Can Dumping Unused Live Bait Damage the Ecosystem in the Hudson Valley?
I am not an avid fisherman but I do know a few in the Hudson Valley and they have all taught me a thing or two. One thing I know is how serious they can be about their bait. Bait can be an angler's best tool in their tackle box but in the case of live bait, it can also be a nightmare if not used correctly.
I once went fishing in Georgian Bay in Canada. The first part of the trip was catching live crawfish to use as bait. We actually caught the crawfish all around the shoreline before we went out to the fishing spot. The people I was fishing with explained that you always want to use local live bait.
I didn't ask why local bait was important at the time but I now realized it probably had to do with the warning the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation posted on their Facebook page this week. The post explained how shopping for minnows before heading out is a popular thing to do when you prepare to go fishing. It went on to explain how that can turn into an environmental problem.
You always hear the stories about weird things ending up in ponds, lakes and rivers because someone drops off an unwanted pet. You know the old goldfish story, you let it go in a local pond and then it grew to 9 times its size because it was in the pond. When in reality it probably became snapping turtle food.
But what about when you turn the bait bucket upside down at your favorite Poughkeepsie or Kingston fishing hole before you head home. You thought maybe that you are giving those little baitfish a second chance but what the NYS DEC is saying is you might be ruining the ecosystem of your favorite fishing hole.
I don't think the contents of your minnow bucket could lead to what is described in the video below but it definitely gives you something to think about. Your baitfish may seem harmless until they aren't and like in the case of the Asian Carp you can't go back.
Other creatures you want to approach carefully.