ACTION NEED(ED) NOW - 1962
L.M.”Buzz” Lein, writing as J.P. Savage
From Nipigon Historical Museum Archives:
“One of these years we are going to become unpleasantly aware of the fact that the fish population in our area will be on the decrease. This isn’t going to happen right away, nor in five years, but it is going to happen. Then, we will sit around and weep large round tears, watery remembrances of better days past.
Why are the fish going to become less numerous? Fishing pressure and a lack of basic knowledge of fish farming. It is that easy.
At present in the area people are fishing in virgin waters and there are not too many fishing on a per square mile of water basis. As the area opens up and more roads are built, more people can get into previously unfished lakes. The number of fishermen is increasing yearly whereas the area of fishing water isn’t.
There is only one thing to do – increase the yield of fish per acre of water.
This is easy to say, but very difficult to do because no one knows what to do. And no one is going to know what to do because no one is doing anything.
What about lampreys?
As viewed from here, this is another classic example of locking the door after the horse is stolen. Up until the time money income from lake trout started a spectacular decline, the lamprey was an unpleasant parasite whose presence was deplored and ignored.
It is not probable that the lamprey-type threat will occur in the large inland lakes of Northwestern Ontario although it is possible that Lake Nipigon may some day be infected. But it highly probable that fishing pressure at some future date will reduce the fish population to the point where an angler will keep his fishing tackle as an interesting reminder of what used to be.
It isn’t necessary to permit all this. It isn’t even necessary to let the fish population be wiped out. What is necessary is a quick start on the factors influencing the growth and yield of these delightful aquatic denizens.
But, if anyone is doing any biological research along these lines it is a well-kept secret and secrets aren’t kept long in Northwestern Ontario. Therefore, it is assumed that there is no specific research.
What should be done now is to have a corps of biologists out through the district working at biology and not being game wardens as well. If such a corps were out working on specific problems, on specific locations, something might be learned. It wouldn’t be learned cheaply, nor would it be learned quickly, but it would be learned. Once the biologists discovered what should be done, a practical program to carry this out could be started.
The big question right now is when is something constructive going to be done, and on a scale that will be produce results?”
Written for the Times Journal , June 1962.