Real Gems

this is probably the most beautiful fish film i’ve ever seen.
no more words are necessary nor could they do it justice… enjoy !

Didymo- Some new views

“For years, Didymosphenia geminata (Didymo) has been on many states’ high-priority aquatic invasive species list. Didymo, a freshwater diatom, has the potential to bloom, forming dense mats on stream and river bottoms making recreational activities difficult and giving affected waterways an unsightly appearance. Didymo blooms began in Canada in the late 1980s, and have since occurred around the globe in places like New Zealand, Chile, and across the northern hemisphere.”

from here it looks like the same ‘ole river snot we’ve unfortunately been seeing here and there around the globe but continued research seems to point to what makes this algea tick: waterway phosphorus levels and more precisely, low phosforous levels.

didymo

it seems like alerting anglers and other water users to aquatic invaders such as Didymo, New Zealand Mudsnails and the parasite that causes Whirling Disease has kind of gone secondary but organisations such as flow are thankfully there to share information, remind us of these threats and how to do the right thing.

click the image above to acces the complete article and adjoining links and please share this with your angling friends. it’s not very exciting from a fun point of view but this stuf’s important.

eating fish- some food for thought

an interview with oceanographer Sylvia Earle via TED

i’ll admit it, i’m biased. i love fish and that’s why i don’t eat them.
add to that that since i was a child the slightest taste of some semi-cleverly hiddden-within-the-meal fish flesh would bring an instant gag reflex and copious spewing… the decision for me to not kill or eat them was a no brainer but that’s just me.
in matters like today’s topic it’s always very difficult to convey an important message and plea for action or in this case restraint without sounding like an alarmist or other end-of-the-world nitwit but i believe that Sylvia’s message is clear, honest, simple and straightforward and it all makes sense.

don’t take it as an order but as information and an invitation for thought. here’s a few extracts.

“for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They’re part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean. They are carbon-based units, conduits for nutrients, and critical elements in ocean food webs. If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful. It isn’t just a matter of caring about the fish or the corals, but also about all the things that are destroyed in the process of capturing ocean wildlife.”

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“I’m not saying that you have to stop eating meat, but think about what it takes to make a plant compared to what it takes to make a plant-eater, like a cow, chicken or pig. Even carnivores on land are lower on the food chain than most fish. Think of a tiger or lion or a snow leopard. They eat plant-eating animals. They eat rabbits or deer. So, food chains on land tend to be fairly short. Over 10,000 years, we have come to understand that it’s far more efficient not to eat carnivores. We eat grazers, the ones that we choose to raise, such as cows and pigs. Perversely, many of the animals that are natural grazers, we are force feeding wild fish. We’re taking large quantities of ocean wildlife, grinding them up, and turning them into chicken food or cow food or pig food — or even into fish food.”

click the image for the complete interview.

Common sense and Hope.

there’s a lot to think about in this short 9 minute video.
– it’s about not taking short cuts and thinking ahead.
– it’s about doing right when wrong was done.
– it’s where man and nature work together for mutual benefit.
– and basically, it’s about love.
– enjoy !

trouble in paradise…

sad indeed and not just for the trout.
there’s nothing to enjoy here but its well worth watching and keep in the back of the mind to be sure to not let this happen in your region or country.

more videos of the 1080 effects can be found HERE

The canary in the coal mine.

ever heard of southern California steelhead ? neither had i until this film.

as noted in the beginning, we all know of this wondrous species but it’s basically all from much further north along the Pacific coast or north-east Great Lakes region.
much more than just a ‘save the fish so we can fish it… ‘  type of movement, these people are interested in simply trying to restore a balance between a thriving human presence and nature. if the steelhead do well, then it’s the whole ecosystem that does well. the canary effect.
i hope you’ll enjoy this very informative film enough to pass it on. as mentioned, few know of the presence of these fish in this region of the world and the more people know, the more chances we’ll have to give them the chance to go have fish sex where fish sex is supposed to happen: in their upstream bedroom.

