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Chain Pickerel are a fish that can be considered a virus..a cancer to the waterways of Nova Scotia...it has now come to my attention that these horrible invasive predator have been caught in Big LaHave lake. I believe it is time the government of this province enacted a NO return policy concerning these fish. I once felt the same way about Black bass in the Lahave..but that is now way too far gone to even consider..in fact many now consider the LaHave to have trophy small mouth fishing...I myself have landed Smallies in the 24" size multiple times...sadly upon stomach content investigation it was found to be full of salmon fry and trout...
 

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Once they are there, I suspect that they aren't going away anytime soon....so sad. Might I suggest as an alternative to your solution, that you expose your friends in the angling community to the ways you can prepare and eat this excellent table fare. I know it's cold comfort but, freshly filleted, cooked in butter, a little pepper & salt....YUM!!! Regards......
 

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Yes the situation is sad in deed. A once great salmon river reduced to a small mouth fishery and now chain pickerel, not to mention the trout fishing in the tributary lakes that are now full of smallmouth. You wait and see if the North Shore Rivers and the Eastern Shore don't meet the same fate.
 

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Yes, dire straights for the laHave indeed. I also have it from a very reliable source that chain pickerel are in the lower parts of the north branch as well. While I agree with a mandatory kill policy for invasive species, I doubt it would help much, how would it be enforced and who would enforce it. As for eating them, I'm in favour of that too, but a bit leery of it. I tried norhtern pike some years ago and was less than impressed with it. But maybe its just me, I've heard people tell me that pike is delicious, you just have to know how to prepare it.

Anyway, we shouldn't just sit around and complain, after all we are all in this together. Bucket biologists aren't the only ones to blame although it's easy to point the finger at someone else, our own actions spelled the demise of native trout and salmon populations, so what can we expect? If we could truly reverse our fishing mentality so that we kill and hopefully eat every bass and pike we catch and release every trout and salmon, maybe it would help
 

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It is a damn shame and it continues. I have heard the document that members contributated to last year has had some positive effects but more has to be done for sure. I see other Provinces have informative ads on TV informing the public of the dangers and loss of native species to invasives. I do believe anglers and the general public are not informed and are unaware of the implications of the introduction of invasives. We need to advertize and inform these people.
Tom, I agree we should be careful about harvesting trout in some waters and our regulations should reflect this. At times it appears to me trout fishermen are their own worst enemy.I dont personally believe we as anglers should retain a single salmon in NS.
The chain pickeral was found in Little River Lake last year and at the annual fly fishing get together this year early summer two were caught. I have been fishing and guiding this summer on LRL and have not seen a pickeral. LRL has a large population of large smallies and is managed as a trophy fishery. Is it possible that the small pickeral are a food source for smallies. I have caught hundreds of smallies but not one pickeral. Hope springs eternal and time will tell but my gut tells me the bass fishing in this lake is going to be in trouble for awhile.
I believe that the demise of salmon in the LaHave was the result of the stopping of the hatchery program. I am not sure of the numbers of hatchery fish verses wild fish were in the hey day but if a hatchery program was started again with smolt intoduction the numbers would increase. Barring that another program would be to raise salmon to adult size and release them into the estuary and let them migrate up the river.
I have fished rivers in Ont. that have smallmouth and pike and I was fishing for steelhead. The steelhead populations and now atlantic salmon are supported by hatchery programs private and gov assisted. I know, I know it's different there but we should stop shakeing our heads in frustration and anger and seek a solution and not give up
The Group on the River Phillip are setting up their own hatchery and deserve our support for this effort which if successful will give other groups an option to explore. They are haveing a fund raiser next month and when I know the date I'll pass it on. This may be the future and we will never know unless we try.
 

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The Group on the River Phillip are setting up their own hatchery and deserve our support for this effort which if successful will give other groups an option to explore. They are haveing a fund raiser next month and when I know the date I'll pass it on. This may be the future and we will never know unless we try.

Well Perry I think that is great news and if brought about in a positive light and success is seen in the future I will bring it to light in the LRSA. It certainly is an idea that intrigues me personally.

Bugman/Dave, what do you think of that idea? As Board of Directors it should be part of our mandate to try what we can, espically if there is a precident to learn from, seek info from, etc.

