Fishing in the name of science
Smallmouth bass in the Spokane River, love'em or hate'em, they are one tough fish. Tough for many reasons... for the habitat they can survive in, the way they fight, the way they take a fly, or the fact they damn tough to get rid of!
Recently, EWU grad student Taylor McCroskey, organized a "bass fishing" day in conjunction with Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited, Spokane Riverkeeper, WDFW, EWU and Silver Bow Fly Shop. The purpose of the outing was to help capture as many smallmouth bass as possible between the State Line and Harvard Rd, tag them, record size, weight, and stomach contents. Also, if fish were previously tagged, those fish were documented as well for the same information.
There were 6 rafts and 5 pontoon boats out on the water fishing for bass. All smallmouth, no matter size, were kept in coolers with water until we reached the end of transect. At the transect points all the data was collected by Taylor and EWU students to be logged as part of the overall study. When the study is done later this year, Taylor will summarize his findings and determine the final conclusion whether the smallmouth bass population in the upper Spokane River is having an effect on the native redband trout or not.
It will be interesting to hear the conclusions and any proposals that may come out of this study! Thanks Taylor for all your hard work.
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