[Reading] ➻ An Entirely Synthetic Fish By Anders Halverson – Dolove.info
A fabulous story about the consequences of meddling with nature this book by a Professor of ecology and avid fly fisherman traces the spread of a single species of fish around the globe and the resultant impact on the habitats in which it has been introduced Worth reading it for the history, the natural history and the allegory. So many palm to forehead moments were had while I read An Entirely Synthetic Fish The biggest one came for me toward the end where the author makes the persuasive, complicated case that in many watersheds the rainbow trout has led to the functional extinction of certain pureblooded native trout, even though the trout in those waters still look like the original native trout Whoa The vigor by which mankind has spread this fish far wide across the globe is rather astounding, and the fish have responded in kind, much to the detriment of many other species, piscine, amphibian, and invertebrate I had no idea that an individual fish species has had such an impact across the many ecosystems of the United States alone Amazing I need to share this book with my pal Dave Diamond He might enjoy this book The tussles between researchers, who learned that fish stocking, and in particular airborne fish stocking, was simply a wasteful practice in many western watersheds, and the state fish wildlife people who had careers comprised of decades worth of fish stocking, was quite memorable Who likes to hear their life s work was simply a futile waste of taxpayers funds Anders Halverson Provides An Exhaustively Researched And Grippingly Rendered Account Of The Rainbow Trout And Why It Has Become The Most Commonly Stocked And Controversial Freshwater Fish In The United States Discovered In The Remote Waters Of Northern California, Rainbow Trout Have Been Artificially Propagated And Distributed For Than Years By Government Officials Eager To Present Americans With An Opportunity To Get Back To Nature By Going Fishing Proudly Dubbed An Entirely Synthetic Fish By Fisheries Managers, The Rainbow Trout Has Been Introduced Into Every State And Province In The United States And Canada And To Every Continent Except Antarctica, Often With Devastating Effects On The Native Fauna Halverson Examines The Paradoxes And Reveals A Range Of Characters, From Nineteenth Century Boosters Who Believed Rainbows Could Be The Saviors Of Democracy To Twenty First Century Biologists Who Now Seek To Eradicate Them From Waters Around The Globe Ultimately, The Story Of The Rainbow Trout Is The Story Of Our Relationship With The Natural World How It Has Changed And How It Startlingly Has Not Amazing book Especially for someone like me who has spent much of his life in pursuit of various trout I was worried this book might be too scientific and full of jargon that the non scientist might find hard to understand, but it was actually a very enjoyable and easily read book I learned so much from this book and I plan to talk about it amongst my fishing buddies when we are out on the Rogue or Deschutes some time. It is sad to learn that all American streams, except perhaps in Alaska, have been stocked with non native fish The extent to which nature has been altered is sobering.The author is a journalist with a Ph.D in ecology The writing is engaging and the subject is well researched I supposed what one gets from this book will vary depending on how much one already knows about trout in North America For me, this wasn t much The book tells what original ranges were of the various trout and a little history of how these developed after the last ice age There is not a lot of detail on this, but just enough for developing a general concept that can be remembered The main point of the book is what people have done with trout in North America The background for this is the destruction of water bodies in the eastern U.S a century after the founding of the country, and the acceptance of this in prevailing attitudes at the time While I knew something about how rivers in the east had been dammed, I didn t realize how much they had also been polluted, and I had no idea that this was seen as an unavoidable cost of civilization It s hard to know from this era, but the author claims the prevailing wisdom of the late 19 century was that habitat destruction was inevitable and regulation of polluters or of fisheries was unthinkable Regulation of hunting or fishing was thought of as an unacceptable throw back to the aristocratic rule of the old world This meant that stocking hatchery fish was the only way to provide for sport fisheries Joseph Remy and Antoine Gehin were the first people known to propagate fish in a hatchery in France in the mid 1800 s Shortly afterward, many states in the U.S had established fish commissions which propagated and stocked fish In covering rainbow trout, the book touches on many things, including movements to import old world species to North America and also to establish new world species in other parts of the world , early taxonomic problems with the salmon genus, the massive project to kill all the fish in the Green River prior to it being dammed and then stocking it with rainbow trout, the beginnings of the Endangered Species Act, how it was found that stocking fish actually decreased fish populations, the beginnings of Trout Unlimited, the discovery of whirling disease and its impact and relationship to hatcheries, hybridization of hatchery rainbow trout with native cutthroat trout, the stocking of the lakes of the high Sierras including