The canary in the coal mine.

ever heard of southern California steelhead ? neither had i until this film.
as noted in the beginning, we all know of this wondrous species but it’s basically all from much further north along the Pacific coast or north-east Great Lakes region. much more than just a ‘save the fish so we can fish it… ‘ type of effort, these people are interested in simply trying to restore a balance between a thriving human presence and nature. if the steelhead do well, then it’s the whole ecosystem that does well. the canary effect.

i hope you’ll enjoy this very informative film and feel moved enough to pass it on. as mentioned, few people know of the presence of these fish in this region of the world and the more people know, the more chances we’ll have to give them the possibility to go have fish sex where fish sex is supposed to happen: in their upstream bedrooms.

we can worry about how to catch and release them later if all goes well.
lets hope it does.

The Scottish Government: To reverse the decision by the Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland [SNFAS] to resume net fishing in the spring after a 14 year voluntary cessation.

please take just a few minutes of your time to read this and sign the petition. it doesn’t matter what part of the world we live in, fish don’t have nationalities and the same concerns are pretty universal. click the image to share your opinion on change.org 

thanks ! 

  • Online Petition by
    Ian Gordon
    Dufftown, United Kingdom

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1. Wild Salmon numbers are at an all time low, particularly fish entering our rivers in spring. The voluntary agreement above along with Catch and Release by anglers has seen this particular group of fish , at best, “hold their own”! To begin netting at this time of the year again would do irreparable damage to this early running group/cohort collectively known as spring fish.

2. If we have no fish entering our rivers in the early part of the year then many full time jobs will be threatened as revenue from those early anglers is lost. In 2003 “Salmon Angling” was found to be worth £74 Million to the Scottish economy, supporting 2800 full time jobs, mainly in rural areas with extremely fragile economies. A shorter season will see those full time jobs become part time, attracting, not young families, but older people to do a seasonal job.

3. The support industry we have for salmon fishing in Scotland would also suffer; from tackle shops, to tea shops. Petrol stations, hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and not forgetting all their suppliers! Although we have no new figures, to the Scottish Economy, salmon fishing will now be worth around double that of the figure above.

4. We are not talking about a few nets-men and wealthy landowners here. No, we are talking about the jobs of 2800 ordinary people, their families and the longevity of an extraordinarily “Scottish” way of life; a way of life with so much, yet untapped tourism potential. To threaten the livlihoods of many for that of few makes no sense at all.

5. The Scottish Government will only support the netting of wild salmon when a “Harvestable Surplus Occurs” FACT. This is certainly not the case with Spring Salmon, or, some would argue – Summer or Autumn Salmon.

6. Calling a halt this madness will at least give those remaining fish a “chance” to spawn and in doing so producing the next generation, which hopefully, we will manage better than in the past.

More information and reading on the background to this petition and also points for online discussion, can be found here –

http://www.speyonline.com/petition.htm

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– related articles

International Catch and Release Logo
fly fishing videos: Proper Catch and Release Methods
catch and release, well.

Size Matters and Life and Death

a lot of us tend to think that commercial fishing is the big nasty devil that’s ruining and depleting fish stocks around the world but that’s maybe just a convenient half truth.
bring this to our sport-fishing level, reduce the fishery’s scale to say, a smaller or average sized lake or river or stream and depletion and ecosystem destabilisation issues happen at an alarming, easily observable rate and it’s not just about fish. as sport-fishers we’re all aware of size limit regulations and a lot of us also know that they’re bunk. here’s why:

of course there’s always the fact that dead fish can’t take our flies, put up a fight, jump up and down, be the beautiful creatures that they are and even less reproduce.
it’s all about math, each fish removed makes for potentially hundreds of less fish in the future that will in turn not reproduce, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
is it worth it ?

