Friday, June 25, 2010

A Study on Invasive Species and Their Effects on Anadramous Fish

Photo: Brian Chou

For years I have had conversations among friends and fishermen regarding the impacts of non-native species in our waters here in the Pacific Northwest. Bass, walleye, channel catfish, shad and carp to name a few all impact our runs of dwindling anadramous fish. Systems such as the Columbia, Snake and Willamette have had large impacts from these invasive species. However their level of impact is widely unknown. On June 8th, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Fish and Wildlife Committee on decided to recommend that the Council urge the Bonneville Power Administration to fund the research project. The proposal requests $350,000 in fiscal year 2010 funding. Bonneville funds the Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program to mitigate for impacts on fish and wildlife resulting from the construction and operation of the federal Columbia-Snake river hydro system.

The Study will focus on the food habits of bass and other species and the role of Shad in their diets. It will also look into the efficacy of localized reductions of smallmouth bass for predation control, like they do with northern pikeminnow, a native species here in the Pacific Northwest. For years I have suggested that my friends retain these species of fish when legally able and not only feed themselves but also help our native species in the process. Perhaps with this study we will see if this theory can be backed up. We are at a point where all variables need to be looked at and considered and I am looking forward to reading what the results are. You can read more courtesy of the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Bulletin.

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