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NFC: Fish News

Got the February issue of "North American Fisherman" in the mail yesterday,
and it has some info I thought some of you might find interesting.

1. PETA's anti-fishing campaign, now in its 5th year, is failing miserably.
3,100 Americans were recently surveyed, and the following statistics were

94% had fished in the past 2 years
3% of those disapproved of fishing
4% of the non-anglers disapproved of fishing

Uh-oh PETA people, better keep your day jobs! In an attempt to disrupt a
childrens' fishing event last year, PETA had some chick in a mermaid outfit
floating on a boat and holding a sign saying "Hooks Hurt." This was reported
to be largely ignored. Gee, what a shame.

2. A largemouth bass-killing virus is spreading through the southern states.
It was first documented in South Carolina in '95. 1,000 bass fell to the
virus in the Santee-Cooper reservoir system that year. In '98, the virus
showed up in the Sardis Reservoir in Mississippi, killing 6,000 largemouths.
Texas waters have been struck with virus-related die-offs for the past 2

How the virus is transmitted has not been determined, but it does seem to
strike hardest in heavily fished water systems. According to the article,
"the virus affects a fish's gall bladder, causing a cheesey substance to
build up before hemorrhaging in the bladder. External sores and lesions
found on infected bass are not the cause of death, but they may be
symptomatic of recent stress."

3. Last summer I posted an article from the Chicago Tribune, concerning the
US Army Corps of Engineers' plans to construct an electric barrier on the
Cal-Sag Channel near Romeoville, IL to stop the spread of the dreaded round
goby. The unwanted exotic has now passed the proposed barrier site, but the
Corps will be building it anyway this coming June. Good timing guys. They're
hoping the gobies found past the barrier site will not be enough to
establish a permanent population. Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but something
tells me my tax dollars would be better spent if the barrier were moved
beyond where the gobies have been caught.

On a side note, the IDNR has been sending out little comparison kits that
display a round goby and some kind of sculpin, side by side, in glass tubes.
Though some of you experienced fish IDers might be able to tell the
difference, the rest of us would be hard-put to figure out which is which.
The difference, as pointed out on the kits, is in the bottom fins. I have
seen the kits in several bait shops and at several fishing expos. With all
the hype about having to destroy any round gobie encountered, and the
similarities they have with the sculpin, I wonder how many sculpins are
being squashed by mistake.

Tony Gustafson
DeKalb, IL
The only problem with the gene pool is 
there is no lifeguard.

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