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Back to fishies and froggies

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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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby rlown » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:26 pm

After several discussions with Yose NP wildlife mgrs over the last couple years, they agreed they would publish the fish removal plans at the wilderness permit stations. But.. you have to ask for it, unlike the bear activity announcement board they have up behind the TM wilderness station.. Bears dont bother me as much.. go figure..

Russ

PS: surely, we must have a list of basins we'd like to propose for frog sancutaries? for me, Boothe Lake woud be good, as it has all dinks, but i'm not sure if it's fed from Vogelsang.. worthless fish lake in my opinion.



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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:50 pm

rlown wrote:PS: surely, we must have a list of basins we'd like to propose for frog sancutaries? for me, Boothe Lake woud be good, as it has all dinks, but i'm not sure if it's fed from Vogelsang.. worthless fish lake in my opinion.

Oh yes I do, both inside of the NPs and outside. It is a reasonably long list. I'll start with just a smidge from the Sawboose loop: Everything in the Twin Lakes-Woods Lake area except for two unnamed lakes that don't have brookies. Woods is pretty nice, I must confess (innumerable brookies that go to 13 inches some years plus it has MYLF, or it did in 1997), but I'd gladly rid the entire basin of its fish in return for frog habitat except for those two lakes that are a bit off by themselves anyway (not in main basin). Just over the Pinchot Pass hump: everything in the Marjorie Lake basin and its feeders--lots of stunted brookies. It is a classic example of how overly good natural reproduction turned a once premium fishery (see McDermand's accounts of Marjorie) into the basic big headed stunted fishery. Those are but two (with multiple lakes) of many I know of.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby rlown » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:38 pm

gdurkee wrote:But there's also a practical problem: the person giving the Wilderness Permit. As I'm sure all of you have experienced, it's really variable. Most are good, but I know a few don't quite get it. It's sometimes all we can hope for just to have them talk about fire limits and taking out your garbage. Having them think about adding a talk about gill netting in lakes they've never been too may overload the system... .

g.


Actually, in my experience, I told "Carol" (permit person) where i was going and why. She said nothing about the nets.. When i got back, we confronted her and her response was very interesting. "we dont really like to advertise that." They do know what is going on and they should share, especially if you're off trail. I know they're fixing the glitch in communication, but you still have to ask.

On another note, Roland said he would talk a bit in an upcoming blog entry on how anglers can get more involved in frog v. fish policy.

Russ
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:57 pm

Hey all....back from Lee Vining. Good times as always, and civil sounds like the way to be in 2009 :partyman: !

gdurkee wrote: In fact, the attention given the yellow-legged frog is pretty impressive considering it's not a cuddly and furry animal. Increasingly, I think such attention is appropriately proportionate to the perception that it's a wider problem (in habitat destruction or as an indicator species) than just the species in trouble. That's what's happening here. As I've said before, it's not just about the frogs. It's about the Sierra ecosystem.


George, you nailed it once again here my man! This is what I'm talking about and I couldn't agree more. I would find it hard pressed to locate someone who is knowledgeable about the Sierra Nevada to disagree. IMHO there is a serious problem with Sierra ecosystems in general, and the frog, porcupine, pika, otter, and many various bird species status is just an indication of a larger problem.

This is a great and informative thread we have going here. We all have a lot to learn from each other. Our opinions are scared into our souls based on our own personal experiences, research, ect. My opinion doesn't mean a hill o' beans, but it is not only based on my personal experiences but those of over five generations of Eastern Sierra Nevadaites. That's why I am always so keen on referencing the old-timers in the area.

Roland's work is sound and very well written. He makes a very compelling argument for fish removal. Roland is a very accomplished scientist and he is very good at what he does. He and I just fundamentally disagree on land management and that's it. I know fish eat MYLFs, and his work proves it. But, wouldn't herons, raccoons, martin, mink, civet cats, skunks, and any other creature that could get their paws on a MYLF eat one? The fundamental difference I have with Roland is the means to an end. I would assert we both agree that there is an umbrella issue governing what's is ecologically going down in the Sierra Nevada. There are a lot of us who just don't agree with Roland's management prescription.

