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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a article in thursdays Columbian newspaer, a state fish biologist suggest opening fishing at Spirit Lake. "It's my personal hope that some public fishing access be provided" biologist John Weinheimer told a conservation group this month. The article stated the average, I said AVERAGE, size for the rainbows in the lake was 22" and 4.7 pounds! The Forest Service does not want any public fishing in the lake. Maybe if enough people called the USFS and supported opening the lake back up to some kind of limited public fishing, there minds could be changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hikepat, The WDFW Biologist that suggested opening the lake back up to the public is the only one doing research on fish recovery in the lake. The population in the lake at present is incredible. As with any new lake there is a huge nutrient base. The lake only has a few years left at this level and then things will even out. I think allowing anglers to experience this type of world class fishing in one of the most incredible natural settings, would do nothing but help protect the fish and the land. There are ways to allow access and protect the land. Have only one access point in and out of the lake. Allow only a certain number of anglers per day. I believe every one should have an opportunity to experience this lake. It will make people take ownership of the land and make sure its protected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The purpose of the original post was not about the merits are lack there of, in studying and doing reasearch on this volcanic landscape. There is no doubt Mt. St. Helens should be protected. I spend a lot of my time fishing and hiking in the monument. I think anyone who has spent time fishing or hiking in the area can tell you what a special place it is. There is something almost magical about the lakes and surrounding environment. And being able to fish and be part of that environment is amazing. With that said, the only research taking place on fish at Spirit Lake is one or two lake surveys a year by WDFW staff. The surveys consist of taking DNA samples to determine the origin of the fish, which at present, the most plausible cause is the fish were stocked illegally after the eruption. The other parts of the survey includes taking scale samples to determine an age class for the fish and walking the small tribs looking for spawners. There is not any major study taking place on fish in the lake. And finally, I do not think allowing a few owners of the land, that being you and me, to fish Spirit Lake is going to drastically change Spirit Lake. Hundreds of thousands of people drive their cars to within a few miles of Spirit Lake every year to wintness the power and rebirth of mother nature. Allowing a few anglers a year to hike in and experience Spirit Lake is a good thing in my mind.
 
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