Too much fishing is a bad thing.

as sport-fishers, and even for those who keep a fish now and again, the video below might seem about as far removed from our activity as it gets but then maybe not.
not blatantly advertised as such, it appears to have been produced by the dubious Greenpeace group and the numbers and examples are most probably exaggerated but the basic idea remains. simply put, there’s too much of a demand for food and its by-products from the seas and over harvesting produces imbalances. bad ones.
add pollution and other assorted badies to the equation and the stated numbers might be up to par after all. geared towards the EU, the message is Worldwide. geared towards the seas and oceans, the repercussions inland are equally astounding. it’s a big, huge, colossal affair and every area and country is concerned.
please share this with your friends and maybe do a little something about it in your own small way if you believe its worth it.

‘Headwaters

by Elizabeth and Charles Schwarz 1966
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” The upper reaches of streams are a wonderful part of this world. But they are delicate and vulnerable environments, often assaulted unknowingly by human use of the land. The film introduces the “citizens” of this unique world, featuring the smallmouth bass, and shows how these creatures live and die in a small community. “

filmed almost fifty years ago here’s a lovely refreshing treat, specially if your summer heat is as nasty as it is here. primarily focussed on the smallmouth bass, this lovely time-piece is a reminder that each element in a system is just as important as another.

of course, one can wonder why they’d go all through all the effort of showing us what a special and vulnerable environment it is and end it all by showing fishers stringing up these fish for the sake of ‘sport’, but i guess that just like pollution, watershed management, forestry work and all the other elements that are detrimental to waterways, this  film reminds us that a lot of things don’t change.
ok, i had to include that last part because i can’t help it… but ! to not end on a negative note, the viewer can rejoice because even though death in various forms is normal and present throughout the film, there’s a whole lot of fish sex as well. the film is 30 minutes long so, if you can’t watch it now be sure to save it for later. enjoy !

click on the Schwartz’s pick for more info on this most productive nature filming couple.

marijuana and fish

via The New York Times

this sure brings up a lot of issues and they’re not just about fish. we’ll all reach our own conclusions but whatever they are, this is good food for thought.

“ARCATA, Calif. — It took the death of a small, rare member of the weasel family to focus the attention of Northern California’s marijuana growers on the impact that their huge and expanding activities were having on the environment.
The animal,a Pacific fisher, had been poisoned by an anticoagulant in rat poisons like d-Con. Since then, six other poisoned fishers have been found. Two endangered spotted owls tested positive. Mourad W. Gabriel, a scientist at the University of California, Davis,concluded that the contamination began when marijuana growers in deep forests spread d-Con to protect their plants from wood rats.
That news has helped growers acknowledge, reluctantly, what their antagonists in law enforcement have long maintained: like industrial logging before it, the booming business of marijuana is a threat to forests whose looming dark redwoods preside over vibrant ecosystems.

blinky-the-fish-simpsons-marijuana-hemp-beach-tv-hbtv
“The watershed was already lying on the ground bleeding,” Mr. Job said. “The people who divert water in the summer are kicking it in the stomach.”
That water is crucial to restoring local runs of imperiled Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead, which swam up Eel River tributaries by the tens of thousands before the logging era. Scott Greacen, executive director of Friends of the Eel River, said, “It’s not weed that drove the Coho to the brink of extinction, but it may kick it over the edge.” By various estimates, each plant needs at least one gallon and as much as six gallons of water per day. ”

click Blinky for the complete article.

Just a minute !

NSFAS logois all it would take to hopefully help stop yet another idiotic and disastrous man-made catastrophe in nature.
simply put, salmon farms kill wild salmon but also many other species.
farmed salmon contain some of the highest levels of dangerous toxins available to humans. this ‘food’ is shit and it’s a shit industry.

yes, this particular issue is in Ireland but fish have no nationalities and those of us who care enough to voice our opinions should set ours aside for a moment because it concerns everyone, everywhere.

