Re: NANFA--Snakeheads and Pacu - the whole thing makes me sick

R. W. Wolff (
Fri, 26 Sep 2003 11:18:19 -0500

Actually, I have no real problems with the salmon and trout stocking. I was
useing that as probably a poor example. I thought it was unprofessional what
happened, yet us "amatuers" are not allowed the luxury of that mistake. I
guess it was probably the white sox hat, =). Its bad example because in
that respect I am comparing apples to oranges. However, an exotic is an
exotic and people make mistakes in identification.

You misunderstood my toxic waste comment. That was tongue in cheek way of
explaining away why they misidentified a " deformed" bowfin. Say I had no
Idea what a jack dempsey was. I caught one fishing in an area I catch green
sunfish. I would be perplexed why this green sunfish looked so odd. Probably
a hybrid...or something messed it up- chemicals in the water?

The reason this is rubbing me the wrong way, I have called the biologists
several times when catching odd looking sunfish . I was told things like "
Sunfish on the east side of the river are much more colorful than those on
the west side", or " uhhh, well, hybrids are funny things and of no concern.
I know money is tight, but I would have been happy to freeze or otherwise
preserve those fish, and bring them in for them to keep on file. I , and
probably others, are trying to help the cash strapped agencies and are
treated like children. I ( we?) are trying to help them because we do care
about our waters. If walleye fisherman kept seeing sick funny looking bowfin
near a warm water discharge in the spring, and called them in, would they be
laughed at too? When what was going on is the walleye fisherman were seeing
snakeheads not doing well in late winter.

Maybe one inch long snakeheads might look similar, and maybe they don't. I
have not seen enough juveniles of the species to know for sure. It would be
like banning all characins, because the tiny ones might be hard to tell from
pacu/pirahna . Certainly we should ban black tetras, small ones look enough
like pacus. I heard rumors of pike cichlids being banned, since they look
like snakeheads. Gobies are still for sale in petshops. They look different
when big from roundies, but when small not everyone could tell them apart.

When would it end? Why wait for the next invader, when an across the board
ban on keeping fish of any kind as pets would cure that problem ( wouldn't
it? except for the mass dumping of fish after the ban). They haven't banned
large dogs that can become dangerous in favor of smaller breeds. I don't
keep dogs, so no skin off my teeth. However, I know people who have large
and so called viscious dogs. They are cared for properly and not a problem.
All dog keepers haven't had to pay for the idiocy ( and murders) of a few,
yet it's alright for all aquarists to pay for the idiocy of a few. I don't
know about these other states, but in Wisconsin, it is illegal to stock any
fish into public water ways . When laws are broken, makeing more laws won't
solve the problem. It only makes those who try to follow the laws have more

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