Thursday, June 11, 2015

First smallie of the year

Smallmouths are not native to Red Lake but are increasinly showing up in the catch
Smallmouth bass are an invasive species in Red Lake and there have only been a few caught at our camp; however, we already got one this season.
Paul Stowick caught this bass a couple of days ago.
We got our first bass about 10 years ago. From that point on we got about one a season until last year when we caught four.
How did the bass get in Red Lake if they are not native here?
The usual answer -- people.
It's always a bad idea to release a new species into an ecosystem and we would just as soon not have the newcomer bass. The reason is the new species will eventually displace a native one. In this case, probably walleye. Red Lake, however, has an exceedingly healthy walleye population and it might take a hundred years for smallmouths to claim a niche.
Bass are lots of fun to catch but not as good eating as walleye. There are lots of great smallmouth lakes now between Red Lake and the Minnesota border but not as many great walleye lakes any more. The Gullrock-Red Lake water system is still profoundly walleye and northern pike.


Tom Talarico said...

I caught one last year Dan at the East end of the lake.
Tom Talarico

Anonymous said...

Dan, sometimes, a non-native fish is introduced by migrating birds. The fertilized eggs somehow attach to the feet or legs and are then deposited into another lake. But you are right about people releasing fish into another lake. They even do it in ponds here in Indiana. Why? Because they simply do use their heads when it comes to fish management.
You and I and certainly all of Bow Narrow's current guests will never see the smallmouth take over in Red Lake and I hope that it never happens.
Indiana Dave