New Direction for Michigan Fisheries
The Michigan DNR enthusiastically announced this week that they will be making some exciting changes to their 2016 fisheries plan. Stocking programs previously geared toward rainbow and brown trout, chinook salmon, and steelhead will be scuttled and replaced with a host of species from the Amazon basin including golden dorado, payara, and piranha. “We figured what the hell? Asian carp are knocking on the door, gobies are everywhere, and zebra mussels carpet the bottom of our rivers. How can we make this place any worse?” commented DNR representative Jimmy Lee Farnsworth.
Most view this as apparent evidence that MDNR has simply thrown in the towel in favor of a shotgun approach with a bit of scorched earth policy sprinkled in. “These fish exhibit a tenacity and resilience to nearly everything Michigan rivers will put in their way from frigid winter temps to springtime floods and summertime heat.
Let’s get a better look at this year’s starting lineup
Salminus brasiliensis, or golden dorado, are incredibly strong, acrobatic fighting fish that attain weights in excess of 30 pounds. This migratory gamefish will take a variety of streamers, dead drift flies and even surface swung presentations not unlike Atlantic salmon. They sport an impressive set of choppers earning them the nickname pit bull of the trout world.
Hydrolicus scomberoides, or payara, are a ferocious migratory gamefish commonly referred to as Jurassic salmon since they are constructed similar to a giant Atlantic salmon and share a metallic silver sheen. The mouth of the payara is what sets them apart from all other gamefish, as they sport an intimidating set of razor sharp fangs which protrude from the lower jaw like two glistening tusks.
Phygocentrus nattereri, or piranha, because, why not? Smaller than the others, they range from 5.5 to 10.2 inches in length with trophies in the 17 inch class. They have a single row of tightly packed sharp teeth that are interlocked for puncturing and shearing flesh. Similar to bluegill in their fight, the real challenge is being able to remove hooks before one’s fingers are removed.
When asked regarding the impact, if any, recreational users of Michigan lakes and streams this will experience, Farnsworth commented “I don’t think inner tube floating is going to be that popular anymore. Also, anyone trying to snag a Payara is likely to be eviscerated”. Amazon basin plants are expected to clean up what remains of chinook salmon and most living creatures in the Great Lakes region in a matter of weeks.
It took nearly 60 million years for these fish to make their way to Michigan. No longer will deforestation, illegal poaching, water pollution, wetland degradation and oil spills be what makes Michigan and the Amazon basin so similar. Now we’ll have some of their ferocious fish.
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