Travis
 

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Hi;

Just another opinion, but weren't the Atlantic Salmon on the Atlantic river systems, including the Lahave, in desperate straits decades before any SMB or CP got there? Weren't they entirely dependent upon artificial enhancement stocking programs for decades, and, like all stocking programs for salmonid species, did that not ultimately fail? Isn't that failure of hatchery salmon to return from the ocean, [nobody knows why not] both in Atlantic and Pacific waters, the reason DFO got out of the taxpayer dollar wasting hatchery business?

I agree that there should be barbless hook and release of all salmonids in N.S. that are not dumped in "put 'n take" urban and suburban waters. That being impossible, then at least certain watersheds should be thus designated and protected. Failing that, at least certain bodies of water.

But I would rather catch a fish of some species than catch no fish at all. A 24" SMB on a fly rod would be a real thrill for me. Beats the hell out of fishing all day for no salmon or no trout, IMHO.

I don't like CP's biting my flies off, either. I wish people had left them where they found them. But if wishes were horses, then beggars could ride. They are where they are, and they cannot be gotten rid of, not even by poison and other extreme measures. We've gone all around that mulberry bush a hundred times. The only good thing we can do about them is show all the meat fishers out there that CP taste better than trout and salmon, so they should try to bring home buckets full of CP rather than buckets and barrels full of trout and salmon. To do that you need to get on TV and show them. You need to have free, all you can eat pickerel fish fries in public places. Get the ball rolling.

The only other thing we can do [and when I suggested this before I was met with howls of scornful laughter], is to c&r all trophy SMB and CP. They are cannibals, and few huge SMB and CP will keep the smaller ones in check--along with other fish that feed on salmonid eggs, smolts, fry, etc. Better a dozen big mouths to feed than a thousand little ones, IMHO. If nothing else, it would at least lower the number of bitten-off flies!

Anyhoo, just my 2 cents, one more time.

cheers,

chuck
 

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You are right CF in that hatchery programs were reduced or eliminated because they were not working and the problem appears to be in the ocean.
They are working in the Great Lakes. The hatcheries put the young salmon and steelheads in the rivers and they migrate and feed and mature in the Great Lakes and return to the streams Just like it used to be in the Atlantic Ocean, so why?
The Great Lakes have no aquaculture that uses sea cages with the sea lice problems.
If that is the problem one has to remember that it was DFO that created it that led to the failure so how would we know if it is the problem as they would be the ones to idenify it as the problem. I guess, maybe.
Not saying it is the problem but the success in the Great Lakes that started with no salmon and steelhead to the success they have now means to me we should be looking at what the great Lakes have or do not have in comparision to the Atlantic Ocean.
 

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You are right CF in that hatchery programs were reduced or eliminated because they were not working and the problem appears to be in the ocean.
They are working in the Great Lakes. The hatcheries put the young salmon and steelheads in the rivers and they migrate and feed and mature in the Great Lakes and return to the streams Just like it used to be in the Atlantic Ocean, so why?
The Great Lakes have no aquaculture that uses sea cages with the sea lice problems.
If that is the problem one has to remember that it was DFO that created it that led to the failure so how would we know if it is the problem as they would be the ones to idenify it as the problem. I guess, maybe.
Not saying it is the problem but the success in the Great Lakes that started with no salmon and steelhead to the success they have now means to me we should be looking at what the great Lakes have or do not have in comparision to the Atlantic Ocean.
Hi;

Just my opinion, but I think that the biggest difference is that the Great Lakes still have plenty of forage fish [including the Goby, an invasive
]

Forage species in the oceans have been decimated, many of them for fish meal and, dare I say it, hatchery/fish farm pellets. Fish are well fed when they hit the ocean, but it's empty bellies from there on out.

I have no evidence for this; just a gut feeling, if you'll pardon the pun.

cheers,

chuck
 

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It comes down to death of a thousand cuts. SMB and Pickerel are two deep cuts on the Lahave. Salmon have been in decline in all of Nova Scotia for decades so there are other factors other than SMB and Pickerel.
Hi;

That is one certain fact. Human activity, including habitat destruction, pollution, and over-kill fishing put NS salmonids in trouble over 100 years ago, necessitating hatchery programs, which exacerbated the problem. Partly because hatchery fish [bad fish] always drive out good fish [wild fish], but mostly because it papered over the real causes of population decline and so encouraged them to persist. Then came the hatchery introduction of the invasives; starting with brown trout, a direct competitor with brookies especially, but no slouch when it came to eating salmon, either.

