Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date on hunting, fishing and camping products, trends and news.

How To Stay Busy During COVID-19

With business closing through out the country, employers asking employees to work from home and social distancing being encouraged. You can be stuck at home not knowing what to do. Being around the house all day can get boring, eventually and you will run out of shows to rewatch and things to do. Try some of these tips out that can keep you active and also get you ready for fishing or hunting season.

1.Practice your cast

Get your fishing pole out and set up targets at different distances and angles. If you have buckets use those. Try to hit the target with your cast. Make it a game, make each target worth points and see how many points you can get in 10 casts.

2 Practice your game calling

Pull out your calls and start practicing and tuning up your calls. It might drive your family and neighbors a little crazy but have some fun with it!



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Costa Rica is the Best Fishing Destination in Central America

Fishing is much more fun and versatile when done in Costa Rica. This is a nation which is generally famous for its extremely cool Fishing spots. Costa Rica has a long seaside shoreline which is honoured with rain forests and marvellous landscapes.

In Costa Rica, you will be able to enjoy different types of fishing like lake fishing, pond fishing, and also ocean fishing. Doesn't make a difference whether you are an expert fisher man or might be a learner, yet here not just you would have the capacity to appreciate the Fishing in Quepos, yet in addition, get the hang of Fishing.

You may look for the assistance of the private Fishing charters in Quepos, Costa Rica that draws out the best Fishing enterprise trips where you could get probably the most troublesome fishes like the marlin, fish, cruise angle and some more.

Be that as it may, at whatever point you are doing proficient Fishing like prevailing fashion Fishing in Costa Rica, dealing with all the vital authorizations required for the Fishing. You may need to take the assistance of a nearby guide or fishermen to help you in taking in the nuts and bolts of Fishing.

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Get Ready for an Eventful Costa Rica Fishing Vacation

Quepos Fishing

If you are bored of your routine life then look for the Fishing Vacations for sorting out your fishing outing to Costa Rica, and getting guidance from professional anglers on what is the best time to fish in Costa Rica.

 

For some, Costa Rica is the fantasy goal for world-class sport fishing for many reasons. Throughout the years, this small nation has ascended in the positions as a top goal for angling and is apparently perhaps the best destination on the planet to catch billfish.

 

Before heading towards Costa Rica you have to only think about sport fishing in Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica you have the opportunity to discover more quick and dirty subtleties on every destination.

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Author Charlie Meck

Charles Meck was the author of 15 books on fly fishing, and a regular contributor to Fly Fisherman magazine for more than two decades. John Randolph photo

Author Charlie Meck passed away Sept. 19, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was the prolific author of more than a dozen books, and was a frequent contributor Fly Fisherman magazine over the course of more  than two decades.  He’s a member of the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. He helped our sport better understand hatches and how to match them, and through his groundbreaking books such as Patterns, Hatches, Tactics, and Trout he helped popularize tandem rigs and dry-dropper rigs which are considered standard today.

His longtime friend Paul Weamer wrote this of Meck: “For all that Charlie gave to the fly-fishing world during his life, he gave much more to humanity. Charlie was one of the finest human beings I’ve known. He was kind, humble, unpretentious, and he loved people. His caring acts affected hundreds and most will never be known beyond the people he helped. I dedicated my first book to him because I may have never had a fly fishing career without his guidance. But I’m also a better man because I knew him.”

When Weamer was a fly shop manager in State College way back in 2011, he wrote this profile piece on Charlie Meck, a man he described as a father figure.

 


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Train Spills Fuel Into the Delaware River

Photo courtesy of NY State Police

A train derailment spilled some 4,000 gallons of diesel into the West Branch of the Delaware River, New York State environmental officials say, and high water may have helped disperse the fuel, averting a larger tragedy for the nationally renowned trout stream.

“There doesn’t appear to be anything more floating downstream than a sheen and some odors,” said Matt Franklin, Director of Emergency Management, N.Y. Dept. of Environmental Conservation. “That eventually will float on the surface and evaporate just from the natural wave action, from the sun and from the heat.”

Torrential rains apparently washed out a culvert under the train tracks at Deposit, N.Y., causing the Aug. 10 derailment, Franklin said. The rains, which had triggered a state of emergency in the region, pushed the West Branch of the Delaware to the highest flows all year, making the diesel difficult to contain.

“The problem we’re finding is the river is moving so fast and so quickly we don’t have a good mechanism to control or stop” the diesel spill, Franklin said. “We’re addressing it as best we can from the source.”

