Tuesday.
"It really shocked us. You can think of it this way: There is a new bully in the neighborhood," said Sudeep Chandra, a university limnologist who was working with the California Department of Fish and Game on a study of invasive species when the discovery was made six weeks ago. ..
The Department of Fish and Game has been working with Chandra and his team of researchers in an attempt to remove nonnative species from the lake. Their joint study found that introduced species such as largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish have hurt water quality by excreting nutrients that cause algae blooms. Asian clams have caused similar chaos.
Smallmouth bass, known scientifically as Micropterus dolomieu, aren't rare. They have been moved all over the United States since 1825, when construction of the Erie Canal extended their range into central New York state.
The problem is that they are ferocious predators that are likely to feed on Tahoe's native redside dace, suckers and chub.
Studies of introduced smallmouth bass have already shown that they have devastated trout populations on the East Coast. Tahoe's lake, brown and rainbow trout could also be in jeopardy. The alien fish could hamper efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-introduce native Lahontan trout to the Sierra lake.
The joint study documented a 58 percent decline in native fish caused just by largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish. The smallmouth bass could make things worse, said Kevin Thomas, a Fish and Game environmental scientist who co-wrote the invasive species study.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
But being as the feds and state would intervene,, they'll probably try poisoning them or sumthin'.. better to put a no catch limit and free fishing licenses for visitors..
How they got there? hmmm.. The Erie Canal angle is interesting.. and so are some invasive species..
largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish
Them are good eating fish. Not sure of them other kind.
How did they cross the continental divide?
Don’t tell anybody but, bass will eat trout too.
We’ve got smallmouth and trout in the same places here. Below the dam near my house I’ve caught smallmouth with one case and a brookie the next.
The mackinaw in Tahoe will love the food supply as much as any other predator fish.
Isn’t there some way that we can send those folks a billion or two to help them out with this unexpected crisis.
Oh, hey, couldn’t we give them some of that Obama money we sent to teach those Africans how to wash their privates after doing the wild-thing?
IIRC, it’s illegal to use game fish to catch other game fish, at least in Texas.
Personally I’d rather have the smallmouth.
As suggested in another case of this type, by another FReeper: let the state offer, say $10 apiece for each smallmouth bass caught in Lake Tahoe. The problem would be taken care of in short order.
That works out because the Brown Trout is an introduced (invasive) species too.
At what cost to the taxpayers?????
Common sense would be to contract with the Bass Masters Pro Tour officials and let the sponsors foot the bill for the bass removal.............
Fishing for small mouth bass is as good as it gets. They fight harder than large mouth bass. In my experience, they live in clear water, so I’m not buying that they reduce clarity.
Smallies are more fun to catch than trout.
That’s my issue, around here trout and smallmouth are found in the same places.
Then they need to contact the Michigan DNR and ask them how Lake Charlevoix has become a fishing haven for not only bass but also lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, pike and now walleye..........along with all the small panfish such as perch, bluegills, etc...
A classic creating a crisis where none exists..........
It's almost impossible to reintroduce Cutthroat Trout where there is a large population of Rainbows Trout. They co-exist where there is a larger native Cutthroat population but with lots of crossbreeding.
And, being predators, each will eat the young of the other.