Thursday, May 31, 2012

TU Blogger Tour Entry--A Symbol of Yellowstone

This is my submission for the Trout Unlimited, Simms, the Yellowstone Park Foundation and the Outdoor Blogger Network – Blogger Tour 2012 contest.”

They’re a miracle of evolution, god’s intent  and a little bit a primordial luck thrown in there.
In short, they’re the ultimate gift to a fly fisherman or woman.
Eking out and existence in the mountainous west, they rise with uninterrupted abandon to whatever food source is readily available.  Time has taught the species that if they don’t go hunt down their food, they go hungry
A fly fisherman doesn’t have to be told this; he experiences it on a slashing rise to his Chubby Chernobyl as it rides down the soft seam of current beyond the big boulders.
Some say they’re dumb.  A challenge only worthy of beginners…
The smiling angler who knows better calls that baloney.
An indicator of ecological balance and ecosystem health, they serve as our canary in the coal mine.  Pushed out, over competed or turned away by pollution, we need to take heed to where they have disappeared from.
A western stream without Cutthroat Trout is a travesty, and we need to fight to protect them.
Yellowstone National Park is a symbol of our country.  Wild, rugged and impossibly beautiful.
I submit to that beyond the buffalo and the elk that roam it’s wild land; the Yellowstone Cutthroat is the ultimate symbol of the park’s spirit. 
Through our hands we have outcompeted these native fish park-wide.   Non native lake trout have put a massive dent in their population and through evolving without brown or rainbow trout, the cutties of Yellowstone face an uncertain future.   Plain and simple,  they can’t compete on their relatively new playing field
While my experiences inside the park are limited to a few trips as a child,  I speak out now because I want to know that this key cog in the collective Yellowstone ecosystem remains in play, forever.
But, there’s hope.   The winds of policy change in the park and in our governmental agencies are pushing for protection of the Yellowstone Cutthroat.  Netting of Yellowstone Lake for Lake Trout has begun to curb their populations but beyond that, it’s up to the angling community to stand tall as advocates.
Become involved, become very involved.  A voice and it’s opinion are never heard unless you find a forum to speak it in.
Think about joining Trout Unlimited, or other groups out there committed to wild fish conservation. 
Because without our collective voices, the plight of the Yellowstone Cutthroat stands the chance of being tossed aside.
We can’t let that happen.