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Suckers Not Junk


Why some fish are ‘junk’ and others are protected. Study points to bias against native species

by Margo Rosenbaum

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Andrew Rypel grew up fishing on Wisconsin’s pristine lakes and rivers. With just a worm on his hook, he caught suckers, gar, sunfish and other native fish he never saw in his game fishing magazines.

From a young age, Rypel loved all the fish species and it surprised him that others paid little attention to the native fish in his area. He noticed there were stricter fishing restrictions on game fish, like walleye and trout, than the native species. With no bag limits on many of his favorite native species, people could harvest as many as they pleased.

“I learned that there were all these different types of species,” Rypel said. “Most of the fishing community focused on these select game fish species.”

Anglers even told young Rypel to throw the less desirable native fish up on the bank after they were caught, as they were supposedly a “problem for the ecosystem” and took resources away from highly valued game species.

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Posted on October 20, 2021 by Editor

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