Sunday, March 13, 2016

Large mouth bass in Maine

The original version of this essay was over the top. I apologize to those who read it. Hopefully this revised version is a little more accurate and well reasoned. jah 4/25/2016

Bass fisherman had no right to illegally introduce large mouth bass into Maine waters. In some places, these voracious fish have caused a collapse of other fisheries. If it were up to me, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) would be doing research to find a way to destroy them. They're an invasive species and should be treated as such. At the very least, the law should require that the fish be killed after being caught.

On the other hand, one avid bash fisherman pointed out to me that in some places the water quality has deteriorated to the point that salmon and trout won't survive and reproduce, so large mouth bass aren't responsible for the collapse.

I would have no problem if the DIFW had done research and decided, for the right reasons, to introduce large mouth bass legally into former salmonid waters. But, private citizens introducing an invasive species of any kind anywhere is illegal and wrong.

Now public officials are embracing out of state bass fishermen. (Note recent efforts in Waterville that made the paper.) Who doesn't love a rich guy who throws his money around? Well, I'd rather they take their fast boats, money, publicity and attitude and go back where they came from. I only wish they could take their fish with them.