Back the Brookie... Except Out West
Being East Coasters, Jacob and I were astounded by a lot of things in the Southwest
The giant mountains, rather than hills.
Wind that blows at 20 or 30 miles an hour.
Large bodies of water that are referred to as small streams.
And, most importantly, brook trout that are larger than six inches.
Take an Appalachian angler and stick them in a stream that holds wild brook trout eight inches plus and you will see a person experiencing total and complete bliss.
We've all seen "back the brookie" license plates scattered here and there all over the South East. If you've been to a Trout Unlimited meeting you've heard about the reconstruction and restoration efforts currently in place for the brook trout. You know about all the failed attempts, halfway attempts and "successes stories."
But here's the thing, anglers out West kinda can't stand our little brook trout. To them, our most treasured fish is basically an invasive species, choking out their little gems, the cutthroat.
Stocking trout has long been a practice here in this country. We run out of our native fish (due to deforestation, agriculture, overfishing, etc...) and rather than try and mend our ways, we end up sticking some random fish in waters that have housed and grown their own trout perfectly fine until we came along. I know for some stocking may be a good thing, it provides easily accessible, easily fishable water, but what is the price for all of that ease?
I don't want to live in a world where the Appalachian brook trout no longer exists, nor do I want to spend my days in Colorado catching brooks rather than cutthroat. I don't want salmon and steelhead fishermen to know nothing of a wild fish, but only catch stockers. Farming fish and socking them may be easy, but easy isn't always better.
Instead, I want to live in a world where there are more wild, native fish than anything else. I want to be a part of the generation that will put a stop to stocked fish altogether. I want my love for the environment and for the natives to be stronger than any selfish yearning to simply catch fish.
I want to back the brookie, except out West.