Here is the best example I can come up with to try to explain what I was
getting at. Say I caught some Fundulus dispar. It is state endangered. I
thought they were notatus. I put a picture on a web site of my pretty
notatus. Later I get a call that I have done something very terrible. It is
not likely I will be foregiven my mistake.
The WDNR has put out a great set of tradeing cards ( ala pokeman). They are
divided in groups, by animal type, plant etc. There is an exotics set. The
compliment to this set is also handed out at bait shops. It is a small
credit card sized fact sheets on exotics. With the end of the world media
coverage on snakeheads in MD, and the constant emphasis for boaters,
fisherman, and other resource users to watch for spreading exotics, I
figured the snakehead thing was handled poorly. All local papers mentioned
nothing about the release of this fish. They just had to report on it, since
snakeheads are now newsworthy, and with an name like that draws attention.
The fear of snakes, now in fish form.
You should see the so called fair coverage deer and elk ( and other "wild
animal") keepers get in the papers here. Especially the deer and elk,
because of the chronic wasteing disease issue. You would get the Idea it is
all their fault. With many hunters already under the impression game farms
hurt deer hunting ( probably from constant negative press) it is no wonder.
Rouse the most public support ( for paper sales) by appealing the side with
the most people on it. It sure helps sell more papers. Meanwhile, casual
readers read these stories, and take the most exciting parts as the end all
of the discussion. People actually believe me when I tell them snakeheads
have killed dogs in neighborhoods near where they were released ( as a joke,
later explained), in the owners yard! No one knows, and might never know,
exactly how CWD got to WI. But now deer and elk farmers are paying the
price. No one knows how that snakehead got in the river, but it can be
certain aquarists will pay the price. No one makes a living off of
snakeheads in the aquarium, but its the same principle. Most people will
think the state banning every specie of snakehead from aquarium keeping will
stop the invasion, so to speak. So, the WDNR becomes heros, and once again
aquarists are bad people who harm animals and the environment. Goldfish and
Koi get a pass, yet they turn up often. Just keeps makeing me wonder. Why
are some things alright, and others not. Why are some people given a pass,
while others are not allowed even a slight mistake.
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