“The Irish Government has recently decided to expand the salmon farming industry in Ireland and one of the first additions will be a ‘Mega’ salmon farm in Galway Bay that will produce 15,000 tonnes of farmed salmon and will have the capability of producing 30,000 tonnes of farmed salmon making this the biggest salmon farm in the world. This proposal has been put to the public with a lot of misleading information and concerns which we have listed below.”

sea-lice death“Couple that with the information that has come from the Inland Fisheries Ireland Study in the Republic, which clearly states that 39% of our salmon smolts heading to sea are dying due to sea lice infestation. These smolts are the main life blood of all future stocks. It is imperative we do all we can to protect them.”
sea-lice death 2
please click either pic to access the NSFAS site. you’ll find the petition HERE

Fish/Ichthyology: 100 Brown Trout Facts

via The Wild Trout Trust wtt-logo-border

About Us

“We are a conservation charity that focuses on practical work to improve habitat for trout across the UK and Ireland.  Although we have few staff, we have a big impact because we work with grass roots organisations  (fishing clubs, local community and conservation groups)  and landowners to give them the  inspiration, advice and  practical skills to improve and maintain their lake or river for the benefit of trout and all wildlife.
Most of our members, supporters and staff are fishermen, but we are not a fishing organization. 

We simply love wild trout and the rivers they live in; the trout are an indicator that much in and around the river is well. We want to make sure that trout and all that they stand for are there for future generations.” 

respect, lots. in one of the more informative articles i’ve seen on our slimy friends, you’ll find a short selection below. enjoy !

Pyrenees brown TLC 7-6-13

8. Trout have teeth on the roof of the mouth, called vomerine teeth, and this helps to distinguish trout from salmon. In trout the teeth are a strong double row; in adult salmon in freshwater, they are small and a single row or absent.

89.   Very acidic water  – pH 3.5 – can  cause S. trutta eggs to die within ten days

25.   A Trout can look and focus out of both corners of each eye simultaneously meaning that it can see in almost every direction at once.

67.   The natural range of Salmo trutta extends from Iceland to the Atlas mountains in North Africa and from Ireland to the Ural Mountains and the Caspian sea. Since the late 19th century, the species has been widely introduced beyond this range by man.

13.       The majority of trout die before their first birthday. Mortality rates in their first year of life are typically 95% or greater, falling to around 40 – 60% in subsequent years.

dead baby brown TLC 7-6-13

3.  Brown trout have between 38 and 42 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have only 23 pairs.

and you’ll have guessed, my favorite !

38.   Trout don’t laugh when they’re being tickled!

for 93 more, click HERE

Wye Brown Gathering 2013 TLC 7-6-13trout images: Marc Fauvet/TheLimpCobra

Casting a Voice

from Barbless Fly Media filmed by Dimitri Gammer

i could sit here for hours and attempt to explain why you, me, we, anybody should get involved in this or any other conservation project around the world but that doesn’t work, the call has to come from within and not from some guy on the other side of the planet. here’s hoping this video might wake up that call.

“Casting a Voice” is a fly fishing conservation film, using the perspective of anglers to examine the risks facing one of British Columbia’s most precious resources – wild fish. The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project would run through some of the most abundant wild salmon and steelhead waters left on the planet. The Skeena River and its tributaries remain a rare stronghold for healthy populations of anadromous fish, while wild fish stocks have declined elsewhere.

for the love of water- Sacred Headwaters

via Patagoniavideo

“In northern British Columbia, three of the province’s greatest salmon-bearing rivers are formed in the subalpine basin known as the Sacred Headwaters. The land has one of the largest intact predator-prey systems in North America and is the traditional territory of the In northern British Columbia, three of the province’s greatest salmon-bearing rivers are formed in the subalpine basin known as the Sacred Headwaters. The land has one of the largest intact predator-prey systems in North America and is the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation.
The Headwaters is at the centre of a dispute between the Tahltan, resource industries, government and environmental groups. Competing interests concerning land use, mining and hunting have created divides and put the future health of the Sacred Headwaters at risk.”

since it seems we’ll be around for a little longer, maybe it’s a sign telling us we might want to help  preserve what we have left and it’s not just about fishing.
here’s a nice place to start.