I for one am not about to give up any watershed for fish removal unless proper due diligence has been conducted and it has at least been visited by a NEPA committee. If in fact empirical data shows an increase in biodiversity with fish removal in a particular watershed, I'll listen to fish removal discussion all day. I would however assert that because fish have been part of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem for well over 100 years there may have been some co-evolution going on between fish and other critters. If we are going to "give up" a particular watershed, the public and federal agencies prescribing the management better know darn well what they are getting themselves into. Any of which would envoke a higher level of NEPA which is what I think everyone typically fights tooth and nail to avoid. I'm all for higher quality fish, but some of these overpopulated brookie, golden, and rainbow lakes may have some intrinsic value to someone based around those small fish. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Has anyone ever looked into the applicability of section 404 of the clean water act in respect to removal of fish from a waters of the United States?

Fish are also indicator species. I guess an example of where I disagree with Roland's management strategy can be summarized as such; If you have a polluted river and say data suggest that frogs are dying and the river is polluted. You don't invest money into saving the frogs from the pollutant, you invest money in finding the source of the pollutant and fixing it, then move on down the line from there. See, maybe the frogs aren't directly dying from the pollutant but the bugs they eat are, so without bugs there cant be frogs. I think Roland makes a good argument but I think he is avoiding the big picture item, which is what we need to address not the little fishies. I think the management employed these days in the public sector is the "contain the leak" rather than "stop the leak" approach. So we can talk about fish removal all day, but I don't think removing fish is the answer, especially when we have countless examples current and historic where fish...and even big fish co-exist with MYLFs.

The feds are about as transparent as a flying pink elephant during rush hour on the freeway. I fully understand why they have to be this way, as most of my projects are red file. However, I pay their wages as a taxpayer, therefore I want to know what my employees are up to.

The public comments section in many NEPA documents is a joke. Most of the comment periods are disclosed in some obscure section of a webpage. Rarely are they advertised to the public on open forums, via the media, or physical postings. Its up to the public to take time away from their busy lives to not only know where but how to post comments. Rather what you see are watchdog, nonprofit, and advocacy groups posting mass comments on issues instead of private individuals. These groups pay someone to know about the issues and inform their constituents about commenting periods. I've gone though public comments before. In my experience for every 10 letters from advocacy groups you have one from an individual. Needless to say the comments are swayed and reflect the views of those who have a lot of time on their hands, and know where to look rather than the majority of the folks concerned. The agencies need to advertise management objectives like they do bear warnings, urban interface wildland fire control ect. What are they afraid of????Oh, maybe opposition to their management objectives.

On an end note......when you get two groups that are very passionate about their views as often happens over environmental issues, what is actually meant to be constructive thought is interpreted sometimes unfairly as criticism. El Cuervo, I apologize for any unfair criticism I may have imposed on you, but I feel like you are trying to attack me individually and not the issue. You say I alluded to behavior which you pointed out to be irresponsible. Furthermore, do you condone keeping the list of lakes hush-hush? I just want some clarification in respect to your opinion on these issues.
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby rlown » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:53 pm

So we can talk about fish removal all day, but I don't think removing fish is the answer, especially when we have countless examples current and historic where fish...and even big fish co-exist with MYLFs.


BadMan,

You some great stuff there. The important part is the frog/tadpoles gestation period where it spends time the the deeper part of the lake (where the fish would be) during the colder months. I'm thinking the MYLF scientists want pristene fish-free environments for their "experiments", and then we all can better decide where to remove the trout in favor of frog.

I dont think this is a huge sacrifice, IFF we pick basins that have stunted fish and good habitat. I'm more worried about trophy BK and others that several have generational history visiting these lakes.

I'm more worried that we haven't even looked at the Red Legged frog environments of Trinity and like areas.

