somewhat random photos – 3
The state fish is the native brook trout. Many WV trout anglers can’t tell the difference between a brook trout and a brown trout, particularly when it is a small natural reproduction fish…they kill it anyway. Native brookies are an underrated gem. They’ve been here since the ice ages despite our best efforts to run them out. They are much less resilient to pollution than other salmonids and therefore their numbers have dropped off severely. The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture stated in 2006 that less than 1% of WV’s historic brook trout population numbers are intact. To steal a phrase from the ‘Friends of Coal’ – Let’s Keep Up the Momentum WV!
Case in point – the following photo is from a native brook trout stream in Nicholas County that was uncuriously removed from the original Tier 2.5 list due to ‘planned coal permit or ongoing’. In other words, the coal company wanted to damage the stream so they could get their coal and the state let ’em. At present, the stream is wonderful despite the illegal dumps littering the banks of this beautiful stream. I’m still optimistic that somehow policy makers will get a clue and this stream will be as good or better when I take my grandkids here someday.
Salvelinus fontinalis – The only native trout to WV, a remnant