WHAT THE CORMORANT TOLD ME

Very well written and enjoyable post  on the Rage Against the Dams Blog.

We’re here, the cormorant and I, for the same reason. We’re looking for trout. To be more precise, we’re waiting for trout. The hatchery truck hasn’t arrived yet, but we remember that at this time last year the river was full of trout.

The cormorants have the trout stocking schedule and locations down pretty well. And they pass their knowledge along to younger generations of cormorants so that there is a never ending supply of cormorants available to take advantage of the state’s largess – or more correctly – our largess, because we licensed anglers have paid for those trout.

We know from historical narratives that most of our coastal rivers and streams, and their tributaries, once supported wild brook trout, and in some cases, Atlantic salmon. The Indian Head, where the cormorant and I are waiting for a truck to arrive, certainly did. Catches of 60 brook trout a day in the Indian Head were recorded by a wealthy merchant named John Rowe during the 18th Century.

George Griffith and his fellow founders of Trout Unlimited asked a very basic question of the state of Michigan: Why can’t we have wild trout to fish for? The answer, as it turned out, was that they could, and the fishing was better by all measures after the stocking of hatchery trout ended.

Read the whole post here

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