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Lawmakers OK alewives bill

809 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sandybeach
Article from Bangor Daily News

"An amended bill to allow sea-run alewives back into a part of the St. Croix River received approval in both houses of the Legislature last week.

On Friday, LD 1957 was headed for the governor?s desk for a signature."


It does not say it in the article, but I am pretty sure there was a lot of support from commercial and recreational fisherman for the original bill which would have opened it up even more. I know that a while back there was a quite a lot of buzz around this bill, I am 99.9% sure it was the original bill. It sounds like the people who fish the river did not want that and were going to stop it unless there was a compromise, so this will have to do. Better than nothing!

(I am pretty surprised though that the tribe and the guides were so opposed to this. I would think that the alewives would be good for food, for both fisherman and the fish like smallmouth bass (which in turn is good for the fisherman). They are the ones who know the river the best so maybe there is something I am missing here.)

This post edited by twofinbluna 01:51 AM 04/09/2008
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With the way alewife population is going it may be a meaningless gesture. :mad:
twofinbluna wrote:
makomakoman wrote:

It has to do with the last time they opened the gate and had an alewife run, the fishing for the Smallmouth was horrible that year. They believe the 2 species eat the same food and would compete. One year does not make a study and they need to let this run its course.

Smallmouth is not a native species for that region, but it does bring a lot of revenue to the guides and camps of that depressed county.

I figured it was something like that. I do not know enough about the alewives and smallmouth bass to say for sure, but I just find it hard to believe that alewives are that problematic. Do they really eat the same things? Apparently some guys up there think so...

Since the smallmouths are real important to that area they should probably be careful but I still find it hard to support purposefully blocking alewives from accessing the river just to maybe help out the smallmouth bass fishery. It would be one thing if I believed alewives and smallmouths competed, but I have my doubts about that. But again, thats just my 2 cents, I do not know enough about the issue there to say what should or should not happen. I would think that alewives would be a good food source for smallmouths and other predator fish in the river.

And like you, I am not sure what the tribe is thinking going against this. It may be about politics and sovereignty and not fish, so who knows.

FWIW introduced alewives are credited with the success of the salmon stocking program in the great lakes. Evidently they provide a large part of the forage for the salmon.
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So its only trhe runs in CT, RI and MA that are depeleted?
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