“Flies, and Their Lawyers, Keep Rare Trout From Going Home”

Silver King Creek

Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal talking about a new legal battle being fought in California, Bugs or Trout?

For the full article, Click Here, for a quick excerpt read below:

MARKLEEVILLE, Calif.—North America’s rarest trout has human allies who want to give it back its ancestral home.

But the fish face an obstacle to their homecoming: bug advocates.

Federal and state game officials want to restore the Paiute cutthroat trout to the range scientists believe it occupied for many millennia—a nine-mile stretch of the Silver King Creek in the Sierra Nevada wilderness.

Yet there are also bugs in those waters—bugs that insect advocates say will be threatened by the fish fans’ proposal.

The result has been a war of words and court challenges between fish allies and bug allies.

“They’re nutty people,” says ichthyologist Robert Behnke, a retired Colorado State University professor and expert on North American trout who calls the bug advocates “obstructionists.”

Opponents allege the trout plan is a plot by anglers who just want to fish for rare species. “Part of the project is to expand the population of fish so they can fish for them,” says Nancy Erman, a retired University of California at Davis insect researcher who raised early objections to the proposal. Ms. Erman studied caddis flies, whose larvae live in cocoons of stream-bed debris.

“It’s a fishing agenda cloaked in environmental language,” says Ann McCampbell, a Santa Fe physician who sued the federal government over the plan.

What do you think? Should they save the trout or the bugs?

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