Just a few weeks in the past, a reader questioned what fish species he ought to use in one other stocking at the lagoon at Palmisano Park, that history-entangled Bridgeport park.
“I have throughout the years dumped in the following species: rock bass [about hand size], perch [six inches or up] and a couple of pumpkin blues [hand size; pumpkin seeds?],” he famous. “What other fish would you recommend for the pond? I have been thinking about getting some white bass and letting them go. There are plenty of crappie slabs in the pond!”
I pulled out my pompous-ass, I-support-science-at-all-costs beret — it has had fairly a exercise the final 10 months — and replied, “None is my recommendation. Biologists/managers carefully calculate what species and how many to put in. Rogue stockings knock such planning askew.”
That is true.
But it’s additionally true that I’ve executed just a few rogue stockings of my very own over the years, particularly when youthful.
Early in my marriage, we lived at my spouse’s household homestead when builders constructed reasonably priced housing on the edges of Will County. Unfortunately, some jackass builders weren’t intent on spending cash and time to dig retention ponds deep sufficient to stop winter kills. So I often assisted with stocking the couple of ponds nearest the home.
I don’t know in the event that they helped or not. Yes, I knew it was improper, however I did it anyway.
Reality is that even authorized stockings are meddling with Mother Nature, irrespective of how effectively thought out. The most storied stocking in the United States is Howard Tanner’s audacious idea to inventory the non-native coho, then Chinook, salmon into Lake Michigan to management invasive alewives.
It labored, absurdly effectively.
Then you’ve gotten the rogue, learn unlawful, stockings of walleye into southern Lake Michigan.
When I discovered about them, I instructed to my Chicago Sun-Times editor years in the past that it could be an excellent column to tag alongside on such a rogue stocking on the Chicago lakefront. After the brass contemplated, they deep-sixed it.
I don’t know if these stockings are associated to the sporadic catches of walleye on the lakefront, however the insurgent in me thinks so.
On the different hand, you’ve gotten Perch America’s walleye stocking on the Indiana facet of Wolf Lake, executed with strict Indiana oversight and approval. This 12 months marked the twenty first 12 months in 22 of the best residents’ stocking effort in the Chicago space.
With the pandemic, I wasn’t positive what to count on in stockings by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, however the hatchery staff had been deemed important, and almost all of the planned stockings went on.
On a associated matter, with the nice spike in fishing effort throughout the pandemic, some of it for meals, I questioned if the state would wish to alter its stocking routine.
“You are certainly aware of our normal annual sampling efforts to evaluate fish populations at waters throughout the state,” fisheries chief Mike McClelland emailed. “With that in mind, field staff will be evaluating data from those population surveys over the winter and would be able to assess needs for increased stocking. I would not anticipate stocking changes due to increased fishing, but we will have to see what the data tells us. Current site-specific regulations are in place to protect a given water; this should help ease the burden of the potential increased pressure.”
Chicago waterways have had some odd stockings. Most notable had been stockings of channel catfish in the Chicago River, to a lot media hubbub downtown, and the Calumet system. Those catfish seem to be bolstering fishing, significantly downtown.
In 2015, the Illinois hatcheries had further northern pike, and there was a stocking into the North Shore Channel. On these, I’ve not heard as a lot from anglers.
My intention for 2021 is to trade my tattered pompous-ass, I-support-science-at-all-costs beret with a easy I-support-science beanie.