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Governor Scott Walker's attacks on fisheries science in Wisconsin

By Troutnut on April 30th, 2015, 3:49 pm
Four senior fisheries scientists, including the executive director of the American Fisheries Society and my dad, have just published an editorial in multiple newspapers about right-wing extremist governor Scott Walker's efforts to severely diminish Wisconsin's fisheries research capabilities. It's a must-read for anyone in Wisconsin, and perhaps nationally if Walker runs for President.

Most recent comments on this post (latest on top)

FalsiflyJuly 27th, 2015, 2:09 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 644
I have, up until this time, kept this to myself, but in light of the ever increasing divisiveness which seems to be sweeping across this country I think it’s time to share. Let me first of all state that I do not have one of those string of consonants which I can attach to my name. So if you are looking for “scientific proof” you can move on now and refrain from wasting time.

(1): Can fish, more specifically “trout” react emotionally to a stimulus?
(2): Can trout be further classified into political preference through a reaction.

For the last seven years I have traveled across the country trout fishing and as noted earlier in this thread I have had success in the Democrat controlled states using
The Obama Fly. However, during this same time, I have given great thought, study and experimentation into my “RIGHT WING vs LEFT WING” theory.

First I think it would be helpful if we could come to terms on a few things I think we, as a whole, can agree with.

  • During a hatch trout are feeding.
  • It is generally accepted that the better we “match the hatch” the better our chances of catching fish.
  • During those non-hatch times trout are considered opportunistic and we often employ a “stimulator”.


My observations:
OK, so in those states which the government is controlled by a majority of Democrats the Obama Fly out performed by a huge margin as opposed to those states controlled by a Republican majority. Those fish fed on the Obama Fly and loved it. These trout are left leaning. Now this does not mean that there is no right leaning trout in those states it just means that they didn’t fall for the bait. I suppose one could argue “coincidence” that the Obama Fly was more effective in the Blue states but ponder this:

I tied up dry flies all matching except for one thing. Each fly contained only one right wing or one left wing, other than that, identical. These flies were not fished during a hatch because during a hatch the fish are feeding and all bets are off. These flies were fished as a stimulator during those times when the fish are said to be opportunistic. Beyond all doubt I found that in the “Blue” states the right winged flies were attacked by a vast majority and in the “Red” states the left winged flies were attacked by a vast majority. Yes you read that right.

Now obviously the next question is why. I think it’s the education these fish are getting in the nurseries.

Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
CutbowJuly 27th, 2015, 12:51 am
Post Falls, Idaho

Posts: 38
Falsifly, thank you for the fly education! Now I know my problem of not catching fish in blue states is due to fishing with right winger flies! (such as Woolly Buggers and Prince nymphs) I should have known better but didn't! LOL! But the question now is, since Gov Walker is running Wisconsin, would the Obama fly still work there? Try a Prince next time you're out and let me know if the fish are starting to vote red!
"Once you catch your first fish on a fly you won't care about any other kind of fishing!"
MiltRPowellJuly 21st, 2015, 8:24 pm
Posts: 106Jonathon, you hit that nail right on the head... Some of the people I have met, long hours, nights, weekends, working to make things better... Na never seen a rich one, but richer in many other ways if you know what I mean... I think ya do....
Later, Milt...
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
RleePJuly 21st, 2015, 2:28 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 299
Well, putting all the red team/blue team honking aside for a second, here is a basic, fundamental fact about Wisconsin:

Wisconsin has, arguably, the best and most abundant HQ small stream wild trout fishing east of the Rockies. The most important (and most germane to this discussion..) thing to realize about this is that the vast majority of this fishery did not exist 35 or even 25 years ago. It was largely created (or if you wish, restored..) through the work of forward thinking and innovative WI-DNR fisheries managers with the bipartisan aid of the Wisconsin legislature in the late 70's when they approved a trout stamp and specified that the monies from the sale of this stamp could only be used for stream and habitat improvement. The result has been an explosion in the quantity and quality of wild trout opportunities in Wisconsin, not to mention an explosion in new tourist angler revenues for Wisconsin businesses. WI-DNR's cold water program is recognized as one of the best in the nation, if not the best. To my way of thinking, the thing to do here is to tell the governor that he needs to reduce his office/staff budget by half so that WI-DNR can hire more fisheries managers and make things even better. This, at least, would be rewarding the players in this drama that have actually produced positive results for Wisconsin.


End of Rant...
FrogbinJuly 21st, 2015, 1:13 pm
Posts: 3Cutbow, I think you nailed it. Except we probably need to form a commission to evaluate once and for all which political party has the best trout water.

At the State level I very much contest the idea that conservation is red vs. blue issue... Here in CT our off the charts-liberal Governor Malloy and his democrat run Assembly have decimated our fisheries/DEEP budget for years, including most recently shuttering our state of the art Kensington hatchery (see article below). He somehow managed to do this while jamming through unprecedented tax hikes, presiding over the largest exodus of productive citizens since WWII, and making CT one of the worst states to live (49% of our residents would leave if they could, tied for 1st place). This man has single handedly set our state back by a decade in terms of wildlife management. Of course, he has taken the time to thoroughly explain how these cuts are really the fault of the non-existent state Republican party, rich people and gun owner boogie men.

http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-environment-parks-cuts-20150302-story.html

At the federal level, it's a different story. Get ready for big brother elbowing into your home waters courtesy of the dems and their greenie billionaires. There are and will definitely be some areas where they do more good than harm esp. when they partner with fisherman (i.e. bravo upper CT river), but those will be the minority; Let's just say that customer service is not their strong suit. If you are a fish, the most terrifying words in the English language are (to borrow from Regan), "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." My friend just came back from vacation in Yellowstone and, as an example, the feds out there are deliberately poisoning wild trout by the thousands in the name of this or that. Remember that when the enviro-pork gets passed around your "privilege" to fish will always be considered last. The Democrats have also been kind enough to Militarize of the Dept of Fish and Wildlife Services. Why does the DF&WS need a SWAT team you ask? Because nothing says protect our environment like shooting people in the face. Better crimp those barbs down tight boys and girls. How many felony violations live inside the feather and hair drawer of your tying desk?


The better model for conservation is and always has been centered around local sportsmen getting involved, pooling resources and sharing their vision with their representatives. When you show your rep how your vision will net $ and jobs, most of the time they will take it to the hoop for you. In my area, the economically self sustaining success of the Farmignton fishery (and Housatonic and someday the Naugatuck watershed) is case in point.

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