As glaciers retreat, new streams for salmon

Ecologist Sandy Milner has traveled to Alaska for decades to study the development of streams flowing from melting glaciers
After a day of sampling for aquatic invertebrates, researchers head along a creek in Alaska to their boat anchored in Glacier Bay. The ecology of Wolf Point Creek, which emerged from a melting glacier, has been studied for decades (photo: Lesley Evans Ogden).

Pushing off from the dock on a boat called the Capelin, Sandy Milner’s small team of scientists heads north, navigating through patchy fog past a behemoth cruise ship. As the Capelin slows to motor through humpback whale feeding grounds, distant plumes of their exhalations rise from the surface on this calm July morning. Dozens of sea otters dot the water. Lolling on backs, some with babes in arms, they turn their heads curiously as the boat speeds by.

It looked like he knew what he was doing

Some anglers are no match for the most challenging hatches
Photo: Tim Schulz.

I have a friend who casts a fly for neither distance nor accuracy nor stealth. Aside from those limitations, he’s a splendid fisherman. It’s not for lack of strength or dexterity or intellect that he casts with less than average skill. Warren is a farm boy from Catawba, Wisconsin, and he has the farm-boy frame you’d expect: bone, muscle and gristle. He learned to play ice hockey and fly airplanes in his forties.

More evidence that releasing hatchery-reared native fish is harmful

A new study reinforces claims that augmenting or attempting to rescue native fish populations with hatchery raised additions is a recipe for failure
Spawning pink salmon clog a river in BC (photo: B. Finestone).

The impacts of rearing and stocking non-native fish into watersheds where they don’t belong are well understood: undue competition for limited resources, hybridization, predation — the list goes on. In the American West, we’ve seen how introduced brook trout outcompete native cutthroat trout and eventually take over; or how rainbow trout mingle with native cutthroat trout during the spring spawn and produce a fertile hybrid that slowly eats away at native fish genetics.

Florida's redfish are also on drugs

Contamination by human pharmaceuticals is widespread in key Florida gamefish species
A redfish tail (photo: Pat Ford).

A new study conducted by Florida International University and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust has revealed that Florida redfish are contaminated with high concentrations of human pharmaceuticals. The study follows a similar one from last year which revealed the widespread presence of pharmaceutical contaminants in Florida bonefish.

Live Q&A: Becoming a well-rounded fly angler

Join us live at 8 PM on Wednesday, March 29 for another live event with The School of Trout
Instructors John Juracek [left] and Brant Oswald [right] from The School of Trout (photo: Tim Romano).

Most of us still learn how to fly fish through old-fashioned trial-and-error. If a technique works consistently, we continue to employ it. If it doesn’t, we either attempt to tweak it or give up on it completely and move on to something new. And there are no shortage of virtues that arise from being self-taught. Hard-earned skills and experience are often the most valuable, and experimentation on the water is the stuff well-rounded anglers are borne of.