Train Spills Fuel Into the Delaware River

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Southern Colorado in Hot Water

Anglers, guides and trout in Southern Colorado are all toughing it out this season in an exceptional drought.  A combination of low snowpack at higher elevations and unseasonably warm weather has created conditions that are now putting fish at risk.

The San Luis Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited issued a statement last week requesting anglers comply with voluntary limits on fishing in the afternoons, owing to high water temperatures stressing cold water species of fish.  Both personal thermometers and Division of Water Resources gauging stations are all telling the same story — that river temperatures are now hitting a cutoff point of 67 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the event horizon where dissolved oxygen and a trout’s metabolism cross a threshold and become unsustainable.

Photo courtesy of South Fork Anglers

Temperature is a primary factor in the ability of water to bind and carry oxygen, with colder, denser water near the freezing point of 32F degrees having the highest capacity.  Water at the boiling point of 212F begins to shed all its bound constituents, and begins to revert to a gaseous state.  In between, most trout have a happy zone for activity, with species like Rainbows becoming active at about 45F, and then getting cranky when things creep up above 60F.  Brown Trout seem to like things a little warmer by five degrees overall, with Brook Trout and full-blooded Cutthroats seeming to prefer things on the cooler side.  But with the exception of outlier warm water adaptations like the Gila Trout of southern New Mexico, it’s probably accurate to say that Trout in general are a delicate organism with very specific temperature requirements needed to thrive.

Guides on the Upper Rio Grande are acutely aware of the issue, and while their livelihoods are dependent on squeezing the most out of seasonal business, they also recognize that thrashing the resource isn’t in anybody’s best interest.  Local guides typically float hard sided boats like Dories in the larger volume water of the main river below the major tributaries, and inflatables upriver in a season that for most years runs June through the end of August. Joel Condren, lead guide and owner of 8200 Sports in South Fork, supports the effort and plans to take the high road should conditions become even more difficult.

Southern Colorado

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Presidential Piscatorial Pursuits

Q: What do Barack Obama and Donald Trump Jr. have in common?
A: They each like to go fly fishing!

You thought there was a joke coming, right?  Well, no joke, both the former president and the son of the current POTUS were reported being guided on the water last week fishing for trout.  Obama chose the Adirondack region in New York for his excursion, and the younger Trump took a river float trip in Montana. Both were apparently successful in catching fish, which you know had to be a stress test for the guides.

According to the New York Times, Mr. Obama flew into Adirondack Regional Airport near the former winter Olympic site of Lake Placid, and engaged local guide Vince Willcox of Wiley’s flies in the town of Ray Brook.  Willcox reports that the former president, who had only fly fished one other time, did great, “catching a couple of fish”, one of which (a brook trout), was kept  for dinner.  The two spent the day at an undisclosed location with secret service staff at the ready, and after the session, shared some of Willcox’s home brewed beer. It is not known if the two were fishing on a river or lake, but Willcox said the trip had been in the planning stages for over nine months.

Over halfway across the country, another player on the current political stage — Donald Trump Jr. — took time to spend a session floating the Stillwater River in Montana after making an appearance at the Republican National Convention in Billings.  People.com reported that the younger Trump took his new girlfriend, media personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, along for the trip and commemorated the occasion making posts on Instagram.

“Great time floating the Stillwater River yesterday in MT with @kimberlyguilfoyle. It doesn’t get prettier than this,” he captioned a series of photos of them fly fishing. “What a way to spend a weekend. #fishing #flyfishing #montana #mt #outdoors.”

© kimberly guilfoyle

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That Guy Fly Fishing on the National Mall

(DISCLAIMER / TRIGGER WARNING: The following story contains references to both politics and fly fishing for a specific invasive species.  Any opinions expressed do not constitute the positions of the publisher, and no implied or expressed responsibility for outcomes resulting from reading or participating in subsequent social media dialogues are to be assumed — Jw.)

It’s time we had a national conversation about fly fishing.  Not regarding the mental and physical health benefits of outdoor recreation, or youth outreach, or even conservation and environmental concerns.  While all of these are valid and important issues within the context of the sport, what has suddenly and jarringly been thrust in the consciousness of the republic is a fundamental question: What does fly fishing mean for Americans?

Photo by Loic Pritchett/Washington Post

As reported in the Washington Post this week, a fly fisherman was spotted angling on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Not only fishing, but actually catching fish on the lawn in the flooded margins of the Tidal Pool adjacent to the Potomac River.  Recent heavy rains on the east coast have swollen the Potomac to record levels, with an incoming tide compounding the problem to the point that flood waters breached the low barriers protecting the capitol grounds.

