Healing Troubled Waters

Preparing Trout and Salmon Habitat for a Changing Climate

“Unless immediate action is taken to restore habitats and increase populations, it is likely that trout and salmon will be eliminated from large areas.”

“Non-native species and hatchery fish can limit native fish populations and increase their vulnerability to climate change. Non-native fish compete with natives for food and habitat, and they often thrive in warmer and more polluted waters. Hatchery fish can interbreed with native populations and can weaken the gene pool that may ultimately provide fish with the ability to adapt and survive.”

Report by Trout Unlimited,  Arlington, Va  – October 2007  Read the full report here

Implementing PRIBT’s proposal would remove the non-native hatchery fish from the upper Wood River and substantially increase the survival prospects for native wild brook trout.


3 comments to Healing Troubled Waters

  • brian o'connor

    Asking Warren to explain others thinking and behavior is something of a stretch. Asking those who have made the statements referred to to explain those statements will draw a blank. What I would like to see from those who would oppose the proposal is an attempt at a rational argument as to why the state should not establish a refuge in the area we have proposed. The public statements which have been forwarded certainly don’t lead one to believe that there is anything going on other than a desperate desire to see the continuation of the status -quo. We will read the original unaltered proposal at the regulation hearing following a legal procedure which will be presided over by RIDEM officials. Others will present proposals for changes in regulations or for a continuation of the status quo. There will be no response at that time by the state. Next spring there will be a new set of regulations presented by RIDEM and only at that point will we learn whether or not the states emphasis will shift toward the conservation of threatened species. If so, such a shift will be highly unpopular and cause a huge negative response. One need only to look into the history of management of the National Parks to see this in action. Such a shift will take great courage and commitment on the part of the managers. We are hoping that the SWAP process and our efforts will at some point cause such a shift. In the meantime, if the MASS.RI. Council of TU and or WPWA or others undertake study,monitoring, and DNA testing of Wood River Brook Trout populations, I think we should be enthusiastic supporters of such efforts. After 40 years of experience with the Wood River it is my belief that simply leaving it alone would achieve miraculous results. However, science is required to quell non-believers and serve as a basis for procuring funding for dam removals and the resulting rebuilding of habitat. Warren, thanks for your statement of support.

  • Brook trout have been steadily losing habitat throughout their range for the past three hundred years. It is time to begin reversing that trend. The spectre of climate change makes the need to restore waters for brook trout even more urgent. PRIBT’s proposal that RIDEM stop stocking part of the mainstem of the Wood to see if brook trout will return, to what had originally been their river, is a reasonable request. The proposal asks only that RI’s wildlife managers live up to their primary responsibility, which is to protect the state’s wildlife and their habitat, and that anglers place the conservation of a wild, native fish above sport fishing for farm raised non-native salmonids. All things considered, it doesn’t seem like much to ask.

    • martin

      Thanks for the comment. Perhaps you can explain something I don’t quite understand. John Troiano, the chairman of the RI-Mass Council of Trout Unlimited (I believe you are also member of the council) and president of a local chapter, along with two former local TU Chapter presidents are publicly calling, on Facebook, for help to stop the proposal. They have not said what specifically they object to.

      We are, modestly, asking for what TU National wants. Why are they against the proposal and actively working to stop it?

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