Re: NANFA-- Move on to reestablish rare pygmy madtom

Christopher Scharpf (
Tue, 17 Oct 2000 07:52:06 -0400

>This news is so awesome. This coupled with the Miller Lake lamprey's
>rediscovery is making the future look brighter for native fishes.

I hate to be the gloom'n'doom pessimist, but I disagree that the recent (and
welcome!) good news about the Miller Lake lamprey and pygmy madtom is "making
the future look brighter for native fishes." These are certainly bright spots,
but the bitter truth remains: we are continuing to lose our freshwater
ecosystems and their diversity at an unprecedented rate.

Richard, I know that the intent of your post was not to suggest that things are
better than what they really are. I just want to make the point that we're
bombarded with so much bad enviromental news that we tend to filter it out and
overemphasize the good news that occasionally trickles through. So, let's
celebrate these rare and isolated moments of good news for what they are -- rare
and isolated moments -- but not let them cloud or influence our perception of
how bleak conditions are for fishes, mollusks, amphibians, and other freshwater

>It's so cool to see natives previously thought to be possibly extinct due to
the fact
>that they weren't seen in almost 20 years suddenly not only be rediscovered
>but also bred in hatcheries.

Yes, that is cool! And I experienced this coolness first hand when I visited
J.R.'s facility in Knoxville last month. Those pygmy madtoms are adorable. And
"J.R.'s Ark" is a wonder to behold! But I'm sure J.R. would agree that it's much
cooler to see healthy populations of fishes in their native habitats, and seeing
them breed not in hatcheries or fish tanks, but in the wild where they belong.
That's what J.R.'s working towards. That's what we should ALL be working

Chris Scharpf
Herring Run watershed, Baltimore, where the herring stopped running 100 years

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