Guides in Pennsylvania have recently been posting online complaints about high water putting off early season fishing in that state, and conditions in general back east currently stand in stark contrast to the drought being endured out west, with float guides there facing the possibility of now having to offer wading trips at reduced pricing.  While situations couldn’t be more more different, this brings us to the topic at hand.

©-Rob-Snowhite--Washington-Post
Fly Fishing For Carp
World Record Common Carp On The Fly

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Guides Worth Their Salt

Photo courtesy of Gunnison River Expeditions

Guides and outfitting services in America come in all flavors.  Rivers and lakes require almost completely different skill sets on the part of the guide, and if boats are involved, then this is a whole different level of game with extensive training and certifications being necessarily needed. Captain status in salt water is another high bar that’s worthy of respect. All of this licensed competency in the public interest, as, despite what people may think, it’s serious business to take people out fishing for a day.

“Best” guide and outfitter candidates are subject to vote and consensus, and guide services all have to figure out how to successfully deal with the unique conditions of the environment they operate in.  Highly pressured river tailwaters require technical rigging and combat parking lot skills on the part of the guide, but remote back country pack trips with horses need to have a fishy wrangler who can multitask 24/7, or longer.  The point here is that it’s apples and oranges. Most guide services who have been around for any length of time are very, very good at what they do, and are committed professionals.

As above, conditions and available natural resources dictate how you gotta deal.  Flying in with a bush plane gets automatic adventure points, as does operating anywhere with bears, sharks or crocodiles.  River float guides have their own mess of concurrent dynamics going on too, from trailering, launching, maintaining and equipping the boat to re-rigging the client’s rods and serving up lunch — all while rowing the thing.

Photo courtesy of Gunnison River Expeditions

Guides Worth Their Salt
Guides Worth Their Salt
Guides Save Drowning Baby
Friends-of-the-Teton-River
New World Record Carp

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Legal Victory for the Yellowstone

Paradise Valley, downriver from Yellowstone National Park, boasts some of Montana’s best trout fishing but is threatened by the prospect of gold mines near Emigrant Peak (shown here) and near Jardine just outside the park boundary. Larry Mayer photo

 

Opponents of a proposed mine near the entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Montana’s Paradise Valley won a  legal victory when Park County Judge Brenda Gilbert ruled that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) must conduct a more extensive environmental review before issuing an gold mining exploration permit.

The complete decision is available here.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the decision does not void Lucky’s exploration license, which could still allow the project to commence as early as July 15. It is also unclear whether the DEQ or Lucky will appeal. Vice-President Shaun Dykes told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that Lucky’s Board of Directors would decide how to proceed in coming days.


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Well-Known Fly Fishing Guides Perish Tragically in Fishing Accident

Fly fishing world mourns as news breaks of well-known midwestern guides Brian Schumacher and his wife Janet Veit losing their lives in a fishing mishap in the frigid waters of Iceland

Brian Schumacher and Janet Veit were passionate anglers who loved taking fly fishing trips. (Photo courtesy of Tim Landwehr)

The fly fishing community was stunned earlier this week as tragic news came out of Iceland, reports that announced the untimely deaths of two well-known La Crescent, Minn. anglers and guides, Brian Schumacher and his wife Janet Veit.

While there are some conflicting details about exactly how the tragedy unfolded, the couple is reported to have perished when the combination of swift current and frigid water temperatures took them under.

Veteran Wisconsin smallmouth guide Tim Landwehr, owner of Tight Lines Fly Fishing Co. in DePere, Wis. and co-author with Dave Karczynski of the recent book Smallmouth: Modern Fly-Fishing Methods, Tactics, and Techniques, made the sad announcement on his Facebook page:

brian-schumacher-brown-trout-L
janet-veit-brown-trout-L

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Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Get New Help

Photo courtesy of Friends of the Teton River

Imperiled Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout are getting a helping hand with new strategies being developed by fisheries managers to control invasive predator species.  Biologists from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks division, working with federal scientists from Yellowstone National Park recently outlined new measures that are being taken to preserve the native trout. But some strategies being used are controversial.

As reported by the Lewiston Tribune, fishery biologists spoke to a packed crowd of about 70 people at an April meeting of the Magic City Fly Fishers.  MWP official Mike Ruggles explained the history of the decline of Yellowstone Cutts, which implicated deliberate introduction of invasive stream dwelling species like Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout, in addition to voracious still water Lake Trout.

