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Please help. End of Ohio steelhead as we know it???

2006/10/28 10:58
Posts: 0
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We here in Ohio need your help. The USDA has enacted the following legislation that goes into effect immediatly and could endanger our steelhead fisherie ( I know it's stocked). Would you please help. Read the article and please consider signing the petition below.

Thursday, October 26, 2006
D'Arcy Egan
Plain Dealer Columnist
An emergency federal ruling this week could drive up live bait prices and jeopardize Ohio's extremely popular steelhead trout program.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday banned interstate shipments of many live fish from Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Fisheries managers around the Great Lakes are unhappy with the ruling.

The rare emergency edict was implemented, said an APHIS official, to stop Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS), a saltwater virus that found its way into the Great Lakes.

Over the last two years, VHS has been blamed for the deaths of sheepshead in Lake Erie, round gobies in Lake Ontario and muskies in the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.

The emergency order by APHIS has far-reaching implications.

It prevents Ohio from trading channel catfish with Michigan for steelhead trout, the prime ingredient for Ohio's famous cold-water fishery.

Local bait dealers say it would drive up the price of baitfish, injuring a billion-dollar sport fishing industry, and could put small Ohio tackle shops out of business.

Cleveland-area bait shops get the majority of their emerald shiner minnows from Buffalo, N.Y.

The fathead minnows sold at shops on inland reservoirs are predominantly shipped here from Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to wholesaler Gene Cizmadia of Crawlers Unlimited in Hinckley. Those shipments are now banned under APHIS guidelines.

"This has been simmering for a long time," said Ray Petering, the head of fisheries management for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "The Great Lakes states have been crying for 15 years about the ballast water of ocean freighters introducing invasive species to the Great Lakes. As of today, APHIS has done nothing.

"Then VHS shows up for a couple of months, and wham, we get a federal order and can't move live fish within the Great Lakes states."

Great Lakes fisheries managers had asked APHIS to remain on the sidelines as the Great Lakes Fisheries Health Committee studied the VHS problem, said Petering. The ban announced Monday surprised officials and the fishing tackle industry. Ohio officials are scrambling to figure out how to maintain the steelhead trout fishery.

Link to petition


Posted on: 2006/10/28 11:00

Re: Please help. End of Ohio steelhead as we know it???

2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
Posts: 0

Never heard of that virus. I'll have to look more into this one. If it is necessary to save the best freshwater (albeit warmwater) fishery in the world, it has to be done. Native fishes have to come first, even if I don't prefer to fish for them. I grew up in Port Clinton, a town that exists mostly for Lake Erie warmwater fishing and boating. But that stinks as an avid coldwater fisherman......

Maybe Ohio could raise their own disease free stealhead. I think we should learn from the whole whirling disease debacle in Colorado, even thaugh its a tough pill to swallow.

Posted on: 2006/10/28 23:01

Re: Please help. End of Ohio steelhead as we know it???

2006/9/9 16:08
From Erie Co.
Posts: 344
I am not going to sign it. If it must be controlled, USF&W should use whatever is necessary to do so. I hope it is put into effect here in PA too. Perhaps it will control the beaver naturally.

Posted on: 2006/10/29 0:11

Re: Please help. End of Ohio steelhead as we know it???

2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
Posts: 0
After review, I signed it.

The petition calls for rigorous testing of fish and if they are found to be disease free to allow them to be transplanted. I think this is the conclusion that will be the outcome anyway. I think that the APHIS just put out this emergency order until they are able to research it more and figure out what exactly are the vectors for this virus, which they definitely should.

Posted on: 2006/10/29 7:41

Re: Please help. End of Ohio steelhead as we know it???

2006/10/28 10:58
Posts: 0
Thanks guys. I can see both viewpoints but I dont see the crackdown on the ship ballast which is what is causing the major problem anyway.

Posted on: 2006/10/29 9:00

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