Opinion



Are fish hatcheries a real solution?
ALBERT TEDRICK 
of The Flathead Arrow

    A trout is a trout, right? I mean their all fish and they all look the same. Why would it matter where we get them from? This was the attitude of fish management in Montana during the early 20th century. To create more fisheries in Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks would ride out to mountain streams on horse back carrying milk jugs full of fish to streams. Upon arriving at the streams, the hatchery grown interbred fish were released into the ecosystem. The problem with is was they were not native fish to those streams, most were not even from Montana they were whatever was easiest to get at the time. These fish would go into the habitat of the native west slope cutthroat trout and bull trout and either out compete the other fish or they would interbreed and ruin the genetic purity of the fish. To put the cherry on the top we also introduced fish that we thought would do well into our lakes like kokanee salmon, which is a very popular and great tasting fish, but also another competitor in the food web. When the salmon population began to decline they introduced the Mysis freshwater shrimp to provide another food source for the salmon. That idea looked great on paper but there was one small detail we didn’t know, the shrimp feed at night where as the salmon feed during the day. So, what happened was the salmon never saw their new food source and continued to decline until they disappeared. But this was great for another introduced species, the lake trout was able to take advantage of this
    It didn’t take long for the new invasive species to take hold and toy with the food web of our lake and stream ecosystems. Soon our bull trout and west slope cutthroat populations began to plummet and in many places completely bottomed out. By the time we realized what had happened it was too late. So, what did we do? We used the same method that got us into this predicament to fix the problem. We began to grow native species in hatcheries to reintroduce to their native streams. But is that really a solution?
    Currently the fish that are grown in hatcheries are put in a tank and fed pellets instead of the real food that they would see in their own habitat. After generations of fish being feed at the top of the tank when the fish are released into the streams they tend to stay around the surface of the water, which gives way to predation. Now its understandable that we do not feed the fish live food because of cost and the whole debacle of what do we feed the food? But the current food being fed to the only bull trout in the state is made in Japan (because there is no commercially made food for bull trout in the US). Since the bull trout program is only been going on for about a year there is no data on whether or not they are successful but their other species such as the west slope cutthroat and rainbow trout that are grown in Creston are highly successful.
    Now the future of our native fish may sound bleak but every year the situation is looking better and better. With new studies and finding coming out every year we are improving the hatchery process to increase the survival of these species. What I would like to see in the coming years is less nonnative species being grown such as rainbow trout and replacing them with other species like bull trout and maybe artic graylings or any other struggling species missing from our beloved ecosystem.

Youth shows Immaturity with Tide Pods  
KATIA POSTOVIT
of The Flathead Arrow

    “The Tide Pod Challenge”, something that has been heard from all over the country. This “challenge” started hitting the news big around Jan 17, 2018. Teens are eating the laundry detergent pods that hit the market in 2011 as an easier way to handle laundry, but why did this now happening, why are teens decide that it’s funny or worthy of doing. In my opinion I do not think one should think about eating laundry detergent, not just because it causes chemical burns within the human body, but because these are the future generations that our nation will rely on one day. It should and makes this generation look very very immature.
Many challenges have been taken on by teens, such as the water bucket challenge, or the cinnamon challenge, all of these videos have gotten so many viewers on social media. Now the tide pod challenge has became the newest challenge to social media.
    The whole reason teens are doing this, isn’t because it’s fun, it’s because teens this day in age are obsessed with social media and live for the attention of others. These teens are receiving huge amounts of attention from other teens and also many upset people including doctors who are now posting all over to not eat tide pods because of the physical harm it causes to internal bodies.
Many convenience stores have been forced to lock all laundry detergent up so that they may not be consumed inside their store which could be a huge lawsuit against stores.
    There is no reason other than publicity that these kids are doing what they are doing. I truly believe that the human intelligence is much higher than these teens portray. Social media causes one to do things one wouldn’t usually do such as the tide pod challenge.