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Re: NFC: Goldfish chase trout away

I cant imagine bait bucket stocking and released pets could explode like
that. I would have thought they would have been easy targets for predation
being bright orange and all. A lot of people must have dump a lot of fish.
Though I do have memories of my mother catching goldfish (or maybe they were
small koi or somethingelse altogether since I was only about 5) in Raystown
Dam in C. PA. 

Well you ERP folks better come up for a good recipe for goldfish. 


Eric R. Coffman 

At 07:33 PM 6/16/99 -0600, you wrote:
>Here is an intresting article that my mom sent me. It came from the
>albuquerque journal
>We are going do do some exotic removal this weekend. it is going to be
>~~Sally Johnson~~~~~~~www.unm.edu/~sbuna~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>It's smegging stupid. Two grown men on unicycles belting a beach ball up
>and down the corridor...with french loaves.
>Sunday, June 13, 1999
>Page: A1
>Fritz Thompson Journal Staff Writer
>Pet-Store-Variety Swimmers Frustrate Quemado Visitors
>QUEMADO LAKE -- Seen from the high road in the mountains, Quemado Lake
>sparkles sapphire blue.
>But up close, easily visible from shore, the lake shimmers with shifting
>clouds of orange.
>It's not chemical pollution: This Catron County lake is instead infested
>with hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of goldfish.
>They are bright orange and average 8 or so inches long. They are not koi:
>They are the kind of goldfish you would more likely find in fishbowls in
>pet stores
>and homes.
>And their presence in Quemado Lake has evolved into a huge problem for the
>New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
>More and more fishermen are clamoring for action. Quemado Lake, they say,
>has become so overrun with goldfish that the rainbow trout that used to
>dominate these waters are being crowded to death.
>A government biologist says the goldfish fare better than trout in the
>murky depths of the lake.
>"Goldfish are like people who like to hang out in smoky bars," said U.S.
>Forest Service biologist Pat Morrison of Quemado. "Trout are like guys who
>have to
>get outside with their beer."
>Just a drop in the bucket
>Earlier this year, the game department and the Forest Service made a stab
>at solving the problem before they knew it would entail a lot of red tape.
>nets, they hauled 5{ tons of goldfish out of the lake.
>Fishery officials say it was a drop in the bucket.
>"When we took the 51/2 tons out, it didn't make a dent," said Morrison. "We
>could have taken 30 tons out if we'd had the manpower."
>"It is a much, much bigger problem than we had imagined," said Ernest
>Jaquez, southwest fisheries manager for the department. "We took out 40,000
>45,000 goldfish and it hardly made a difference. There might be millions
>School after school of goldfish glides near the surface of the lake. The
>fish congregate in the coves, swim leisurely along the shoreline, hang
>around the boat
>dock, cluster in all parts of the lake's 131 acres. You can spot an orange
>hue in the water from atop the hillside a hundred yards away.
>Experts suspect the fish came from people who discarded their pet goldfish
>or fishermen using them for bait.
>Jaquez said the goldfish "have responded to their environment by growing
>bigger than the ones in a goldfish bowl. The little ones you have at home
>stay little
>because they're in a little habitat. These are the same kind of goldfish,
>but they have a whole lake, so they just keep growing."
>Fishermen have reported some 14-inchers, but nobody seems interested in
>catching them on a hook.
>The goldfish are being blamed for such a downturn in business at nearby
>Snuffy's store, restaurant and bar that the establishment closed for longer
>than usual
>last winter. Fishermen quit coming because there weren't many rainbow
>trout, said Snuffy's manager Martha Mendoza.
>"If we'd had good fishing we wouldn't have had to shut our doors," she
>said. "And we didn't have good fishing because of the goldfish."
>Jaquez blamed the genesis of the goldfish problem on what he called the
>"Free Willie" syndrome, making reference to the movie that featured the
>release of a
>captive whale.
>"Somebody's mom said, 'I'm tired of taking care of these fish for you, I'm
>going to get rid of them,' '' Jaquez theorized. "And the kids said, 'No,
>no, don't flush
>them down the toilet.' So they dumped them in the lake."
>He said the only other plausible theory rests with fishermen who might have
>illegally used live goldfish as trout bait. Either the bait goldfish
>escaped into the
>lake or extras were turned loose.
>Goldfish have been in Quemado Lake for at least seven years, area residents
>said. Jaquez said other lakes in New Mexico might have goldfish, but none
>populations anywhere near what's in Quemado Lake.
>El Nino and the warm winters seem to have worked to the benefit of the
>goldfish and to the detriment of the trout.
>The two have different diets, and the algae-eating goldfish are more
>adaptable to stagnant, warm water than the trout. When the goldfish spawned
>this year,
>the population, already high, just exploded.
>Morrison said the goldfish simply crowd the trout out. "Trout don't
>directly compete with goldfish (for food), but the goldfish pack in such a
>mass that they
>occupy places where the trout might otherwise be," she said. "It's a space
>type thing."
>The 51/2 tons of goldfish that were removed were spread as fertilizer on a
>piece of range land outside Quemado.
>That initial mass extraction of goldfish was made by the Forest Service, in
>cooperation with the state Department of Game and Fish, which asked for the
>The Game and Fish Department operates the dam and the lake under a permit
>from the Forest Service. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest operates the
>surrounding campgrounds and picnic areas.
>Jaquez said Game and Fish managers will sit down in July and figure out a
>way to eradicate the goldfish. There are several ways: They can use chemical
>poison, electrical shock, simple netting or a combination.
>Jaquez said the department must prepare an environmental assessment, hold
>public hearings and follow the guidelines of the National Environmental
>He said nothing will happen to the goldfish until next year.
>Fishermen discouraged
>Meanwhile, some fishermen are saying they won't bother putting their lines
>in Quemado Lake anytime soon.
>"We went there Memorial Day weekend and didn't catch a thing," said Linda
>Lorenz, an avid angler and an employee of Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque.
>"We caught some trout last year, but this year all you can see are
>goldfish. They're disgusting."
>While she was there, Lorenz watched a fishing derby with a jackpot for the
>biggest trout. "Nobody was catching many trout," she said. "They should have
>given a prize instead for catching the most goldfish. The fishing was so
>bad, everybody left."
>Jaquez said you don't need a state fishing license to catch goldfish, as
>long as you're using a net. But you'd better have one if you have a pole.
>"You might have a tough time convincing a Game and Fish warden you're
>holding a fishing rod but (that) you're only fishing for goldfish," he said.
>Fishing for trout from the bank of Quemado Lake on a recent morning, Patty
>Preston and her family from Datil said nobody got a nibble. She was
>at the number of goldfish and wondered if there were any trout at all.
>At Snuffy's, Martha Mendoza is planning fishing derbies for the coming
>weekends with the jackpot going to whoever catches the most goldfish.
>"It's the least we can do," she said.
>PHOTO: Color
>INTERLOPER: Multiply this surfacing goldfish by a few million and you'll
>get an idea of how many there may be in Quemado Lake in Catron County.
>PHOTO: b/w
>NO TROUT: Patty Preston of Datil has not had any luck this year. With her
>on this outing were her father, Mike Murray, and nephews Zackery and Steven
>                   All content copyright  1999 Albuquerque Journal and may
>not be republished without permission.
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