Trout In Maceday Lake
In this article, Angela Niemi says that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released 300 non- native species of trout into Maceday Lake. These 300 trout are trout that were no longer useful to the trout farm where they were from because they did not produce enough eggs or milt to be collected in the lake trout rearing program. The USFWS would normally just release the non-productive lake trout into the great lakes where Braunscheidel says that they will not have any impact. I believe that what Braunscheidel meant to say was that releasing hundreds of these non-native species of lake trout into the great lakes would not have a huge effect. In this article it is not mentioned what these affects are that these non-native species of trout could cause. However, it does mention that the trout that are released into the lakes cannot reproduce therefore; their population within the lakes they are released into cannot grow. In this case, issues that may arise from releasing non- native species of trout into great lakes are that they could effect the population of the other fish that live in the lake and they could also affect the ecosystem as a whole because of their eating habits. I understand that this non-native, non-reproducing species of trout being released into the great lakes has a very small environmental impact on the lake ecosystem, but it is wrong to say that there will be no affect.
The article compares the two species of trout, and the native species are 6 inches to 8 inches long and the non-native species are 27 inches long. There is a huge difference in size between the two species of trout. If you apply the issues from the paragraph above about the trout being released into the great lakes to the trout being released into Maceday Lake, I believe that the environmental impact on Maceday Lake will be massive compared to the environmental impact on the great lakes. These much larger species of trout that are being released could have a huge impact on the native species’ population because these larger trout could eat the smaller trout. Braunscheidel even says: “These are large fish. They eat a lot,”. An example of the environmental impact would be this: Both species of trout eat the same food. The bigger non-native species eats most of the food because the smaller trout are over-powered by this non-native species that is more that twice it’s size. This could dramatically lower the population of the smaller trout. The bigger trout can even eat the smaller trout and effect their population directly, and if this happens than that means that there is a greater ratio of the non-native species of trout to the smaller native trout and since the non-native trout cannot reproduce, then the non-native trout eventually die leaving the smaller native species vulnerable to their natural predators and they could possibly all die aswell. Braunscheidel said: "Basically, they are put in there for people to catch. They aren't able to reproduce in Maceday Lake as it lacks the proper spawning environment. Most of them tend to spawn in a cold river situation or in a very large lake like the Great Lakes," It seems like the only people involved in this decision to dump these fish into Maceday Lake were big fish anglers because the well being of the other species of fish in the lake like the smaller bass and bluegills seemed to be valued less than the non-native species of trout.
This article does not mention if any studies were done to see if dumping huge unwanted trout into Maceday Lake was a good idea, it just says that they were dumped into the lake for good fishing! As a fisherman myself, I do know how fun and exhilarating it is to catch a big fish, but I do not think it is worth risking a whole ecosystem for. I think that
Niemi, A. 2010. Hundreds of Trout Loosed in Maceday Lake. The Spinal Column Newsweekly.