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Re: Exotics

Hi Sam,

	I am not able to speak for the DNR, but seems to me that at some point
we have to let those guys do their job themselves.
	What I mean is this, many factors can affect whether or not a given
species is capable of establishing itself in the wild. I'd say these
folks really don't check each and every species of aquarium fish (exotic
or not) as to just what particular factor will stop it, but I'm sure
they use common guidelines on most of these decisions where called for,
such as factoring the native range of the fish for cold tolerance, and
perhaps even going so far as checking into whether studies have been
done on the life history of the fish that would indicate other factors
like water quality, breeding behavior, and such. Maybe they even take
into account the general suitability and popularity as aquarium fish to
judge the degree of difficulty to maintain these fish even by someone
assisting them.
	Now we can use some guidelines here ourselves, just to see whether
these fish can pass our admittedly non sophisticated tests. Can these
fish arrange to have themselves moved to public water? No? Well... maybe
that's too obvious, so lets try another. Can these fish live in your
freezer? No? Well, we may be on to something!
	I joke here, but you get my drift, most of us aren't fisheries
biologist, and can only go by what they tell us at some point. If they
say on their own published document that the list of prohibited exotics
is xyz, then who are we to argue? They have good reasons to list these
fish as prohibited, and since all others are not on the list, we can
only assume that they have done their job and found no other fish to be
a problem in their opinion. We can assume that there may come a day that
they reassess their findings for a particular species, but till them,
let them do their job is what I say.
	We can check into it further for you if you want to go there though.
Please don't think I'm not sympathetic to the fellow trying to follow
the law, but the law needs clarification, and even the agency that
administers the law has no clearcut answers for you. Bet on that!


Samuel J. Petrie wrote:
> As I said in my first (inadvertent) post, it is a little unclear to me
> how one can be certain whether a given fish could survive outside it's
> normal range. Even though I would never release a native aquarium fish,
> I think that it is important for people such as us who are interested in
> keeping native fish to set a good example by learning and obeying state
> fishing regulations. If they mean only that the listed species (ruffe,
> sea lamprey, etc) are prohibited,  that makes it simple. But if they
> mean it more broadly, that no species capable of surviving in the state
> can be brought across the state border, then it gets more complicated.
> It is probably safe to say that an Everglades Pygmy Sunfish couldn't
> live this far north, but what about, say, an Orangebelly Darter? I don't
> know how you could know with certainty.
> Am I reading too much into this? I would love to hear from anyone who
> has encountered this issue before.
> Sam