“That early era of raising hatchery fish to transplant non-natives led to the transportation of boxcar loads of brook trout, brown trout and rainbows across the West and eventually to Montana”, said Ruggles. “That’s because by 1864 the state had already enacted fishing rules that limited catches to hook and line only, banning all netting and trapping, which had severely depleted once plentiful native fisheries.”

“So what did we end up doing? We spread non-natives all over the place.”

© NPS.gov
Fishing-Searun-Cutthroat-off-Puget-Sound

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Houston Readies for Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest

It takes a state as big as Texas to host the Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest, scheduled from July 20-22 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center!

The first Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest is scheduled for July 20-22 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.

For a state known for its love of football, chasing big whitetail bucks and catching big bass, and a penchant for cowboy boots and 10-gallon-size hats, it’s an outdoors show as big as the state of Texas.

That’s a good way to describe the first Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest scheduled for July 20-22 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. Tickets to the event cost $10 for adults, $7 for children and $5 for military, veterans, and first responders.

Hosted by Sportsman Channel – and its Outdoor Sportsman Group sister networks of Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network, and MyOutdoorTV – the event will feature nearly 500 vendors along with more than 15,000 attendees expected.


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U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships

The U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships are slated to be held May 30th through June 2nd, and this year’s host city will be Bend, Oregon.  Participating anglers will compete in judged coursework on the various disciplines involved in the sport, pursuing multiple species of fish over varied terrain.  Significantly, team members for Fly Fishing Team USA for the next two years will be selected from the winners of the event — who will then go on to represent the U.S. on the international stage.

Both river and lake environments will be part of the course, and the area around Bend was chosen for both its world class fishing and a wide spectrum of natural resources to challenge anglers of all stripes. Wild and stocked Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout will be targeted, alongside native Kokanee Salmon and Whitefish, and categories for catch numbers and largest specimens will be recorded by judges scrutinizing the angler’s efforts.  With both river and Loch (still water) venues being used, competitors will be tested in their overall abilities as fly fishermen, and not just their local specialties.  The event is open to both professional and amateur participants.

According to press from organizers, this years competition will include the following locations over the course of the event:

Pete Alport photo

“Anglers will spend 3 days fishing 5 different locations including the Crooked River, Deschutes River, Lava Lake, East Lake and South Twin Lake over 3 days of competition fishing. Once the 3 days are up, scores will be tallied and the winners will be acknowledged.”

Pete-Alport-Mt-Bachelor-Fishing
US-Fly-Fishing-National-Championships

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New Line-Class World Record Carp

Photo by Kurt Gutormson

L’enfant Terrible of American fly fishing has struck again, and this time it’s with a potential line-class world record carp. 18 year-old Kurt Gutormson, who established an overall world record with fly tackle for the species last year, has just made another jaw-dropping catch with a 31lb, 11oz specimen taken on 5.5lb tippet from South Dakota’s Lake Poinsett. The fish measured 37” long with a girth of 26”, and was weighed on certified scales at the marina on the lake after being transported in an oversize cooler with a bubbler — and then released alive.

Gutormson has been in contact with Jack Vitek of the IGFA regarding the specimen, who is quoted as saying that once the necessary review process is cleared, Kurt’s fish would establish a line-class world record for the species for the 6lb category.  Given the power and stamina of carp, this is extremely impressive and an indication of the angler’s skill, who said that he broke off three other fish of similar size before finally landing one.

Gutormson, who is a licensed bow hunting guide and has interned  as an aquaculture technician with the State Fish and Wildlife service, stalks the fish from shore soon after ice-out. Spring comes late in the Dakotas, and the giant fish of Lake Poinsett are up in the shallows after the water opens up, hunting crustaceans and hatching insects near shore to help feed the caloric demands of their massive bodies. Both the new fish and last years overall record specimen took the same fly, a purple tube flash fly of Gutormson’s own design.

The demands of pursuing world class fish is taking it’s toll on the young angler’s gear.  Counter-intuitively, for the lighter weight line category, Gutormson upscaled his rod from a 5wt to an 8wt to have a reel with more backing capacity for the expected long runs of the fish.  Even with lighter weight tippet, however, his gear has been suffering a beating — Kurt reports his 8wt has had two line guides ripped off, the reel seat is bent out and the tip-top has been so stressed that it no longer can be glued on.  That the young world record holder is completely self-funded and has not pursued a manufacturing sponsorship to date is testament to the purity of his motivations.

