July 23 11:43 AM
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Predator/prey is

Dear Woods-N-Water News:

I think most people can relate to Mr. Wescott's frustration with the DNR, I know I can. Mr. Westcott, it's an old trick to keep things complicated and harder than they need to be, trying to protect a job. It's also an old trick to always have problems or maintain a "war" if you will to stay in power. These people have degrees and fancy titles, however these fancy titles make them responsible, yet they make excuses and blame everything else but themselves. We are supposed to all be doing what's best for the lakes, or natural ecosystem, yet with a massive invasive species problem, the only real action it trying to increase the alewives, an invasive species, which in truth is probably the worst thing we can do for Lake Michigan right now. No credible fishery biologist would intentionally recommend making the alewives or any other invasive species the dominate fish on purpose in any ecosystem, but ours do.

I recently attended the Sea Grant/DNR Asian Carp meeting in Muskegon May 20 hosted by Rep. Holly Hughes. The good news is, I truly believe the Reps were very sincere about doing something about Asian Carp. However in my unbiased opinion just another pony show, no real plan, (I've been to a few). The DNR plan is a five year plan, with no clear goal. People yell at the Corps to speed up their plan?

But it's not a crisis yet right? Plenty of time?

Dave Clapp said no biologist would recommend using predators to Holly Hughes when she asked him what predators we could use. I believe this is just so wrong in so many ways. What does a politician know about fish, but because somebody says "no" it's the end of discussion?

Predatory/prey is how nature works, whether native fish or from out of town, all baby fish have predators, the DNR is trying to balance the "predator prey balance" between salmon and alewives. They planted predators to control alewives, too many predators will wipe out the alewives they say. The hypocrisy of these people seems to know no bounds. The battle with invasive species and Asian Carp will be won or lost in the spawning nursery areas, currently we're losing mainly because of the alewives. Asian Carp do not need 100 miles of river to spawn, the eggs are supposed to drop to the bottom in still water; nursery areas, they don't die from just hitting the bottom. The carp head for the backwater nursery areas when water rises, It should be clear to anyone we can't control were they go, but we can control how many predators they run into. But the alewives would run into them as well, and therein lies the 'rub.'

Lost license sales, lack of interest, invasive species increasing and spreading, the truth is regardless of what ever plan, the results are not positive, shall we say, not even close. Telling the truth is hard row to hoe, even when everyone can see the results of doing basically nothing. Increasing native predators does not interfere in any way with the Asian Carp plans and can only make our lakes more resistant to invasive species.

Truthfully yours

Tom Matych

Twin Lake, MI

June 21, 2011

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