View Single Post
Old 05-16-2019, 02:25 PM
Westy's Avatar
Westy Westy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,289
Originally Posted by bgiordano View Post
Joe is right that the Reservation is not public land. It is not managed by AZGFD, it is managed by the Tribe. The decisions on what should count in this challenge were made by the management agencies that are working with WNTI on it. In this case, the only AZ managed streams with Apache Trout that are certain to be pure fish were chosen by AZGFD for the challenge. Some creeks have hybrids and may contain pure fish. But when you are looking at applications, it's easier to narrow down the focus and not have to look at each individual fish someone catches to determine if it counts. By narrowing the streams, managers can more efficiently tell you if the fish is caught. I assure you that AZGFD chose the streams that they can definitively tell you it's a pure fish without having to look at every entry.

Also, consider the flip side. Let's say an angler is allowed to count a fish they catch in any stream that contains that native salmonid for this challenge. So an angler travels to a creek from a few states over and catches a fish but doesn't not have the fish ID skills to identify a hybrid, or even know hybrids exist. They catch a fish that looks, to them, like the native trout they are after. The submit it and then find out that it was a hybrid. Now they've "wasted" a trip on a fish that doesn't "count" towards the challenge. I can imagine the nasty phone calls either WNTI or the regional biologists would get for that.

By having designated streams or lakes for where you can catch these fish is an attempt to minimize those types of issues. This challenge is supposed to fun. Yes, it's not all encompassing. But it's intended to raise awareness of native fish and get people to places they would likely not have traveled to.

Your concern about pressure may be why Montana decided to go with their stocked only restrictions. But also could be due to the amount of hybrid populations a lot of the West has and the uncertainty with fish ID skills. I am not sure on that.

Each state created their own rules and what they wanted to have counted towards to the challenge. They manage the fisheries, so they came up what would be easiest to work with for challenge.
Makes sense from the perspective of managing the participants work. Part of the experience in fly fishing I believe is exploring, doing some homework, mapping, scouting and trying to locate fish. All that's basically erased mostly with these maps and precise locations listed. Its fishing afterall.

I see in many states even more details provided as to where or how. I'd sure like to think this challenge broadcasted over social media wouldn't have detrimental impacts down the road.

It is good to see more awareness and dialogue about native trout and their importance coming forefront these days and all the efforts being made by these different agencies and organizations working together to help re-establish better native trout habitats and fisheries.
Reply With Quote