Russ
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby rlown » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:35 pm

Let me be real clear here. I'm not a big fan of "big fish" lake removal;even if they're non-native. There is a temporal timeframe here on what is natural. stocking has happened for a long, long time and maybe, i just happened to experience some of the best fishing of my life after they started. That being said, these fish still deserve to live, given they survived and thrived. We all kind of made this form of nature, and i dont want to see it turned back to just after the glaciers formed, otherwise, i'd have to take out all the roads as well and make everyone hike up to enjoy yosemite. And yes, i would hike it.

I think the more we identify what we all want removed or saved, the better off we'll be. dink lakes can go.. There are always trade-offs..

Russ
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:57 pm

Russ, I agree, these folks want pristine fish-free environments for their "experiments" .
There are just sooooo many other potential areas that don't have fish in them that meet the Roland criteria. I vividly remember a series of lakes "deep ones greater than ten feet" just off the trail to Benson Lake in YNP that would be a perfect place to conduct frog research without poisoning or gill netting fish lower in the watershed. I want to see experiments done in these areas first because they are more pristine for all intensive purposes than lakes planted with fish.
BUT......when push comes to shove.....I would be willing to entertain giving up a few basins with stunted fish over trophy fisheries ect. I just think the frog folks have bigger fish to fry here other than frogs :D . I must however admit that even though I enjoy catching larger fish, I enjoy eating the smaller ones less than 12 inches. Unfortunately most the lakes easily accessible (day hike) in the Mono area have stunted fish only. I'm only willing to give up a few of these lakes at best.....Oh wait....I already have :crybaby: :thumbsdown: :crybaby: :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: !!!
Last edited by Bad Man From Bodie on Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby rlown » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:06 pm

we noted that there were several ponds around Upper mattie as well that were gillnetted that would be great for frog rehab, without taking the great lake at Upper M. Pissed me off large that the did both. I'm thinking bad managment and percieved interest in Upper M. They could have played with the ponds and not interrupted my fun. they didnt. obvious from this that the NPS and USFS/DFG have different criteria. not sure why that would be the case, if this was all that well understood. Again, more transparency in the process is needed.

Russ
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby AldeFarte » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:54 am

Bad Man. You have sinned. Your sin is a simple one. You make too much sense. When I climb up on my dung heap and crow, it's my opinion only. First of all, I am not a fan of the great Roland. In some ways he reminds me of the man behind the curtain in the wizard of oz. I have tried reading his studies, but he bores me. I have an inkling that he is another professional starting with a conclusion and every step down his path is another analytical step to prove that conclusion. If I am proved wrong, I will stand in corrected shoes. I am not willing to give up anything. NO NET LOSS!There are too many unknowns in this HYPO thesis. Furthermore, There are more than enough lake systems where neither frog nor fish presently reside. Why is that? Force the lovely frog on those systems first and then lets reasses where we stand. If the professional "experts" can't make the frog survive where there are presently no fish, then quit barking up my crack ,please. I apologize in advance for offending anyone , but there is another side and other opinions on this subject. :o jls
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby rlown » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:02 pm

ok. I agree with roland's criteria for lakes for frogs (10' deep, some frogs left for repopulation after trout removal (although Roland and others have floated the idea of frog relocation), isolated from trout repopulation, etc). Given, the fungus is a variable, not much i can do about that.

But I do agree with AdleFarte there. Keep the good Basins.

Roland is not alone. He and his fellow researchers all provide support for fishery and native species management. He provides the data and those in political office make the rules. And, we anglers have no clout.

I guess I'm still wondering how we can be better involved BEFOREHAND in avoiding fish removal where it seems silly. There are EA reviews going on in both Yosemite and Seki. You can get involved in reviewing the Aquatic assessments for those areas. I guess we'll have to wait until DFG does their EIR's to provide feedback as i havent seen any pointer to how we can be involved there.

