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Discuss issues concerning the Pennsylvania Fishery.
Moderator: Thomas Steele
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
by Cornbread » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:24 pm
This was posted by fishinfool25 on the Ohio page. I want to get it out there so we as fishermen can come together and make this right. Call your represenatives, call your congressman, call someone. Just don't sit back hoping it will go away.
Federal ban on fish shipments criticized
Steelhead program, bait fish could be hit
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Plain Dealer Columnist
An emergency federal ruling this week could drive up live bait prices and jeopardize Ohio's extremely popular steelhead trout program.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday banned interstate shipments of many live fish from Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Fisheries managers around the Great Lakes are unhappy with the ruling.
The rare emergency edict was implemented, said an APHIS official, to stop Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS), a saltwater virus that found its way into the Great Lakes.
Over the last two years, VHS has been blamed for the deaths of sheepshead in Lake Erie, round gobies in Lake Ontario and muskies in the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.
The emergency order by APHIS has far-reaching implications.
It prevents Ohio from trading channel catfish with Michigan for steelhead trout, the prime ingredient for Ohio's famous cold-water fishery.
Local bait dealers say it would drive up the price of baitfish, injuring a billion-dollar sport fishing industry, and could put small Ohio tackle shops out of business.
Cleveland-area bait shops get the majority of their emerald shiner minnows from Buffalo, N.Y.
The fathead minnows sold at shops on inland reservoirs are predominantly shipped here from Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to wholesaler Gene Cizmadia of Crawlers Unlimited in Hinckley. Those shipments are now banned under APHIS guidelines.
"This has been simmering for a long time," said Ray Petering, the head of fisheries management for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "The Great Lakes states have been crying for 15 years about the ballast water of ocean freighters introducing invasive species to the Great Lakes. As of today, APHIS has done nothing.
"Then VHS shows up for a couple of months, and wham, we get a federal order and can't move live fish within the Great Lakes states."
Great Lakes fisheries managers had asked APHIS to remain on the sidelines as the Great Lakes Fisheries Health Committee studied the VHS problem, said Petering. The ban announced Monday surprised officials and the fishing tackle industry. Ohio officials are scrambling to figure out how to maintain the steelhead trout fishery.
WHAT IS THE LONG TERM IMPACT AND WHAT CAN WE DO AS STEELHEADERS?
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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