Fly Fishing For Brook Trout

Eastern Brook Trout Venture Destined to Failure?


Eugene Macri

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© 2007 E. P. Macri Jr.

I wish I had more positive things to say about all of this but to be perfectly honest it doesn't look too good for this venture or the Brook Trout.  There are many problems with the entire concept but let me just list and discuss briefly why ultimately this may be another waste of time.


  1. No real discussion of the problems that caused this in the first place were part of the venture.  In other words no one was allowed to point any fingers.  Well if you don't know what got you there in the first can you fix it?  The real reasons for the destruction of the Brook Trout and its habitat are many and varied however, the main reason is this:  The Clean Water Act is not enforced by the EPA and the Act is too weak in many instances to result in protection of anything.  The Clean Water Act is a joke.  In most instances the EPA leaves protection and enforcement up to the states.  In Pennsylvania the Clean Water Act couldn't protect one of the world's great spring creeks, Big Spring, how can it protect anything!
  2. The Clean Water Act is based on chemical criteria for measuring stream pollution.  This doesn't work.  Only biological parameters (benthos) will give you an accurate measurement of what's going on in a stream in most instances.  The chemical data are used to write the NPDES permit which is the discharge permit.  The measurements fail to take in cumulative effect and synergistic properties of the contaminants.
  3. The EPA is dead under George Bush.  They didn't do much under Clinton and they are nothing more than an arm of industry now.
  4. Watershed groups and all the committees that are formed are totally counter productive in my estimation.  They are constantly bogged down by bureaucracy and cannot escape it. 
  5. There are too many people who are not scientists who think they are scientists and thus screw everything up.
  6. No one wants to upset anyone.  So when you set parameters they are the groups rather than what is needed by the fish to survive.
  7. There is little money to go around and to get some of it or to raise any you must usually sell your soul to the devil.
  8. Too many fishermen think they know something about stream biology and most don't!
  9. Before you start doing any work on any stream that stream should be biological, and chemically benchmarked to establish a baseline.  Very few streams in the country are. If a stream doesn't have a baseline you are wasting your time and money.
  10. Steam surveys cannot be done by citizens and fisherman.  They must be done properly by scientists so that the data can stand up in court.

I'll have more on this later but these are nuts and bolts of it for now.

Gene Macri

Aquatic and Environmental Scientist.


Fly Fishing For Brook Trout
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Eastern Brook Trout Venture
Eastern Brook Trout Venture: Destined to Failure
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