Best Carp Flies
Arizona-Fly-Fishing-Adventures-Ryan

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Clean the Dream

Is your favorite water looking a little hammered lately?  Seeing some disposable plastic bottles or jerky packaging floating in a prime back eddy? Well, you’re not alone — with usage of public resources comes impact, and the responsibility to take the high road from time to time and help to clean this crap up.

One of the Colorado’s most beloved and well known sections of quality water was noticed to have been taking a hit as of late, and local advocates have decided to do something about it.  The Charlie Meyers Recreation Area on the South Platte river between Spinney and Eleven Mile reservoirs, known throughout the state as the “Dream Stream”, has been slated for a dedicated community cleanup, the now 3rd annual “Clean the Dream”.  Scheduled for Saturday, August 4th, 2018, the event is being organized by advocate Brandon Kramer and promoted by angling industry legend Landon Mayer.

In a press release from the group, Mayer is quoted in support of the effort as saying,

“In addition to cleaning and protecting our resource, great companies that I am an ambassador for such as Yeti Coolers, Scientific Anglers, R.L. Winston, Bauer Reels, Black Bear Diner, Simms, Umpqua Feather Merchants, and Smith Optics have donated great items for our big raffle giveaway. 11 Mile State Park was kind enough to donate trash removal and tools for the day as well.”

“Local Trout Unlimited chapters, fly fishing clubs and fly shops will be helping spread the word,” added Landon. “The day will start with orange juice and donuts in the morning followed by some awesome grilled food in the afternoon compliments of Jack Shaw.”


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Canadian Stripers Slam Salmon

Photo by Conservefish.org

In a rare report of species population increase, Striped Bass have rebounded with a 300% expansion in numbers off the waters of eastern Canada.  Every silver lining has a potential dark cloud, however, and the implications for environmental analysts are concerning.

As covered by the CBC news in New Brunswick, the population of Striped Bass in the lower Gulf of St. Lawrence have inexplicably exploded in the last year, as measured by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Department scientists are quoted as saying the numbers of Stripers tripled between 2016 and 2017 to an estimated one million fish — in total, a 100-fold increase from twenty years ago.

Striped Bass are an anadromous species that are capable of living in both fresh and salt water, spawning in fresh water but maturing in the ocean, much as salmon.  While Stripers are considered a cold water fish, their typical range does not have a significant amount of overlap with salmon, however.  But nature abhors a vacuum, and the numbers of Stripers now off of New Brunswick indicate that something has changed in the environment that is allowing the voracious piscenovores to thrive

DFO scientist Scott Douglas provided the following statement.

Fly-Fishing-on-the-Gibraltar-River
The-Pilgrimage-Feature-Fly-Fisherman

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2018 America’s Most Endangered Rivers

The Gibraltar River is one of many streams flowing into Illiamna Lake, the freshwater heart of the Bristol Bay region. The nonprofit American Rivers has ranked this entire watershed as #2 on its annual list of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers.” Ross Purnell photo

The 2018 America’s Most Endangered Rivers list has just been released, and as usual, the results are both shocking and unexpected. Compiled by American Rivers, one of the nation’s most established and well-respected conservation groups, the list of the nation’s most at-risk waterways is a compilation based on not only streams that are subject to immediate ecological threats, but also ones that have the potential for current public involvement that could affect policy change in real time.

While certain rivers are included that have long-standing status because of continued threats, there are several — including the #1 spot — that, due to emerging political dynamics, need immediate acknowledgment and action. Leading the list for 2018, the Big Sunflower River in Mississippi rates inclusion due to the revitalization by the Trump administration of a long dead Army Corps of Engineers project, The Yazoo Pumps. Officially known as the Yazoo Backwater Area Pumping Plant, the project was initially conceived in 1941 as a flood control action for the wetlands between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers north of Vicksburg. It has since become recognized as a potential bonanza for business, subsidizing massive irrigation for industrial scale farms at the cost of severe impacts to the local ecology, which have had hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars invested in protecting to date. The Yazoo Pumps are so damaging that George W. Bush used the veto authority of the Clean Water Act to block further development, clearly a sign of bipartisan disapproval of the project.

