Monday, March 9, 2009

A Guardian of the Bull Trout

Nate Morgan with a 30" Metolius Bull Trout
I recently received some very inspiring news from my good friend and fishing buddy Nate Morgan. Nate manages a building supply store and is surrounded by fellow outdoorsman. Well years ago Nate, some other employees, and customers started a Bull Trout Derby. The derby has grown and now has 40-50 participants. While I have not been to one of the derbies I hear it is a really fun event. In the past this has been a contest won by bringing in the largest DEAD Bull Trout. The derby takes place on Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon and "LBC" is one of the only places in the United States where you can kill Bull Trout, as long as it is over 24". That adds up to a lot of dead Bulls just during the derby, not to mention the rest of the fishing season. Needless to say this is a massive hit to the Bull Trout and as a species listed under the ESA it should be illegal. Nate feels the exact same way and asked all the participants what they thought about changing the rules of the game and use other methods to declare a winner. A majority of them agreed and now the derby is CNR. Great Job Nate.
There are many tournaments like this on "LBC" all or most are catch and kill and show off. How does this happen to an endangered species? I don't know. But I know it shouldn't and I know thousands of others agree with me. Nate and I have decided that we have to do our best to protect these fish. So now the question is, "How do we get ODFW to change the regulates to a state wide ban on killing Bull Trout?" That will be our mission. I know it will be a long and hard battle but fish is our passion and we have to care for and watch over our passions. Even fight for them.

Look for up-coming posts on how you can help protect this amazing species of fish!


lynneajean said...

Very good ideas here... I will keep watching for info on how to help. Have fun if you participate in the derby!

matt_stansberry said...

Nice work getting the derby Catch and Release. Shoot me a note some time, I'm interested in how your ODFW petition is going.