Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More on the proposed Batten Kill Stocking

More on the controversy over the proposed stocking of sterile rainbow trout in the Batten Kill river.

To hardcore fly fishermen, the idea of stocking it with rainbow trout is like allowing Major League Baseball players to use aluminum bats. They're happy to release what they catch.

More casual anglers, on the other hand, want more more fish in the river -- and the right to keep what they catch.

The Boston Globe reports that some are calling it class warfare:

It's evolved into a class thing," said Arlington Town Clerk Birdie Wyman, who has lived her whole life on the Batten Kill but gave up fishing in part because there were too many other people using the river.

You will recall that Orvis threatened to withdraw a $100,000 if the state went ahead with the planned stocking. While the state recently agreed to re-think their position, the final decision will not be made until early 2007. Sadly, the battle here could boil down more to one of perceptions and nostalgia rather than the protection of wild trout.

You never see a kid with a can of worms fishing any more," Wyman said. "My grandchildren have no concept of how much fun it used to be to fish that river."

Quick someone take Mr. Wyman's grand kids fly fishing!


Trout Underground said...

Just wondering -- where did you get the news that the decision wouldn't be made until early 2007? It's not in the Boston.com story...

As for the issue degenerating into a class war, well... something similar happened on the Upper Sacramento River a few years ago when the catch & kill section (complete with rubber trout) was lengthened.

While it wasn't possible to make an argument to extend the section from a science perspective, it was relatively easy to play the "those out of town fly fishers fish here while our own kids can't dunk worms and keep fish."

There are of course almost zero kids living along the affected stretch, but false populism is never pretty and hard to argue.

Let's hope the Batten Kill fares better

Murdock said...


I agree with you and it is obvious that those who favor the stocking of rainbows are trying every PR tactic possible to get their way.

As for the time frame for the decision, I inferred it from this:

"Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Wayne LaRoche is expected to decide sometime early next year whether to go ahead with the stocking plan, which is part of a broader plan to restore habitat on the river."

Let me know if you have heard differently. I had originally thought it would be made this month.