Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout

Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout
Showing posts with label environment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label environment. Show all posts

Friday, February 13, 2015

Xboundary: Wild Alaska is Threatened by Canadian Mines


This new film from Salmon Beyond Borders tells the story of the disaster at the Mt. Polley Mine in British Columbia while making a call to action to prevent further open pit mine development throughout the region. 


Unfortunately, it seems like money usually wins out in these cases. Looking back in history we can see numerous examples of huge environmental disasters that have affected broad geographic areas, but ultimately companies keep using the same dangerous practices because they are getting rich from them.

Watch this film to see the threats facing southeast Alaska and the pristine environment there.


Xboundary from Salmon Beyond Borders on Vimeo.

Alaska is on my bucket list of places to fish as well as British Columbia. Unfortunately the Canadian government is choosing to risk the future of these fisheries as well as the beautiful landscapes that contain them.

Having lived in Colorado and seen the landscapes there that are affected by mining, not to mention the effects we still experience here in Tennessee due to coal mining, I am skeptical about just about any mining. Retaining dams with earth fills fail more often than most people probably care to acknowledge. Here in Tennessee, we had a coal ash spill near the Kingston coal fired power plant that caused a lot of damage. Unfortunately, in the name of progress we go right on destroying the world around us.

More from the Trout Zone:

Friday, May 11, 2007

California Loves Their Frogs

The fight for frogs and other native species continues in California. According to this NBC story,
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette said the state's trout stocking program fails to meet environmental laws designed to protect threatened and endangered species, although he declined to temporarily shut it down.

Trout fisherman will be unhappy with the ruling I'm sure and it does raise numerous issues. For example, poaching is generally a problem with just about any fishery including trout and normally, the stocked trout are an easy target. For that matter, what about all the people out fishing for their supper legally? This is all very theoretical, but what happens when there aren't as many trout to go around in the first place? Do native fisheries become a new or more focused target of the catch and keep crowd?

I agree strongly with protecting native species. However, I believe that some very well meaning people are trying to simplify the whole picture. Do trout eat frogs? Possibly, probably likely on occasion at least but is that the only reason for the decline? What about air quality issues which would ultimately affect water quality? Might this not be a culprit?

Not being a fisheries biologist, I cannot offer any support for any of these ideas or questions. That point remains however that the trout seem to be a convenient scapegoat for other problems.

According to the ruling, the California Department of Fish and Game must complete an environmental assessment. Great, once again it is a good idea and well-meant I'm sure. For that matter I'm all for it but if I go to California to fish, I would MUCH rather for my license fees to go towards improving the fisheries and enforcing the regulations instead of funding a study to see if trout eat an occasional frog.

One thing against the California Department of Fish and Game, they used a lousy excuse for their stocking. From the article:
The department had argued fish stocking was exempt from environmental review because the program, which the department took over in 1945, was in place long before environmental laws protecting sensitive species were enacted in 1970.

I give up, they deserved to lose the decision...

Not necessarily the right perspective but thats my two cents...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Environmental Advocates Push TVA

Environmental groups are pushing the Tennessee Valley Authority to work towards providing more renewable energy. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel,
A group of environmental advocates used a public meeting Monday to urge TVA to meet energy demand by looking to conservation and renewable energy instead of new power plants.

Several of the people in attendance at the meeting

stressed the need for TVA to grow its renewable energy production. The federal utility gets most of its power from coal-fired plants, which emit the greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming.
This is a topic that should be important to east Tennessee fisherman, particularly the ones that enjoy fishing the freestone streams of the mountains. The biggest obstacle to all the trout streams is the continuing problem of acid rain. Of course, we all know that coal-fired plants are not helping the acid rain problem so we applaud the efforts to get TVA to work more on renewable energy production. Some of our favorite brook trout streams are very acidic, keeping the fish stunted. Hopefully TVA will listen to the concerned citizens and work towards more environmentally friendly solutions to the problem of providing enough electricity to the growing population in the Tennessee Valley region.