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Re: borrowing fish/catching your own

Not that Tom needs anyone to come to his defense, especially after
that well thought out response.  But as a fellow biology Ph.D. student
(at a different school though) I just wanted to say that I agree with
Tom on this issue.  If Tom was talking about introducing non-native
fish (even ones that are already there and will probably always be)
I would consider it a bad idea.  By the same token, if Tom was talking
about releasing these fish at a different locality from where he 
collected them it would be a problem too (because it can potentially
screw up the population genetics of a locally adapted group).  But
he is wanting to release native fish that have only been kept with
each other back into the place from where they came.

As for the disease issue, that argument doesn't add up.  The only 
diseases they could potentially have are ones that they picked up 
in their native habitat.  That means the disease would already be at 
that site (I very seriously doubt it would completely disappear in a
year).  Rereleasing fish with a disease that is already found at that
location won't change anything.  Plus, this assumes that Tom's fish
will still be diseased after a year in captivity, something that 
seems unlikely.  

In fact I would think that the threat of foreign disease introduction is much higher from people (probably most of us) who dump the water from their weekly water changes down the drain.  That water will eventually make it into lakes and streams.
Even if all of the water going down the drain was treated at a 
water treatment plant that sterilized it, the occasional overflows
(e.g. heavy rains) guarantees that untreated water gets into our
waterways from time to time.  I'm not saying that you are likely 
to introduce exotic diseases this way, but when compared to what Tom
is doing, I'm not sure most of us have room to argue.

Again, I don't think I said much of anything that Tom already didn't
(although any factual errors are completely my own!).
I just wanted be another voice supporting his plan, especially
since a few people still seem to disagree with it.  


Kyle Williams
kyle at onebox.com - email
(707) 583-2064 x2092 - voicemail/fax