Re: NANFA-- exotic species impact

R. W. Wolff (
Thu, 27 May 2004 10:41:19 -0500

> I'd like to hear about a
> healthy system into which carp were introduced where they were able
> to propagate prolifically and really outcompete natives for
> resources, or damage the system such that natives declined.

I agree with Mark on "common" carp. In the Wisconsin River, which although
much better now, is still in rough shape. Carp thrive here. However, in the
marsh, carp are not making a good go of it. I think much has to do with
bowfin being best adapted for feeding on yearling carp, and good numbers of
bowfin in the marsh. Where as the river bowfin stay mostly in backwaters.
Still, the WI river brimming with carp, has a great population of many fish
species, and sections with lots of a carp are ranked as top fisheries in the
state for walleye and smallmouth, along with pike. I think the reason for
that is there is a diverse base of small fish species for these large
predators to prey on, and clean feeder streams are safe harbors for these
small non game species.

Carp are easy to blame for anything, like snakeheads. They are big, visible,
everyone knows what one is. Plus, not many people hold them in high regard.
Have a problem? Blame the carp. After all, they are muck suckers. I found
most people who hate carp so passionatly, also lump quillback, buffalo and
other large carp like suckers right in with carp. You will find all of them
lining the banks in areas. That is too bad, but it outlines how turning a
type of fish into a demon, can have bad results for any that are remotely

Cichlids, mostly convicts, have been established in many hot springs, and
plant discharge areas across the U.S. Yet there was no rush to ban cichlids,
the entire family - not just the specie that was causing the trouble. I
believe the snakehead ban is pure politics. It looks good because of the
media hype that legislators are rushing to do something about it. If they
could work that hard on improving infrastructure to make traffic flow better
instead of stopping it up constantly, we might be able to get somewhere on

Are humans really exotics? Most everyone who is anywhere got there under
their own power, I mean thousands of years ago. By then everywhere but
Antarctica and probably several smaller islands were the only places without
humans. Sure we could carve boats, but that is the same as another animal
flying, swimming, or hitching a ride on a log.

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