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A Plea for Trout

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Transcribed from The Dalles Daily Chronicle, January 13th, 1893


It Is Necessary for Us to Read the Fish Commission the Riot Act About Black Bass.

It is proposed sometime soon to send out another carload of Bass from eastern waters by the United States fish commission to stock the lakes and streams of Oregon and Washington. Our mountain trout has been the divinity of anglers in Oregon streams for time immemorial, and there is a wholesome objection raised to the proposal of the United States fish commission in its efforts of supplanting them with bass from anywhere.

Judges, presidents, senators and plebeians, who have gone many miles to toss the gamy speckled trout a fly will ask the press of this coast to enter a protest against this proposed desecration, which is a worse one than the infliction visited upon our “preserves” by the introduction of carp and bull-pouts.

Our mountain trout is the acknowledged king of all fresh water fishes. No other will take the fly like him or compare in gaminess; nor is there any so toothsome. The black bass is a very good fish compared with the bull-pout and sunfish, but he is hot in the same category with the trout.

As food the black bass brings eighteen cents a pound in the New York market today, where the trout sells for a dollar a pound. There is a corresponding difference in their game qualities. The bass is not the superior of our trout, in size even. Any one who has ever caught either the large bass, or the small-mouthed bass, in eastern waters, where the fishing is considered good, will tell you, if they ever had the experience, that they, never had so much sport in a whole day, as they found in Trout lake, or any one of the hundred trout streams in the vicinity of The Dalles in half an hour.

This is not the climate, either, for bass, under the most favorable circumstances, and he would never flourish here. He is no comparison to the trout in any sense, and our Rod and Gun clubs should teach the fish commission that their labors in this behalf would never be appreciated.

Our fish is a true trout, though differing slightly from the eastern brook trout, and being a purely Pacific coast product, it should be our pride and ambition to keep him at his best. Then we may treat out eastern visitors to sport such as they can only read about at home. Nothing less than the speckled beauties we have is good enough for the waters of our magnificent regions. Let us put a stop to the fishing out of season, slaughtering trout with giant powder and set-lines, and the Inland Empire will long remain a spot tor anglers to dream of.

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