The summer 2017 issue of Trout magazine from Trout Unlimited, couldn't be more timely. The entirety of the issue is dedicated to addressing the value and conservation challenges associated with maintaining native trout in a world that is undergoing rapid environmental change.
My own forthcoming book, Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters: Family, Fly Fishing, and Conservation, is based on not only recognizing the need to conserve native trout, but offers two solutions for ensuring that the remaining diversity of native trout found in America are given a fighting chance for survival.
Decades of toil for the conservation, protection, and remediation of coldwater habitats have allowed trout and angling, regardless of tackle, to flourish. But, as we enter planet Earth's sixth great extinction we must re-calibrate and focus on the need to conserve native trout over the behest of wild trout, which are typically species that have evolved elsewhere in the country (or world), stocked in waters outside their home range, and have flourished, much to the benefit of anglers like myself.
In Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters, I argue that if we are to ensure the survival of our remaining native trout (two species- the Alvord cutthroat trout and yellowfin cutthroat trout- have already been lost to extinction), we must take concrete steps to remove wild trout from some waters in order to make room for natives to return to their home-range. The second argument I present is, in a world of global environmental impacts that often manifest at the local-level in the waters we love to fish, we must adjust our view of coldwater conservation to embrace the entire ecosystem from waters, to forests, to sagebrush steppe. The forthcoming book provides personal stories, examples, and concrete details for how we can accomplish these goals and give trout native to some of our favorite waters a chance for survival in a rapidly changing world.
This blog was posted on the original Conservation Angler blogspot page on 7/17/2017 and has been slightly updated for posting here.
Until next time,