Russ
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby Shawn » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:38 pm

Well I don't know much about the subject at hand, but I did receive an email containing this:

1. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE TECHNICIANS (AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION): The
National Park Service is seeking up to six aquatic technicians for the 2009
summer field season in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI). All
vacancies are GS-5 positions at $14.24/hr. The primary objective of these
positions is to restore high elevation aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on
enhancing mountain yellow-legged frog populations (Rana muscosa, Rana
sierrae). Primary duties include backpacking to lake basins in park
Wilderness, removing non-native trout populations from lakes and streams
using gill nets and backpack electrofishers, and surveying populations of
the mountain yellow-legged frog. Additional duties include following
detailed protocols, recording environmental parameters, and communicating
an overview of the project to park visitors. Emphasis is on field work in
both team and individual settings. Work dates depend on timing of snowmelt,
but are estimated to be from mid-June to late-September.

To be competitive for these positions, applicants must have 1) considerable
backpacking experience in high elevation mountains, 2) the ability to hike
safely across challenging on- and off-trail terrain, 3) the desire to work
in remote Wilderness for weeks at a time, and 4) a strong commitment to
conducting ecological restoration. Typical past employees have been
upper-level undergaduates seeking degrees in aquatic biology/ecology or
fish/wildlife programs, or had completed undergraduate or graduate degrees
in these fields of study.

Interested applicants must apply through the USAJOBS website at
http://www.usajobs.gov . The job announcement number is SEKI 228053. To
retrieve the announcement, type this number in the keywords search window,
click the search button, and follow the resulting link. To determine
whether you qualify at the GS-5 level, see the "Qualifications &
Evaluations" page. Applications must include a resume that contains contact
information for at least three references, a completed questionnaire (shown
in announcement), and a copy of your college transcripts (if you wish to be
qualified based on experience and education). See the "How to Apply" page
for specific details.

Complete application packages must be submitted by Tuesday, January 20,
2009 to be considered for these positions. For general application
questions, contact SEKI Personnel by emailing Kellie_Lasswell@nps.gov or
calling 559-565-3752. For specific position questions, contact SEKI Aquatic
Resources by emailing Danny_Boiano@nps.gov or calling 559-565-4273.

2. Yosemite National Park

The vacancy announcement below is for amphibian field positions at Yosemite National Park . Work will mostly involve field surveys for amphibians at Yosemite, though some surveys will=2 0be conducted elsewhere in northern California . There may also be opportunities to participate in related research on amphibian chytrid fungus and the pesticides. I will be hiring one or two 2-person field crews.

Successful applicants will have:
- experience conducting field research, preferably involving amphibians
- strong outdoor skills that include hiking, backpacking, camping in remote areas
- ability to work well with a field partner under challenging conditions
- experience with maps, PDAs, GPS, and orienteering
USGS will supply all research equipment, field supplies, and a government vehicle. Field crews will have a campsite at one of the park campgrounds. In some years, a cabin is available for a portion of the season (at no cost), but availability of cabins will not be known until after work begins.

If you apply, don’t make it hard for me to hire you. Provide sufficient detail for me to evaluate your background and contact key people. Make sure to include names and current phone numbers (not just emails) for all supervisors and references. Applicants who provide a one-page resume or state that “references available by request” are not likely to be hired.

Please get in touch with me if you have questions or need additional information. Thanks.

Gary Fellers
Research Biologist
Western Ecological Research Center, USGS
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes, CA 94956
415-464-5185
gary_fellers@usgs.gov <mailto:gary_fellers@usgs.gov>
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/pt-reyes/fellers.asp <http://www.werc.usgs.gov/pt-reyes/fellers.asp>

****************************************************
APPLY TO: Peggy Hamilton, USGS/BRD, 3020 University Dr East, Modoc Hall Room
3006 Sacramento Ca 95819, FAX (916) 278-9475
Please list the announcement number on the application
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Re: Back to fishies and froggies

Postby BSquared » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:33 am

Thanks, Shawn. I just posted this on our department's bulletin board -- might have some students who want to apply (I'm tempted to apply myself!).

-B2
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