Is TU225 Just a Fishing Club?

KUDOS TO TU CHAPTER 737: Last night’s meeting of the Northern RI Chapter of Trout Unlimited featured a presentation by Doug Thompson. Thompson, author of THE QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN TROUT, outlined his views on watershed interventions and advocated for more comprehensive management of trout fisheries. Those in attendance offered thoughtful comments and posed informed questions. During the business portion of this meeting a representative from TU CHAPTER 225 announced that among the speakers scheduled for the spring, the Narragansett Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host a fishing guide who will discuss fishing for striped bass in RI’s saltwater ponds. This observer is left to wonder via what convoluted “logic” said presentation is relevant to the mission of TU. Some years ago the outdoors writer for a local newspaper stated that TU225 is just a fishing club; it is not a conservation organization. The shoe appears to fit.


1 comment to Is TU225 Just a Fishing Club?

  • Brian O'Connor

    At last nights presentation by Doug Thompson, he was asked how,given a magic wand, he would change the problems he describes in his book “The Quest.” He stated that he didn’t know, didn’t have the answers, and was only trying to raise awareness. The initial use of artificial propagation and hatcheries was a federal effort. States were encouraged to participate and did so with great alacrity. The goal was to replace populations of fish which had succumbed to various forms of habitat degradation with introduced hatchery fish. It was expected that these fish would become self sustaining populations. Only in areas with the highest water quality was this goal realized. It is now in these areas where success was achieved that the Fed’s are again leading the way. Yellowstone National Park has removed introduced non-native trout in rivers and streams above barrier falls and are re-introducing native trout in those areas. When fishing pressure rose to the point that native populations declined, park wide catch and release fishing was instituted and fish stocks rebounded.. Stocking of non-native fish was ended in the fifties. R.I. could follow suit by creating a native brook trout refuge by combining Arcadia State Park with the Alton Jones property and ending stocking above Barberville dam. It is my belief that at some point in the future, folks will look back on our current situation with the same level of disgust that we now have for the fish hog era of the past.

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