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> > Governor Scott Walker's attacks on fisheries science in Wisconsin

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.

Comments / replies

MartinlfApril 30th, 2015, 6:15 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Unbelievable. But don't get me started on right-wing politics and the science deniers.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRobertsApril 30th, 2015, 8:38 pm

Posts: 1776
You know, a good chunk of American politics is a global embarrassment. It actually frightens me as to where we are headed.
RealconservJune 2nd, 2015, 7:00 pm

Posts: 1
(comment removed for irrelevance and stupidity)
Ed Greene
MartinlfJune 2nd, 2015, 10:10 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Thank you, Jason. We have more than enough of both in the world.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123June 2nd, 2015, 11:19 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Yanked appropriately...didn't think that would last long!

Been trying to stay away from political rants lately myself - I'm in pretty right-wing territory here and I basically choose not to engage when one of my buddies goes off on his anti-government rant. And being in a gun club, I hear plenty of it...I simply focus on our shared enjoyment of firearms without getting into it politically. You don't change anyone's mind, it just gets ugly and eventually insulting as per what got yanked on here.

BTW I am in agreement with everything Jason has said in these regards to his home state and am also completely sick of those who refuse to base scientific management decisions on SCIENCE.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfJune 3rd, 2015, 9:32 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
You don't change anyone's mind, it just gets ugly and eventually insulting as per what got yanked on here.

True that.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CutbowJune 16th, 2015, 3:39 am
Post Falls, Idaho

Posts: 38
"The administration indicates that the science services positions no longer serve the core mission of the agency and should be deleted [Alternative B1]. Further, it is sometimes argued that scientific research could be more appropriately conducted by the program bureaus (such as fisheries management) rather than an independent bureau."

The above is a direct quote from the Governor's proposal.

It should be noted that 9.25 of the 18.4 positions to be deleted are Federally funded through sportsman taxes, (ie. ammo tax, small motor taxes and various permit fees).

Another quote: "While the bill would delete 9.25 federally funded research scientist positions, DNR indicates that this would not reduce the amount of federal Pittman-Robertson and SFR funds the Department would expect to receive."

So by deleting positions without deleting federal funds, less scientists will proportionally get more research funding.

It is clear to me that what this proposal represents is a political attack designed to diminish Democrat party influence within state bureaucracies. Kind of like what Obama has done to Republican influence in our military.

It's politics!

"Once you catch your first fish on a fly you won't care about any other kind of fishing!"
MiltRPowellJune 16th, 2015, 11:50 am
Posts: 106Cutbow,
I like how you explained all that....
Yeah, It be politics. And the bad part is it almost always is. This is a great Nation, but there is still so much we really need to learn, someday I hope the smart people open there eyes, & take the blinders off. Look, Listen & Learn for the good of the whole order of things. Like Land, Water & Air. Oh I didn't mean to get going here. I'll close. But I liked how you explained part of that, thanks..
CoreyJuly 5th, 2015, 7:02 pm
Tampa, Florida

Posts: 6
Thanks for the information, we really need more people helping to spread information like this. If these people get elected to national office theres no telling what they could cut or go after.
Trout Lures For Sale
AFISHNJuly 15th, 2015, 4:08 pm
West Chester,PA

Posts: 8
Too many scientists and government employees sucking the blood of taxpayers with their bloated pensions and benefits(compared to the private sector)IMO.

I don't know much about Gov Walker,but what i've read I like.
"..when i'm not AFISHN,I'm a huntin'... "
Jmd123July 15th, 2015, 9:51 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
"...with their bloated pensions and benefits..."

Don't mean to get into it here, but show me a scientist working for ANYONE who has gotten rich without patenting some engineering or pharmaceutical marvel. Anyone else here on this site ever seen a rich Fisheries Biologist or aquatic scientist or entomologist??

My 2 cents and I mean it. I like practically nothing about Scott Walker.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
FrogbinJuly 17th, 2015, 3:16 pm
Posts: 3Sounds like some ivory tower spongers are not happy about getting booted off the government teet! I'm sorry but protecting the environment and freedom from big government liberals and their 90% marginal tax rates are not mutual exclusive.

Enough with the liberal politics in fly fishing troutnut... There are a lot of us that view fishing, hunting and the outdoors as the ultimate expression of our sacred freedoms as opposed to another area for fascistic liberal elites to interfere with our lives. Stealing people's private property in the name of protecting fish, forcing kids to pay $50/day to fish from beats like in the U.K., using TU membership money as a payday reward for democrat hacks (BO fmr. campaign mngr.)... this is where big government is taking our sport.

FrogbinJuly 17th, 2015, 3:43 pm
Posts: 3If you or your dad could explain the following, it would help us differentiate the impact of the DNR cuts from your political views on Walker...

* Exactly how many fish scientists does the state of Wisconsin "need?" 1, 5, 10, 1,000, 1 million? If the Wisconsin DNR started with 10,000 fish scientists, would you be upset if they cut 1 staff member? Is there any overlap between the functionality of federal fish scientists and Wisconsin fish scientists?

* Are resources limited or are they unlimited? If they are limited, which of the following actions would you advice Gov Walker to take in order to maintain ideal/full staffing levels for the State of Wisconsin DNR fish science division...

(i) take food from a hungry child
(ii) fire teachers
(iii) cut funding for after school programs for needy children.

Also, is it anti-science to ask how did trout survive for millions of years in WI without taxpayers paying for 4 basketball teams worth of fish scientists to publish 140 articles per year in the furtherance of their own careers?
CutbowJuly 17th, 2015, 10:53 pm
Post Falls, Idaho

Posts: 38
Frogbin, from reading the proposal, it's pretty clear to me that what Governor Walker is doing is firing liberal "scientists". He's not even cutting funding or programs. So these labels of "anti-science" or "anti-government" are rather narrow viewed IMO. Eliminating members of the opposite party from government employment goes all the way back to Thomas Jefferson. It's a good thing if you ask me. The fact of the matter remains the Wisconsin was broke when Gov Walker came along. Who did that? Not Gov Walker.

But more importantly to the subject matter of this forum, what does this argument have to do with trout? Well, if we continue to assume that unchecked political activism within our fish and game bureaucracies ends up improving our environment at a decent cost to taxpayers, and we attack anyone who puts the brakes to it. Then our fish and game bureaucracies will keep descending into just another "arm" of a particular political party. In Wisconsin's case, the democrats. The thing we all must remember is that all states ran by democrats do in fact have lousy trout fishing. So, how exactly is getting rid of democrats bad for trout? History proves that its not.
"Once you catch your first fish on a fly you won't care about any other kind of fishing!"
FalsiflyJuly 18th, 2015, 12:32 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
The thing we all must remember is that all states ran by democrats do in fact have lousy trout fishing.

Now wait just a minute there Cutbow, I have to disagree. I've had some excellent trout fishing in the so called "Blue States" but you have to use this fly:
The Obama Fly
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."
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.

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.
RleePJuly 21st, 2015, 2:28 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
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...
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...
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!"

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