Group Asks Public To Support Removal Of Trout From Some Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Park Lakes

A group is urging people to ask the National Park Service to remove non-native trout from lakes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks that were naturally fishless to save a frog species. USGS photo of the mountain yellow-legged frog.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks officials want to remove non-native trout from some lakes that naturally were fishless in a bid to save a yellow-legged frog. Now a group says trout should be removed from all lakes in the two parks that originally were fishless.

Save the Frogs
, a non-profit group, says the two parks are one of the last remaining strongholds of the mountain yellow-legged frogs. These frogs were once the most abundant frogs in California, but have since disappeared from over 90 percent of their former habitat, in large part due to the introduction of non-native trout, which are voracious predators of tadpoles.

Frog populations in California and worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world's 6,586 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, according to the group. Amphibians are faced with an onslaught of environmental problems, including climate change, pollution, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades, it adds. California’s frog populations have been particularly hard hit by pesticides, introduced trout, invasive bullfrogs, and a deadly chytrid fungus that is being transported around the world by human activities.

Save The Frogs is calling on all citizens to send letters to the National Park Service urging them to remove the trout from the two parks.

“The Park Service is currently accepting public comments on whether to remove the trout, so this is an excellent opportunity for average citizens to step up and help protect a critically endangered species,” says Dr. Kerry Kriger, executive director of Save The Frogs.

The group has created a webpage (www.savethefrogs.com/trout) where viewers can quickly send their comments to the parks' superintendent. The deadline for comments is this Saturday, November 21.

“The amphibian extinction crisis is one of the most significant environmental issues of our time, and it is important for people to understand the causes and extent of the problem, as well as the urgency with which action must be taken if we are to protect remaining amphibian populations,” says Dr. Kriger.

Comments

The National Park Service is proposing to prepare an EIS on removal of introduced trout from 30 to 85 high elevation lakes. That is 6 to 15% of the 570 lakes and ponds in the Park which support trout.

"Save the Frogs" are advocating a far more drastic action: poisoning of both native and introduced trout from all 570 lakes and ponds in the entire Park, even before the EIS is prepared. Including hundreds of low elevation lakes which support native trout.

Why? And why is NPT supporting this drastic action to eradicate native trout, unsupported by any study or science?

Why don't we simply wait for the EIS?

The NPS proposal is at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?parkID=342&projectId=17157

The Traveler has written about the NPS approach. Writing about the Save the Frogs' effort does not indicate NPT support, it merely reports on what's going on.

Why would they want to destroy such a great food source? Do you eat frogs? Is the underlying reason to financially destroy all the pack stations? Or is it to reduce the number of backpackers by destroying their reason for going into the high country? The frogs have survived for over 150 years so what's the problem? Lower numbers of frogs? What is wrong with that? Save the fish. Please

First of all I want to thank The Traveler for all the postings and the opportunity for comment. Thank you all very much. As far as the frog situation is concerned, I support the removal of introduced trout from places where they were introduced for the purpose of being able to fish. If the objective, non-partisan, science determines that the introduced non-native trout has had a negative impact on the frogs and that the removal of said trout will benefit the native frogs, then yes remove the introduced trout. Regarding the matter of " food source ", there are different kinds of food for different purposes. Food for the mind, heart, and spirit are also a necessity. Some say that this is an even more important food than food for just the body. And for me, and I don't think I'm alone here, the reason I seek out the high country is to find places where nature has not been interfered with, places where I may experience the wisdom and love that nature has for me. Such as the voices of frogs as part of the sound scape. Nature can survive without us but we cannot survive without nature. I want nature to be a friend to me so I will try my best to be a friend to nature. And I believe that nature knows who its friends are. This is a matter concerning the higher elevation lakes. If you want to eat fish, then the lower elevation lakes are suitable for this. In this way perhaps the frogs can live for another 150 years. At least. Please.

Rod,
Save The Frogs never advocated poisoning any trout. Trout can be removed with nets.
Jim