What’s the concern with the Big Sunflower for Fly Fishermen?  While the freshwater wetlands upriver are primarily habitat for species such as Catfish and Crappie, (which are harvested for food by area subsistence residents), the reduction in overall flow to the mouth of the Mississippi below New Orleans affects the brackish water wetlands that serve as breeding and rearing grounds for Redfish, one of the premier salt water game fish to pursue with a fly rod in shallow water. Recently, a mysterious aphid blight that is devastating the Roseau Cane in the Bayous has been identified, and may well be due to altered flows affecting overall ground saturation and salinity.

Grizzly Bears on Nakenk Lake in Katmai National Park. Photo by Paxton Woebler, Cinders to Sea Expedition.

Bristol Bay #2 on America's Most Endangered Rivers
America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2018
Rainbow trout and five species of Pacific salmon are threatened by the Proposed Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay watershed.

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Delisting Endangered Humpback Chub

Photo by Travis Francis. USFWS

The Humpback Chub, one of the original species included for protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1967, has been identified for potential delisting to a “Threatened” status by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. According to a press release from the agency last week, a Species Status Assessment (SSA) has been completed that indicates the fish is no longer in imminent danger of extinction.

Native to the Lower Colorado River, the Humpback Chub is a warmwater species adapted to the periodic high water volumes in the Grand Canyon. With a characteristic, raised shoulder profile that is thought to help the fish remain close to the stream bottom when strong spring flood flows are raging overhead, the Humpback evolved in the millennia before hydroelectric dams were built on the river. A contentious issue between southwest environmentalists and water stake holders, management of the species has been at the center of controversy since federal mandates required “High Flow Experiments” (HFE’s), where large amounts of water were released downstream from Lake Powell to mimic the spring floodwaters of naturally flowing rivers.  Critics — and there are many spread across various sectors — have said the management practice is wasteful of the most precious commodity in the desert southwest and does nothing to permanently benefit down river stream bottom conditions favorable to the Humpback.

What’s the concern for anglers if the Humpback is not a sport fish? The immediate tailwater section of the Colorado below the Glen Canyon Dam at Lee’s Ferry is a world renowned venue for fly fishermen, with rainbow trout thriving in the cold, clear water that the outflow of the lake above provides.  Like many large reservoirs in the west, Lake Powell acts as a thermal sink for impounded river water, maintaining cold temperatures in its depths and allowing settling of suspended sediments.  Water that is released down river is perfectly suited for Rainbow Trout, (a species native to the cool pacific northwest), at least for the first few miles before the southwestern sun heats up the main river again. Recognizing this, trout were initially introduced downstream by the USFW after construction of the dam to benefit to the sporting public. This stocking effort included other unique environments such as Bright Angel Creek, a side stream 80 miles down river that naturally expresses cool water conditions as a consequence of the stream running below ground for much of its length before entering the main stem of the Colorado.  Humpback Chub and trout populations do not typically physically interact due to the fundamentally different environmental requirements of each species.  Politically, however, the two are closely intertwined.

Lee’s Ferry. Photo by Wikipedia

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Main Arctic Charr
Henry's Fork

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Maine’s Arctic Charr Endangered

Photo by Wikipedia

An endangered Arctic Charr in Maine is under threat from invasive Smelt in its home water, and resource managers are now apparently discussing relocating the entire population. Bald Mountain Pond is home to one of only twelve of the last remaining wild Arctic Charr populations in the US, which are considered the oldest strains in North America.  The Bald Mountain lineage in particular represents unique adaptations owing to thousands of years of isolation.

According to Wikipedia,  “Arctic Charr are native to New England, Canada, Alaska and Europe. Once found in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, they are now extant in Maine only.  Maine’s Arctic charr are the southernmost populations in the world and reported to be the oldest strain in North America.”

“Maine’s Arctic Charr are the rarest freshwater salmonid east of the Rocky Mountains.  They are classified as a Tier-1 Species of Greatest Conservation Need by MDIFW, the same classification as federally endangered Atlantic salmon.  They are classified as Threatened by the Endangered Species Committee of the American Fisheries Society.”

Bald Mountain Pond, like many lakes in Maine, was carved out of solid granite during the last ice age. When the glaciers retreated, the landscape was covered with depressions that were interconnected by flooded melt waters.  As climate conditions continued to become relatively more dry, lakes like Bald Mountain Pond became isolated genetic reservoirs for ice age fishes such as Arctic Charr. Freshwater Smelt are seen as competing with larval Charr for plankton sized food sources, and were probably introduced to the lake as bait — in violation of Maine law protecting Bald Mountain as a designated conservation resource.

Landon Mayer photo
Tree River Arctic char grow to super sizes—high teens and twenties.  doublehaulproductions.com photo

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