Decades later, with practically nothing but hatchery fish in ruined water, SMB were introduced by government, and CP by a private individual.

Why? Because, like me the general public would rather catch any fish than no fish at all.

Ultimately I think that the decline of the salmon fishery had a direct influence on the introduction of Bass on the Lahave. I believe that the "I would rather catch a fish of some species than catch no fish at all" mentality is the driving force of many illegal introductions.
First, that's your opinion and you're welcome to it, but basically it is no better than my opinion that bass and pickerel in the Lahave had nothing to do with its salmon collapse. And whether or not my attitude represents "the driving force of many illegal introductions" or not, it is a legitimate point of view, and one shared by the majority of people who fish for recreation. It is not going to fade away simply by trying to make it look like 'a bad thing'.

We may never know if the introduction of Bass or Pickerel influenced the dramatic decline in salmon populations on the Lahave in the last decade but I can assure you that they will be one of the greatest barriers for salmon recovery.
Probably true. Wild trout and salmon can handle bass and pickerel [and pike, come to that], but hatchery fish are just a free lunch.

Poor management of remaining populations of trout and salmon on our remaining watersheds; which leads to reductions in populations and catch rates, only invites further illegal introductions of "something I can catch".
Absolutely true.

Gold is another casualty of this mentality
There you go again, trying to paint people who would rather catch any fish than not catch trout and salmon as the villains of the piece. You put the cart before the horse. If trout and salmon fishers manage the salmonid populations to enhance their numbers, instead of looking to domesticated hatchery supplements to bail them out, then nobody would be looking for some other species to fish for. It is only AFTER salmonid only types have destroyed, or at least, failed to defend, their species, that others who love to fish but are not so picky start
clamouring for the government to 'do something', such as introduce the exotics, brown trout and bass. Or say to themselves, "If the government won't give me something to fish for, I'll do it myself!", as happened with the introduction of CP in the acid-ravaged lakes of South-Western N.S. in the '40's, and then, as salmonid fishing got worse and worse to the North-East, continued on from there.

and a terrible loss, being one of the last viable pure genetic strains of atlantic salmon in the southern upland rivers. It is shameful that we would allow this to happen.
This part, at least, is true.

regards,

chuck
 

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Hi;

That is one certain fact. Human activity, including habitat destruction, pollution, and over-kill fishing put NS salmonids in trouble over 100 years ago, necessitating hatchery programs, which exacerbated the problem. Partly because hatchery fish [bad fish] always drive out good fish [wild fish], but mostly because it papered over the real causes of population decline and so encouraged them to persist. Then came the hatchery introduction of the invasives; starting with brown trout, a direct competitor with brookies especially, but no slouch when it came to eating salmon, either.

Decades later, with practically nothing but hatchery fish in ruined water, SMB were introduced by government, and CP by a private individual.

Why? Because, like me the general public would rather catch any fish than no fish at all.

First, that's your opinion and you're welcome to it, but basically it is no better than my opinion that bass and pickerel in the Lahave had nothing to do with its salmon collapse. And whether or not my attitude represents "the driving force of many illegal introductions" or not, it is a legitimate point of view, and one shared by the majority of people who fish for recreation. It is not going to fade away simply by trying to make it look like 'a bad thing'.

Probably true. Wild trout and salmon can handle bass and pickerel [and pike, come to that], but hatchery fish are just a free lunch.

Absolutely true.

There you go again, trying to paint people who would rather catch any fish than not catch trout and salmon as the villains of the piece. You put the cart before the horse. If trout and salmon fishers manage the salmonid populations to enhance their numbers, instead of looking to domesticated hatchery supplements to bail them out, then nobody would be looking for some other species to fish for. It is only AFTER salmonid only types have destroyed, or at least, failed to defend, their species, that others who love to fish but are not so picky start
clamouring for the government to 'do something', such as introduce the exotics, brown trout and bass. Or say to themselves, "If the government won't give me something to fish for, I'll do it myself!", as happened with the introduction of CP in the acid-ravaged lakes of South-Western N.S. in the '40's, and then, as salmonid fishing got worse and worse to the North-East, continued on from there.

