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flamethrower
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I wonder what it actually costs to play God?



7 Sierra lakes to remove fish to save frogs
The Associated Press

Thu, Jul 24, 2008 (3:27 p.m.)

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to eradicate trout from seven Sierra Nevada lakes in the Desolation Wilderness to help save the rare mountain yellow-legged frog.

"It's been done successfully in other areas," said Rex Norman, spokesman for the Forest Service's Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. "It's a pretty well-proven technique and we're hoping it'll be effective here."

The frog, a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act, is no longer found at Tamarack, Cagwin, Ralston, Lucille, Margery, Jabu and LeConte lakes in the wilderness area west of Lake Tahoe, biologists said.

They hope getting rid of nonnative trout will restore the waters' once frog-friendly habitat, and the amphibians will make the leap from other areas in the nearby Eldorado National Forest.

"They are capable of moving on their own, and we prefer for them to do that," Norman said Thursday.

Until the 1960s, the Sierra Nevada population of the mountain yellow-legged frog was prevalent throughout the northern and central Sierra. Since then, biologists estimate its population has declined by as much as 90 percent because of nonnative fish stocking, disease, pollution and livestock grazing, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Biologists say it takes up to four years for the mountain frog to complete its life stages from egg to tadpole to adulthood, which leaves it vulnerable to predators like trout.

There were no fish in the seven alpine lakes before stocking of rainbow and brown trout to satisfy anglers began around 1950. Experts since have learned that the voracious fish are the frog's No. 1 enemy, and steps are being taken throughout the Sierra to remove nonnative trout from high elevations waters.

Among the targeted lakes, the last fish planting was in 2000.

Sarah Muskopf, a Forest Service aquatic biologist and project manager, said field surveys indicate many of the fish already may have disappeared over the past eight years.

"Some of the lakes, we think, have naturally become fishless on their own because they don't provide adequate spawning habitat or food," she said.

"I don't think any of the lakes we've selected have a huge fishery anyway."

Muskopf added that other lakes in the wilderness area will continue to be stocked for recreational fishing.

The Forest Service said no chemicals will be used to kill the fish. Instead, they will be trapped using gill nets that will be left in the lakes over the winter. Electroshocking will be conducted to stun and retrieve fish from streams and creeks. The dead fish will then be removed.

Biologists estimate it will take three to five years to remove all the fish from each lake, with the entire effort taking about 10 years.

The agency is soliciting public comment on the plan through Aug. 22.
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On the Net:

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/projects/
My favorite quote:

"I don't think any of the lakes we've selected have a huge fishery anyway."

(????You don't think????)
 

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Premium Member
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How do they stock fish in wilderness areas without mechanized means?
Do they wade into the fish hatchery wearing waders, and proceed well past the tops of them, and then slosh their way to the wilderness lakes only to wade on in once again?

How do they electro-shock fish in wilderness areas without mechanized means?
Does it involve stocking feet and a strip of shag carpet, or will they be Franklin-ing a kite and a key in a thunderstorm?

I sure hope USFS holds themselves to the high level of accountability which they desire from us!

Randii
 

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Can remove the hikers from the forest to save the OHV users?

It looks like we are becoming a dying breed in National Forests.


I guess frogs are more important than Trout!

IDEA!!!!!

Maybe we could ship these frogs to TELLICO!!!! I got a bunch of mountain streams for them!
 

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On the surface, this has pretty minimal effect to OHV, since these lakes are in a Wilderness Area, but when you stop to think that most wilderness users leave the pavement SOME time during their journey from their home to the lakes, I guess it might be a legitimate issue.

To that end...
Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, oral, and electronic comments concerning this project will be most helpful if they are submitted by August 15,2008. The office business hours for those providing hand-delivered comments are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Oral comments may be provided during normal business hours via telephone (530) 543-2835. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to [email protected] using subject: Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog Habitat Restoration Project.
For further information regarding this project, contact Sarah Muskopf at (530) 543-2835, email [email protected].
 

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Premium Member
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How do they stock fish in wilderness areas without mechanized means?
Do they wade into the fish hatchery wearing waders, and proceed well past the tops of them, and then slosh their way to the wilderness lakes only to wade on in once again?
Prior to wilderness, the fish stocking was by plane. They would fly low over the lake and dump water and fish much the same as they do for fighting fires.

In recent years the fish have been loaded on pack stock and taken to the lakes.

From some discussions a few years ago, the pack stock had a high cost and high mortality of fish.

There is a large degree of consensus that the demise of the yellow-legged frog is due to the planting of trout. Trout are noted for eating anything that moves.
 
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