AZ Central –
Invasive fish species have long been a challenge for scientists in the Grand Canyon because they attract fishermen but can devour threatened native species.
Now, the National Park Service is ready to try a new approach to keeping things in balance: pay fishermen and women to harvest one of the worst offenders, the brown trout.
These invaders like to eat other fish, including the Canyon’s endangered native species, the humpback chub.
Anglers already have to have a fishing license, and many simply fish for sport, using the “catch and release” practice as they pursue the non-native trout species in the upper reaches of the Canyon.
The new Park Service plan would have them catch the fish and remove them — and pay for the effort.
Also, according to a statement released by the Park Service, tribal youth from the 11 tribes with cultural and historic ties to the Grand Canyon will be offered guided fishing trips to Lees Ferry Reach, where the incentives will be offered.
The government has already been working on a program to control the non-native fish, aquatic plants and invertebrates such as quagga mussels that can be found at Grand Canyon National Park and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The brown trout rated the most immediate concern, leading to the new trout bounty.