carpet bombing techniques , and the eventual discovery that these fish were driving native frogs to extinction The writing jumps around in time enough to make me wonder why it is organized quite the way it is It could be fluid, but is still very readable. Eighty million Rainbow Trout are stocked in American waters every year In total, nearly 20 million pounds That s 20 trout per every new American born every year Since the 1870s Rainbows have been introduced into every State and eighty different countries The genes of this fish can be traced to fish that lived in the upper reaches of the McCloud River in California Today, there are than 75 strains of Rainbow Trout, genetically manipulated to living in a wide range of conditions, hence the title An Entirely Synthetic Fish But this book is so much than the history of Oncorhynchus mykiss and I recommend it to anyone interested fishery biology, wild life, fly fishing, American history and conservation issues.I particularly enjoyed the book s history on American sport fishing An outdoor life, that included hunting and fishing, was thought to cultivate citizens with a variety important personal qualities such as courage and independence But in the 19th Century there was a fear we would become a less bold and spirited nation because of the loss sport fishing due to decreasing wild fish populations which was being caused by agriculture, lumbering, mining, the growth of cities, loss of natural habitats and the over harvesting of fish America used a technology fix to the loss fishing game through fish cultural There were public and private attempts to raise fish in hatcheries to replace diminishing wild fish Even the esteemed nature writer John Muir suggested putting fish in American waters to draw people to wild places Fish were planted everywhere Federal and State Fishing Commissions went so far as poison rivers to kill all native fish and replace them with sport fish like the Rainbow Among the 1000 high mountain lakes of the West only 5% contained fish 100 years ago By carpet bombing those lakes with trout dropped from surplus WWII bombers 60% of those lakes now have fish.This view of putting hatchery fish everywhere is changing Some river systems are no longer stocking fish, allowing the populations to grow wild There are efforts to return native fish to their historical waters and remove non native fish But overall, the places where non native fish have been planted are much greater than the number of places where non native fishes have been removed.Read this book for the big questions How do we balance the many competing interests over natural resources But, importantly, what is our place in nature Our we its stewards Masters As the author says, I have become convinced the root of many of these disputes lies in deeply held, seldom dicsussed beliefs about the rightful human place in the natural world. I sincerely enjoyed the read Given Halverson s academic background, I suppose I expected of an academic, technical writing style not necessarily a vocabulary that is technical to the point of cumbersome which would really be inappropriate and quickly descend into gobbledygook in a text marketed to the general public , but the sparser writing style that I would expect of a professional scientist, a style reduced to almost bare bones concision This book is very much not that It is a warmly conversational and sincerely entertaining discussion, all in easily understood lay terms that belies the suite of very technical concepts that is its subject matter Simply anybody who appreciates the fact that fish exist is likely to be able to easily digest the contents of this book and be enriched for it.Halverson truly endeavors to set historic management decisions regarding rainbow trout, coldwater fisheries, and aquaculture in a historical context considering the best status quo management practices of their time to make those stocking decisions of the past not seem so damning from a current conservationist perspective However, while striving to give an objective voice to the other side, his personal and subjective perhaps even just a little judgmental feelings of presented historic situations seem evident.This book is also entertaining throughout I really enjoyed the presentation of history of some of North America s pioneers of ichthyology, fisheries management, and aquaculture The chapter on some of the seeming absurdities of the aerial stocking from airplane of aquatic organisms occasionally had me audibly guffawing.Check it and become mentally enriched, all my ichthyic homies. I m not a big fan of fishing, but I am a big fan of fish, and this well researched book sheds a lot of light on trout, fish hatcheries I enjoy them so much we visited one on our honeymoon , and the practice of stocking I naively thought that many rivers, streams, and lakes were in a natural state as far as fish populations go, but Halverson educated me about wild, native, and hatchery raised trout, and much of the history behind them The chapter on Chronic Whirling Disease is especially informative I ve never though of Trout Unlimited as an influential lobbying organization, but I do now A really interesting, and well researched book about the perils of messing with Mother Nature in this case, by introducing rainbow trout to bodies of water for the purpose of creating excellent fishing spots This book is also quite well written. I ll never look at any trout the same way It s not just for people who like fish it s a great book for anyone interested in nature and the history of our country.