I’m certain that others can address with greater expertise Dwayne Rioux’s puzzling and convoluted Maine Compass of Aug. 18, “Exotic fish species benefit from dam removal, but trout and salmon suffer,” but I’ll simply say that when I was a kid, 70-plus years ago, I was already catching smallmouths in lakes, rivers and streams in Maine.

They are indeed exotics — introduced in the 19th century — but neither they nor the more recently introduced northern pike have anything to do with the ocean.

Pike were illegally dumped into the Belgrades, and from there they’ve made it down to the Kennebec. The Edwards Dam removal has nothing to do with the presence of smallmouths, crappies or pike. And brown and rainbow trout are exotic species as well. Let’s get straight on this.

So if stripers, alewives and other sea-run species, including lampreys and whatever else nature still manages to maintain out there in the ocean, get an opportunity to make it to places like China Lake, I say, “Bravo!”

How about we get after the “bucket biologists” and lay off those who seek to help restore the original state of nature?

By the way, it is climate change, not some warm water species like catfish, that represents the real threat to our cold water fishery and our truly native brookies and salmon. Hmm. Why are catfish here? Something to think about.

Abbott Meader


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