28
Feb
09

Trout in the Alpine Lakes of Washington (the thinking about management)

Hidden L., N. Cascades~http://flickr.com/photos/treveri/183701770

Hidden L., N. Cascades~http://flickr.com/photos/treveri/183701770

 

This is an interesting site because it explains the scope of stocking in North Cascades alpine lakes (and elsewhere) as well as the management philosophy behind ‘put and take’ programs. Numbers are not the priority. A balance  between fish, salamanders and nymphs appears to be the focus…this maintains food for the fish, avoids stunted ‘anorexic’ growth and a good fishing experience. Not sure I care about the ‘experience the habitat’ before man intro’d the fish bit, but stocking fish into previously empty lakes is a recent phenomenon. What is also interesting is the number of unstocked lakes…I hope those are highlighted in synopses for hikers: “This is a pristine lake, as it was centuries ago, untouched by fins.”

“The North Cascades National Park commissioned a scientific study to determine the effects of fish on the natural biota of mountain lakes, such as insects and amphibians. This study was done by William Liss, Gary Larson, and Robert Hoffman. Their results show that high densities of fish, which are basically lakes that have reproducing fish, have a negative effect on the balance of the natural biota in a lake. In contrast, they could find no measurable differences in the biota between lakes that have low densities of fish and those that have never had any fish. In other words, modest numbers of non-reproducing fish have little or no effect on the biota. For this reason, the Hi-Lakers support the present policy of the WDFW to stock low densities of fish in all mountain lakes.”    http://www.hilakers.org/pages/science.html


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