GMO Trout in our Waters (aka: Nemo’s new cousin)

A letter to the editor regarding some new friends in the Valley's waters.

Dear Editor:

Many anglers have noted over the past few years larger fish being caught in some of our lakes. These “larger” trout are coming to us courtesy of the BC Freshwater Fisheries Society in a genetically modified version known as a triploid, touted as sterile and can’t breed with existing populations. They grow larger quickly and are intended to help out the wild stocks.

Now if you believe that I just got a tip on some really nice recreation property in Libya! Ah yes we have troubled waters!

A few of us have reviewed the stocking lists for 31 lakes from Parson to the White River and much to our surprise found the Provincial government has allowed the Fisheries Society  to stock predominately triploid (GMO) fish.

In the 31 lakes, over 320,000 triploid were dumped into them with another 69,000 planned for this year. Now, before you yell “Yippee, larger fish on the way,” you had better take a look at some recent research.

Just as farmed fish escape, triploids stocked in lakes don’t just stay there. Of the 31 lakes reviewed, 21 of them have outlets flowing into mainstream waters. So you can bet we now have these guys in our stream populations, competing for the same food and space as our wild stocks.

Growing larger faster they consume more food, taking away from the existing population. Present research shows wild fish are experiencing new stresses with global warming, through warmer waters and changes within their habitat. In order to adapt they need time to deal with all this and where triploids have escaped and entered into these environments, wild stocks are further stressed. In our area  two particular species of fish, the Westslope Cutthroat and the Bull Trout which are both blue listed species (international endangered species rating), are a concern due to their numbers.

You may say “Ah so what, our redneck trout can hold their own!” Remember we have been told that triploids are sterile fish – well guess what they’re not. The processes used to create triploids have a 98 per cent success rate leaving 2 per cent able to breed and no one is checking every triploid for sterility. So for our stocking figures over the past five years 6,500 GMO fish capable of mating have mixed with our wild stocks, including the blue listed ones. But are more fish good?

Researchers at Purdue University in the United States have come up with startling information.

While the triploiding of fish makes them larger and thus more attractive in a reproducing population, their offspring were less likely to survive. Knowing this the Purdue team, using a computer modeling program, took a 60,000 wild fish population and placed 60 triploid fish capable of breeding into the population. They found that within 40 generations both the triploid cross and wild populations went extinct.

The researchers stated in their report, “you have a very strange situation where the least fit individual in the population is getting all the mating – this is the reverse of Darwin’s model. A population invaded by a few genetically modified individuals would be more and more transgenic (capable of transferring a gene), and as it did the population would get smaller and smaller. We call this the Trojan gene effect.”

The sad point is the entire stocking program for the rest of B.C. fresh waters is the same as ours and biologists are too busy to talk! If you are alarmed and want to share your thoughts here are a couple of names:

BC Minister of Environment – Hon. Murray Coe or

Fisheries & Oceans Canada – Hon. Gail Shea.

Richard Hoar

Invermere

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read