This part, at least, is true.

regards,

chuck
Chuck- mike an jake-
You drive me crazy along wit the rest of you I'm happy catching bass an pickeral because there easy to catch ppl. Wake up an see what's going on, all the retards that are ruining our fishing are ruining are fishing an your all falling in their trap. Trout an salmon belong here not bass an pickeral an all your gonna do is go oh well guess we'll have to catch these then. When every one else is hopeing wishing praying an trying to save what we once had.... Makes me sick. Dave, perry block me if you want or delete my post but this is my opinion not a personal or group attack I just hate to see what were once home native species ruined by some local ,or foreinger or even some smart ass that thought it was a good idea to move species...
 

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Chuck- mike an jake-
You drive me crazy along wit the rest of you I'm happy catching bass an pickeral because there easy to catch ppl. Wake up an see what's going on, all the retards that are ruining our fishing are ruining are fishing an your all falling in their trap. Trout an salmon belong here not bass an pickeral an all your gonna do is go oh well guess we'll have to catch these then. When every one else is hopeing wishing praying an trying to save what we once had.... Makes me sick. Dave, perry block me if you want or delete my post but this is my opinion not a personal or group attack I just hate to see what were once home native species ruined by some local ,or foreinger or even some smart ass that thought it was a good idea to move species...
I have to agree..I personally have NO interest in catching pickerel...they destroy lures,line, other fish, frogs, ducklings, and bloody fingers too if your not careful...I have also had them prepared multiple ways..and sorry folks but they are NOTHING compared to most other edible fish...come on why would I fish for these horrible monsters..I mean if i'm fishing just to catch something, I could fish for white perch and actually eat something tasty. I have to say the "id rather catch something then nothing" mentality is our Canadian legacy of being pacifist and having the "oh well" attitude...trust me effective or not, EVERY pickerel I catch will be thrown into the woods or take n home for fish meal fertilizer, and any a-hole I catch dumping fish into a water system will be reported immediately.
BTW I am a avid trout C&R fisherman..I love the little guys and know their future in this province...at least in any numbers is most likely limited.
A spot of hope may still remain in the LaHave..believe it or not but decent numbers of Brookies were caught just this past spring.....at least the trout seem to have some sort of existence along with the Bass....sadly when the pickerel finally become solidly established..this whole area will resemble Yarmouth. Also enforcement of a no return is simple...you have no penalty...we all complain about people not catch and releasing well here's one fish they can keep all they want...whats with the retarded bag limit on them anyway..25..get real.
 

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A spot of hope may still remain in the LaHave..believe it or not but decent numbers of Brookies were caught just this past spring.....at least the trout seem to have some sort of existence along with the Bass.

'We the LRSA' stock speckled trout in the Lahave River. Glad you have seen some!


Trav
 

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I have to agree..I personally have NO interest in catching pickerel
Hey, that's your choice! Don't fish for them if you don't want to, but stop trying to tell other people that the shouldn't fish for them if they do want to.

...they destroy lures,line, other fish, frogs, ducklings, and bloody fingers too if your not careful...
Yes, they do. But line is cheap, and as for lures there are cheap wire leaders at CTC, etc. Flies are a bigger problem, but I am experimenting with thin, malleable wire that can be knotted and adds very little weight, even to dry flies. So far, two fish, no losses. Just don't use expensive flies, or, better yet if you tie flies, tie tube flies for use in pickerel water.

As for their diet a lot of fish eat other fish. Brookies and salmon do it all the time. Most fish eat other fish. Many fish, including brown trout [a foreign introduction that you appear to have no problem with] eat other fish, including smaller brookies and salmon, as well as frogs, ducklings, mice, and anything else that will fit in their mouths. As for bloody fingers, if you don't know better than to put your fingers in their mouths [or a shark's, another favourite around here
], then more fool you.

I have also had them prepared multiple ways..and sorry folks but they are NOTHING compared to most other edible fish...
That may be true, [at least for you personally and your ability to kill, clean, and cook them], but dozens on this board have strongly disagreed with you.

come on why would I fish for these horrible monsters..
Hoo boy! Name-calling. Feel like I'm back in grade six.


to be continued--chuck
 

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Continued--

I mean if i'm[sic] fishing just to catch something, I could fish for white perch and actually eat something tasty.
So do it and stop whining about what other people do.

I have to say the "id[sic] rather catch something then nothing" mentality is our Canadian legacy of being pacifist and having the "oh well" attitude...
It was you 'salmonid-only' boys who first demonstrated that attitude which you now criticize in others. You seem to have forgotten your, "I'd rather catch hatchery trout and salmon, (despite all the genetic and ecological and developmental problems inherent in hatchery fish) than catch no brook trout or salmon at all." Then came your "I'd rather catch foreign brown trout and rainbow trout than no trout or salmon at all".
Talk about the pot defaming the kettle! DUH!!


