Published Jan 11. 2007 - 14 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

Grayling - Threatened fish of the year?

Surfing around, as one does, I stumbled on this article.
Being an ethical and avid grayling angler and a member of the Grayling Society, I was some what alarmed.
Like most reports, it may have some element of truth but one can't help but have cause for concern here...
If it's reported in Switzerland...Who's to say what country is next...

This may spur on a political debate - those in agreement and those that say - it's cock and bull.
But 34 "at risk" fish species out of 54?

Interested to hear views...


I always err on the side of...

I always err on the side of conservation. Here in the States there is a brutal discrepency in the statistics between the conservationist/industrialist sides. Statistics are often completely unusable, in my opinion. And one can easily gather statistics favoring their sides agenda. One thing you can be certain of is that there is great pressure on fish species all over the world. Overfishing, waterway re-development and pollution are just three of the more obvious ones.

But some fly fishermen are a threat to the fish populations as well. For example, I recently went up to one of Virginia's tiny jewels, the Rapidan River, and observed a pair of Yuppie fly fishermen, (if you will pardon the expression 'fishermen' please) that were in the act of what they percieved to be fishing. A nice long pool below a small plunging waterfall in this beautiful little freestone stream was entered by one of these men in chest high waders. He walked onto the gravel bed from the foot of the pool until he was up to his waist, within ten feet of the falls, and began thrashing the surface of the pool with a Mickey Finn of huge proportions. It was time for me to be a ruffian.
"Do you know what you are doing?"
"What ?" he answered, but not as in what am I doing, but as in what did you say.
"For one thing you are standing exactly where you should be fishing. Did you know that?"
I did not let him answer.
"And secondly you are killing unborn Brook Trout , probably by the hundreds if not thousands, every time you shuffle your feet. You are destroying the eggs."
"Are you a warden?"
"I am if I want to be," I answered, "and right now I want to be. Why don't you get out of the pool and fish from boulders and the bank for a while."
He complied as his friend stood mutely by following our conversation with quick snaps of his head.
"I'm not trying to be a p++ck. I just care a lot for these trout and must intervene sometimes on their behalf. You understand?"
He did.
I said, "Knock about ten pounds off of your tippet size and use something in a size ten hook that sinks. A nymph, perhaps. That way you might catch something. I don't think that the method that you have chosen is going to be productive today."
I rode off into the sunset. I should have broken their fly rods and told them to watch football for the rest of their lives. But believe it or not, I know that the future of fishing is in their hands. From their interest and thousands of others like them lies the basic fule that will provide for the safe future of these fish. Money. It is probably the most important thing for the conservation of anything natural in this world. Without ti, we lose.

Hi Ripley...

Hi Ripley

Thank you for opening this interesting discussion and it would be great if such initiatives were taken in other countries too. We have the same problem here in Italy where grayling and also Marble trout are in serious danger due to the construction of HE plants etc. Unfortunately as long as we are so dependent on petrolium as a major source of energy and with global warming being such a serius threat the the plant's environment, there is precious little we can do, except perhaps to push the authorities to allow the contruction of such plants only after a careful study and with systems that would allow for a constant and more natural flow of the waters.

PS please inform me on how to attach photos.


DistantStreams's picture


Global warming is definately and issue. My research has concluded that the temperatures are rising and my figures were compared with other results from all over Denmark - Almost identical.
Trees give a firm indication of the weather from years past in their growth rings when felled. Documenting the weather in tree growth from as early as the 1900's is like reading a book.

No doubt that this domino effect will spread throughout the globe not over months but certainly 10's / 100's of years.
Man doesn't help with the construction of dams and removing of waterside vegetation and ill-planned farming practices.

I had a letter from a grayling Society friend in Austria and he's says that trout are on the decline in parts of the southern region. Man has played an important part there but pollution has started also to creep in from neighbouring countries and through acid rain.

The plot thickens.



>>>>....there is precious little we can do, except perhaps to push the authorities to allow the contruction of such plants only after a careful study and with systems that would allow for a constant and more natural flow of the waters.<<<<

That doesn't sound like precious little. That sounds like we can do quite a lot. And how do you push authorities around. In this country it is done with lobbyists and the way to a lobbyist's heart is with money or the promise of money. How many on GFF communicate with their govenors, presidents, kings and queens, mayors and senators? Email, telephone and letter writing campaigns in this country have done much in the favor of conservation. We are allowed to change our governments methods by voting for people that represent our views. One of the problems there is that it takes a lot of time. Sometimes the amount of time it takes is enough time for the damage to be done. Another problem is that sometimes the person that we vote for loses the election. It is a long, tough battle. After the desire has been excited to do the right thing and the passion is there, money is by far the most important element of a conservationists fight. Many of our biggest conservation societies have learned that when you fight big corporations with unlimited funds you must make yourself into a corporation, too.


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