The Fly life

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the Big ones that are not getting away

Anglers always talk about "good" sized fish and it is common knowledge that larger fish tend to pull harder. Some anglers just look for the next "big one" that tops the last Big fish they conquered.

There are fish that are generally considered on the Big list. Marlin, Sharks, Certain tunas, Wahoo. the list goes on. Then there are fish that are big for their species. These are the stuff dreams/ nightmares are made off.

Imagine hearing your guide tell you to pack a 10wt as a light option for a Carp or catfish!

Well, such fish do exist and we have had reports over the years of captures becoming more and more commonplace. With the popularity of fly fishing coming back into vogue, we are hearing more and more of the Mega fishes that are available in the fresh.

National Geographic is currently running a MEGAFISHproject on such Fish and trips can be booked to Thailand where such fish are stocked for sporting and conversation purposes. A new frontier? Conservation being aided by Anglers? sounds great to me


T. Brook Smith said...

I posted your site on my blog last year and I'm glad to see you posting again.

I suppose I won't endear myself to make my first post a controversial one, but hopefully you'll be willing to hear me out.

These megafish opportunities are not good conservation opportunities at all. They involve moving large, ecologically potent fish into new environments where they pose a signfificant risk to native species. Moving exotic species into new habitats is simply not responsible fishing no matter how big the fish are.

The web sites promoting these exotic fisheries are clearly devoid of any real knowlege of fisheries biology (attacking, for instance, attempts to erradicate exotic snakeheads in the US). National Geographic, normally an informed publication, has lost its' mind entirely or has let some rouge journalist blind-side them by dragging them into this enterprise.

I don't know how these fisheries go so far along under the radar, but please reconsider your endorsement of these exotic mega-fisheries. Native fisheries are the lifeblood of local conservation efforts. Exotics are pure poision.

T. Brook Smith said...

...just to clarify the last comment.

Conserving large fish species (or fishing for them) in their native habitats is a worthwhile goal and should be supported.

My concerns revolve around a National Geographic video that came out last year showing anglers catching large exotic fish from stocked reservoirs in Thailand. I think in the video they were fising for arapaima, a South American fish that has been introduced into Asia. Other blogs showed that species such as alligator gar and other exotics had been moved there as well. Those reservoirs in Thailand are irresponsible fisheries and they should not be supported.

Conserving large fish is a good thing. Moving them into new environments is not.

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