And as for being Canadian [you're a yank, I suppose?], I'm proud to be one, and of not being a war-mongering, jingoist, corporatist yankee blood-lover. As to the "oh well" attitude, I don't know where you dreampt up that little slur. In my experience, when we Canadians discover that there is something we can do to right a wrong, we do it, and we do it better than anybody else on earth. And killing is usually our last option, and 'free-for-all' killing is never our option. I'm really proud of that. But a yankee, or someone with yankee values, [such as yourself], would never understand that 'mentality'.

trust me effective or not, EVERY pickerel I catch will be thrown into the woods or take n home for fish meal fertilizer,
Why should I trust, in your words, an 'a-hole' who boasts that he intends to break the law and kill for the sake of killing?

and any a-hole I catch dumping fish into a water system will be reported immediately.
Good on ya. And any a-hole I spot throwing any kind of fish back in the woods, I will report immediately.


to be continued--chuck
 

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Hey, that's your choice! Don't fish for them if you don't want to, but stop trying to tell other people that the shouldn't fish for them if they do want to.

Yes, they do. But line is cheap, and as for lures there are cheap wire leaders at CTC, etc. Flies are a bigger problem, but I am experimenting with thin, malleable wire that can be knotted and adds very little weight, even to dry flies. So far, two fish, no losses. Just don't use expensive flies, or, better yet if you tie flies, tie tube flies for use in pickerel water.

As for their diet a lot of fish eat other fish. Brookies and salmon do it all the time. Most fish eat other fish. Many fish, including brown trout [a foreign introduction that you appear to have no problem with] eat other fish, including smaller brookies and salmon, as well as frogs, ducklings, mice, and anything else that will fit in their mouths. As for bloody fingers, if you don't know better than to put your fingers in their mouths [or a shark's, another favourite around here
], then more fool you.

That may be true, [at least for you personally and your ability to kill, clean, and cook them], but dozens on this board have strongly disagreed with you.

Hoo boy! Name-calling. Feel like I'm back in grade six.


to be continued--chuck
 

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continued--

BTW I am a avid trout C&R fisherman..I love the little guys and know their future in this province...at least in any numbers is most likely limited.
Congrats. Nice to know you still haven't gone over to The Dark Side; at least not entirely.

A spot of hope may still remain in the LaHave..believe it or not but decent numbers of Brookies were caught just this past spring.....at least the trout seem to have some sort of existence along with the Bass....
Gee, you don't say? How can that be true, after all the claims you salmonid-only types make in this forum every day wrt the 'evil SMB'?

sadly when the pickerel finally become solidly established..this whole area will resemble Yarmouth.
Is this a prophecy? Please tell us what Yarmouth resembles.

Also enforcement of a no return is simple...you have no penalty...we all complain about people not catch and releasing well here's one fish they can keep all they want...whats with the retarded bag limit on them anyway..25..get real.
I do not know why there is a bag limit, but this I do know--no amount of sport fishing can come even close to matching the CP's ability to reproduce. In fact, like coyotes, it seems that the more you kill, the more they make. Better, IMHO, to leave the big fish in the water to eat the little fish and thus regulate their own numbers.

Moreover, encouraging people to kill animals they don't like in great numbers, simply because they don't like them, sets a bad precedent. What's next? Bass, suckers, bullheads, eels,--- people who don't look like you do?

You and Prosser deserve each other.

chuck
 

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I did much better name calling in my first post..I called them a VIRUS and a CANCER..which is exactly what they are..and frankly your being presumptuous about me telling people what to do..I don't give a damn what you do, and unless your God which i'm sure your not..even experienced fishers get bit or stuck with a spine(perch bass, bullhead) once in a while..it was simply a point among others why I don't have any use for fishing for them, and about lures..that's half my point..i use rapala's and others...not cheap..at least not to me...thus why would i want these disgusting fish anywhere near where i enjoy my trout fishing or have to resort to steel leader...however I will gladly kill pickerel wantonly when caught.
BTW if you enjoy fishing for pickerel, I'm sure you can find LOTS of infected lakes already with huge stocks in them in Yarmouth and Shelburne..Lake George(example of trout lake killed by pickerel) for one right off the highway in Shelburne for instance.
 
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