With the illegal introduction of small mouth bass into waterways of Queens and other counties of Nova Scotia we now have an explosion of this species in lakes and rivers, so much so that tournaments are held yearly on provincial lakes, including Ponhook. They co-exist with native species, such as trout and salmon, however, they are chasing the same food source and an over abundance can and will cause problems down the road. As with the LaHave River bass are present in the Medway system as evidenced by the results of experimental fishing this year.
Of greater concern to all salmon and trout organizations is the spread of chain Pickerel. Inland Fisheries reports that this invasive species has been found in some waterways of Queens County. Chain Pickerel pose a real threat to native species, trout and salmon, and great efforts must be taken by salmon and trout organizations to stop their spread. It was on this basis that the issue was raised at the fall 2009 and spring 2010 Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee (RFAC) Area 4-Southern (Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne and Queens Counties).
As a first step, Inland Fisheries and the Medway River Salmon Association, agreed to an awareness campaign on the dangers posed by the spread of Chain Pickerel. This led to the creation of a poster and placement of the “STOP the spread of Chain Pickerel” at various fishing holes along the Medway River in July 2010. Hopefully, through this effort fishers will check their minnows for invasive species and not put unused minnows in the river system at the end of the fishing day.
On November 4, 2010 the Nova Scotia Ministry of Fisheries and
Aquaculture issue a related media release. See details here.
Recent local research into the effects of chain pickerel on the lake and river systems where they are found has been published. The research was done by NSSA Director Sean Mitchell, PhD, of St of St. Francis Xavier University. It confirms that, given time, chain pickerel will destroy almost everything in a lake. A synopsis of the research conclusions may be read here.