Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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deenad
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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by deenad » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:09 am

Mr. Durkee, thank you so very much for standing up for our beloved frogs. I hiked up into a remote Sierra lake to spend the eclipse with them! So magical to be alone with them during that time. It was primordial!
I am so heartened to know that in these troubled times the environmental impact that us humans have is being counter balanced by a few hard working folks.
There are COUNTLESS lakes full of fish. I certainly have had no problem finding any! :D
Please don't let the haters get you down. Sadly, they will never understand the joy of certain things.
Their loss.

Xoxo, A Fan








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Jimr
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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by Jimr » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:04 am

rlown wrote:bring me a frog.. I'll teach you.. :)
Well, I currently have no use for a dissected frog, but I can skin a skwerrel. Speaking of fly material, hows them feathers coming along? :-k
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

-John Adams

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:44 pm

Lots of talk about the "High Sierra" (such as all fish presently in lakes in the High Sierra introduced since ....by packers...). Please define "High Sierra"? Not being argumentative, just want to be sure what lakes we are are talking about. High Sierra to me may be very different than it is to a biologist.

Hard for me to believe the Native Americans did not do a bit of planting. You certainly see evidence of their presence in the higher reaches of the Sierra. I have even seen arrowheads just below the summits of a few peaks.

A compromise, to me, would be if for every lake netted to save the frog, another back country lake would be planted with fish, so that the net effect is even for both the frog lovers and fishermen. This would be a win-win. Certainly there are currently barren lakes that have sufficient spawning areas. Certainly there are some truly native Californian fish? or not? Frogs and fish may not coexist very well. I would think there are sufficient lakes in the Sierra to have both. Granted you have to be careful where you plant a fish, because they can spread up and downstream.

Just because there are only a few percentage of backpackers who fish (and I really doubt this, because I see quite a few backpackers fishing), is no reason to discount them. Frogs are cute. Delta smelt are not. In a similar reasoning, you could say only a few percentage of the population give a damn about delta smelt, so saving them is not important.

Species come and go, non-natives have taken over for eons, survival of the fittest. Is not that the way of evolution? Why are we arbitrarily setting the balance of species in a point in time and saying that it must stay static, and the we humans must intervene to keep it that way. Granted, we humans have the means to really mess things up by over-running normal evolutionary rates. Maybe a frog species that needs two years for the eggs to develop is not the best evolutionary idea in the first place.

Oh well, the bacteria, viruses and insects will eventually over-run us all; humans, fish and frogs alike! Maybe some super cockroach sees it fit to save a few of us humans, because we are cute and provide some diversity. [-o<

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by Harlen » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:25 pm

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen.

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Leopold goes to say that an ecologist must either harden his or her shell and look away when the consequences of humanity's actions go awry, or become:

"the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”

Here is another famous Leopold quote pertinent to this discussion:
To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering
This is evidenced in our discussion above when George pointed out the added benefits to insect and birdlife (et. al.) which followed the removal of non-native trout from some of the Sierra lakes. In another mountain range, we have seen thousands upon thousands or Rosy Finches whirring over the passes- it was phenomenal! It would be equally wonderful to have the High Sierra lake margins dancing with Rosy Finches brought back to greater numbers by the removal of non-native fish.

Daisy brings up several interesting points, but regarding non-native species "taking over for eons," the fact is they have been taking over, and displacing native wildlife, only when provided the opportunity by humans. They are not really in sync with evolution when given unfair advantage by us.

We have converted so much of the planet to hard human habitat- concrete and asphalt, and have carpeted much of the world with domesticated plant and animal species that suit our needs- when will we slow down?!

A last Leopold quote to ponder":
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
Last edited by Harlen on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by longri » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:33 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Lots of talk about the "High Sierra" (such as all fish presently in lakes in the High Sierra introduced since ....by packers...). Please define "High Sierra"? Not being argumentative, just want to be sure what lakes we are are talking about. High Sierra to me may be very different than it is to a biologist.
Below is map that shows the extent of the historic fishless region (in gray) of the Sierra. It also shows where the native fish were historically (dark lines) and where they are now (dotted lines). The definition of "High Sierra" with regard to native fish extent is difficult to define in a simple way. In some places they reached streams at nearly 10,000 feet. But for the most part they existed below 7000 feet. Only about twenty lakes originally contained fish (e.g. Tahoe, Donner, Convict).

Image


Like the frogs, the native fish have declined significantly in both number and in range since around 1850 when a large number of European-Americans arrived on the scene. The decline has been due to introduced species (including non-native fish), dams, and other changes in the environments.

Efforts to save some of the most threatened native fish species have included netting, electrofishing, and poisoning non-native fish. I suspect most avid fisherman who bemoan the netting of non-native fish to save frogs are in favor of similar or even more egregious tactics (e.g. use of piscicides) when it comes to saving a native Sierra fish species.

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:21 pm

Thanks for showing the map. Does that map imply that salmon are the only native fish to California? I thought some golden trout and rainbow are also considered native.

So I interpret that map to say that the gray shaded area is what is considered the "High Sierra". Correct?

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by longri » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:34 pm

Yes, the shaded area was fishless until ~150 yrs ago. There is no evidence that Native Americans carried live fish to stock high elevation waters. The introduction of non-native and transplanted CA native fish has had a profound impact on the ecology of the lakes in the High Sierra. With the end of stocking in the NPS and wilderness lands a significant number of lakes have returned to a fishless state. As noted in the paper I linked in an earlier post, this has had a positive effect on frog populations in YNP.

In my haste I misinterpreted the map. I thought those lines and dashed lines were for native fish as a whole, but they only represent the Chinook salmon. Yes, there are native trout, e.g. the Golden, our state fish, and the rainbow. There are also the Lahonton and Paiute cutthroat as well as a number of other native fish species. They just weren't in the lakes and streams at 10,000 feet.

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by longri » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:04 pm

Question for the fisherman:

Would you support the reinstitution of lake stocking in the High Sierra wilderness areas?

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by rlown » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:10 pm

longri wrote:Question for the fisherman:

Would you support the reinstitution of lake stocking in the High Sierra wilderness areas?
I like WD's idea of trading lakes. I can name several stunted lakes that could be taken and I would be completely fine with it. Boothe and first Dinkey come to mind. So do some of the lakes on the Glacier divide. But then, we're not asked and there's no transparency on their plans that I can see. EIR's that come out after removal are not helpful.

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Re: Frog Release Into SEKI 8/30

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:09 pm

Yes, I am in favor of selective and smart stocking. Lakes and streams that normally self support fish should be helped out occasionally if extreme conditions severely reduce the fish population, particularly those that have native fish. I am sure there are a few lakes that took a big hit during the 5 years of drought and could use a little help.

Fishermen are not the only people who like fish in lakes and streams. I have met many people backpacking who are watching and enjoying the fish even though they do not fish. Walked the dog down at the American River yesterday, and even though I do not fish there, I and about everyone who lives along the river love to watch the salmon run! It is a bit event here, to start very soon.

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