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Subject: "RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered" Previous topic | Next topic
MountainBassWed Dec-12-12 09:22 PM
Member since Apr 03rd 2006
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#12128, "RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered"
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Okay. Lots to say. Should just change my dissertation to this.

First and foremost I think it will be supremely important that a collaborative effort takes place between the scientific community and the angling community. There is something incredibly important to both parties that is seriously at stake here: the Clear Lake Hitch.

To the fishing community, the last unique biological aspect of Clear Lake is the Hitch. This is what makes bass fishing different here. There are entire economies based on the hitch; swimbaits made solely to represent the hitch; Tournaments that have been won by capitalizing on the hitch migration. It is a swimbait sized, schooling, smooth, spineless, fish not adapted to sit-and-wait suction feeding, large-mouthed predators. The ultimate food source for a thriving bass population. And until recently, it was seemingly inexhaustible.

To those concerned with biodiversity, as we all should be as true outdoorsmen who seek the intrinsic value of being on the water, there is alarming concern for the loss of a unique entity. Clear Lake is an absolute power plant of a lake in terms of biodiversity and rates of endemism (species only found in one place). There were historically 4 fish that did not exist anywhere in the world except Clear Lake. The Hitch, may be the last if action is not taken.

How can we restore the Clear Lake Hitch and why?

As bass fishermen, it should be obvious that we need the Hitch, much like the bass in my home lake, lake chabot, need trout, if we want to maintain a trophy bass fishery.

As a scientist, we need it because we are concerned about the rapid loss of aquatic biodiversity. The value of biodiversity is unmeasurable. There is economic value such as the bass fishing industry that is drawn to the trophy bass fishery that exists at Clear Lake. There is the ecological value that the Hitch plays a very specific part in the nutrient dynamics of the ecosystem, which can be traced if any willing scientists care to examine the stable isotopic signature of the Nitrogen fixation of the Hitch. And there is an intrinsic value to maintaining biodiversity. This can be felt when you look out off the kelsey creek bridge in the state park and see fish swarming by the thousands.

So how do we do it?

Through collaborative effort. Removing bass is stupid. If anyone thinks the removal of a veracious predator from a lake this size is anything but quixotic, then they need re-examine the literature. Bass are here to stay. And for that matter, they would also have to take on the following veracious predators and pelagic food competitors: Bluegill, green sunfish, (occasional) smallmouth bass, black and white crappie, channel catfish, white catfish, carp, goldfish and Mississippi silverside. The eradication of just one of those would be nearly impossible without the use of rotenone.

So the CBD needs to work on its PR, and actually get us bass anglers on their side for this one. We can work together to get the following done:

1) Remove major spawning barriers on the currently important creeks such as Kelsey creek and Adobe Creek. Further, these creeks should be monitored to ensure that no illegal dumping or drawing of water occurs. This should be done by state agencies, but hell, whats wrong with doing a little vigilante justice if you live in the area?

1.2) move on to the secondary tributaries, removing barriers and limiting water draws. It is even possible that genetically unique populations of some small tributaries may have already gone extinct

2) Ensure that no water removal activities happen during the prime spawning months from the main tributaries.

3) Habitat improvement. We do it when bass are on the line, why not when the best food source of bass are on the line? Get the local bass clubs involved.

4) Ban any commercial harvesting of hitch, and enforce it. call cal-tip. DFG...respond to cal-tip calls!


Here are a couple other suggestions.

Get Tom Steinstra to write an article in the chronicle talking about the "famous and beautiful Hitch run" and watch the visitors and money pour in. I read an article about a little known trial near half moon bay once in the Thursday paper, went there Saturday and had to park a mile away from the entrance! that guy has an active audience. Build the Hitch up as an icon of Clear Lake, take the focus off bass fishing and put it on the habitat degradation, and watch things happen!

Rob, great thinking with the tournament removal of Hitch predation. That is genius and exactly the reason groups like the CBD need to work with us.

I am fizzling out now.

Please keep a positive and active movement here. Dont be a contrarian or close minded like they think us fishermen so often are!

Cheers,
Ryan


Ryan Thoni


If people concentrated on the important things in life there would be a shortage of fishing poles.
~Doug Larson

  

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Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered [View all] , swimbait, Mon Dec-10-12 03:35 PM
  RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 12th 2012, #1
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, swimbait, Dec 12th 2012, #2
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, jigndoublewide, Dec 12th 2012, #3
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 12th 2012 #4
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, SLM, Dec 15th 2012, #10
      RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 15th 2012, #11
           RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, SLM, Dec 15th 2012, #13
           RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 16th 2012, #14
           RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, Urban, Dec 17th 2012, #15
                RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 17th 2012, #16
                RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, SLM, Dec 17th 2012, #17
                     RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 17th 2012, #18
                          RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, SLM, Dec 17th 2012, #19
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, swimbait, Dec 13th 2012, #5
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 14th 2012, #6
      RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, swimbait, Dec 14th 2012, #7
           RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 14th 2012, #8
                RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, jigndoublewide, Dec 15th 2012, #9
                     RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Dec 15th 2012, #12
                          RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, jigndoublewide, Dec 20th 2012, #20
                               RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, dockboy, Jan 11th 2013, #21
                                    RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, MountainBass, Jan 11th 2013, #22
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, swimbait, Apr 08th 2013, #23
RE: Declaring Clear Lake Hitch Threatened or Endangered, swimbait, Apr 24th 2013, #24

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