TU against bucket biologists


I sure hope that works. Too many trophy trout lakes have gone belly up in Oregon due to the illegal planting of warm water species. I'd hate to see the same thing happen in Montana.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I used to know a few people in Washington that did that to a small lake. Killed all the trout in the lake so bass would live in it. This was before we all had computers and cell phones. But back in the olden days it wasn't pushed like it is now.


Indi "Ira" Jones
How much is the fine/penalty for this infraction? Is it a slap on the wrist? I can see it now: Buddy 1 plants the invasive, buddy 2 tells on buddy 1, buddy 1 gets slap on wrist, buddy 2 gathers reward and then shares it with buddy 1. I like the stiff fine idea much better, or better yet no fine, but they have to pay for and take mandatory fisheries classes and then they have to pay for the eradication of the fish they planted and then for the restocking of the intended target species.


Geriatric Skagit Swinger
It seems to me that I read somewhere once that a lot of the fish planting that is attributed to "bucket biologists" is actually done by birds. Many of these warm water species dig redds in shallow water where birds wade etc and eggs stick to them...or something along those lines. But it could be an old wive's tale too.

However...wasn't it the state that introduced the black bass originally??? I think I'll turn their ass in!


Not to be confused with Freestone
This activity use to be quite in vogue by a number of groups... but so was dumping raw chemicals into rivers... we learn and hopefully make the right corrections as we go.


Back in the day, no one thought about native species of fish because they believed all fish were for caught for consumption. You fished to harvest fish. So, that's how we've ended up with such weird ass fish swimming around in our fisheries.

The idea of native fish is actually something new.


Active Member
Keep in mind the many of these exotic species have been around for a very long time. For example prior to 1900 the following species had been introduced into Washington waters: American shad, common carp, brown bullhead, tench, largemouth bass, white crappie, green sunfish, grass pickerel, bluegill warmouth, channel catfish, pumpkinseed, black crappie, rock bass, yellow perch, brook trout, Yellowstone cutthroat, and lake whitefish. Most of those introductions were done by the feds.

In the more than a century since 1900 at least 24 additional species have found their way into Washington state. Some of those were by state agencies (species such as rainbow trout, brown trout, golden trout, Atlantic salmon, artic grayling, etc) others under permits issued by the state (mosquito fish, grass carp, etc,) , others found their way into state waters from other states (striped bass, tadpole madtom. flathead catfish, etc) and final others were illegal introduced individuals (goldfish, golden shiners, fathead minnows, oriental weatherfish, etc).

Unfortunately once those species are found in local waters they often are spread to other waters by various means; some legal and some not. As bruce mentioned often those introductions are done with a poor understand of what the impacts of those introduction might be. OMJ mentioned eastern brook trout; when they were first into various alpine lakes some amazing fish were produced. Reports of 3 to 5 # brook trout were fairly common with consistent reports of even larger fish. At the time it could hardly be surprising that folks were anxious to jump on the brook trout band wagon. Was only after a couple fish generations that it was realized that the brook trout had a strong tendency to over population waters and produce stunted populations. Some of the lakes the produces those 3 to 5# fish soon had populations of stunted fish where most fish died of old age at less then 8 inches.

One of the best strategies I have seen was something tried to limit the illegal introduction of various species into trout waters occurred here in Washington. 30 so years ago the State adopt a list of "trout only" waters where the established intent was to have single species management for trout. On those waters it was not only illegal to introduce other species it was illegal to fish for or retain those non-trout species. The idea was to remove the benefit of those illegal introductions and the state would step as needed to maintain those trout only populations. Unfortunately policy folks when tested with the first illegal introduction they rolled over and removed those waters from the "trout only". Some feel that may have been an opportunity missed.

The sort of approach as sticking those caught illegal introducing fish with not only a ticket and fine but as take them to court to cover the costs of lake treatment and restocking. Again decision makers seem to have little taste for such strong and clear actions.