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Designer Fish by Ted Williams

Check out Designer Fish from the autumn 2013 issue of Fly Rod & Reel Magazine.

A great article by Ted Williams on the growing Designer Fishpopularity of man-made/genetically engineered game fish. Check out Designer Fish from the autumn 2013 issue of Fly Rod & Reel Magazine. Below are a few quotes from the article:

“What is it about man-constructed fish that attracts anglers more than the beauty of native fish that evolved in these streams?” inquired Kurt Beardslee, director of the Wild Fish Conservancy. “We have to make up our minds. Do we want a circus environment with bizarre creatures to amuse us? Or do we want to restore healthy ecosystems?”

“This is fish management gone wild,” said Bill Bakke, director of science and conservation for the Native Fish Society. “We have enough problems with hybrid invasions under natural conditions, spawning with wild fish, without purposely creating new varieties, some of which can propagate. When you lose your native fish you rely on hatchery cultivation; and then you start creating hybrids that you can sell to the public. It’s a corporate mentality, good for license sales. Instead of trying to preserve what is natural and wild and beautiful they alter it so they can sell a product.”

This from Chris Wood, TU’s current president and CEO: “I love bait fishing, spin-fishing, fly-fishing and ice-fishing . . . . What I don’t like to do is to catch fish that are made in a lab and then let loose in the wild. It doesn’t really matter how you fish, but what you catch does matter, and anglers should push for naturally reproducing wild and native fish.”

TU’s Dr. Jack Williams noted that lab concoctions “separate fish from the habitat and the real world. If people had a real appreciation for the native stock and the diversity we have, there’d be no demand for these fish that become almost management toys.”


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