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August 22 ē 12:48 PM
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Itís easier to adapt back to a native fishery


Dear Woods-N-Water News:

With regards to Ron St. Germain's Asian Carp story Blue VS Green, one fact was wrong. Only the salmon would suffer from the loss of the alewives, not the steelhead. Steelhead are not dependant on alewives to survive like salmon are. He is right on how the lake is being managed, the "plan" for Lake Michigan calls for the alewives (an invasive species) to be the dominate fish in Lake Michigan, billions compared to a handful of native fish. This is not science based this is alewife based, invasive species friendly based. We literally have to sacrifice the entire natural ecosystem to protect the alewives, because of one fish that doesn't even belong here, and as anyone can see has been absolutely worthless in our fight against invasive species. Billions of invasive species increasing every year, salmon starving?

We have native predators for most of the current invasives we have now, that don't grow too big, Asian carp do grow too big, but they're not born at 20 pounds. They have the same weakness that all fish have, surviving the spawn attempt to adult, the same thing that alewives intercept with perch and walleyes, even though perch and walleye grow too big for alewives and are alewife predators, but the alewives have kept their numbers in check since they got here. Look at Huron, without alewives all the native fish are bouncing back, not seen since 1970--40 years!

We all have to face the facts, and the fact is we have an invasive species problem, intentionally increasing the alewives is not helping our invasive species problem! We have native predators for the invasives and baby Asian carp, if we don't have to worry about what happens to the alewives we have many options, many things we can do. If we keep the salmon we have ZERO options, we have to protect the alewives, thus keeping the lake safe for all invasives including the Asian Carp. We're supposed to be doing what's best for the lakes/natural ecosystem, not what's best for one fish. Switch to steelhead, non native but doesn't require us to sacrifice every other fish to survive.

It's much easier to adapt back to a native fishery, than to live with Asian Carp and the rest. If we don't have enough native predators to threaten the alewives, gobies or zebras, then we don't have enough to threaten Asian Carp. Simple switch by one group could make a big difference, save the lakes, but we do things by committee, they should just ask the fish!

Tom Matych

Twin Lake MI


March 30, 2011

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