Hundreds of years ago we introduced a wide array of fish species into lakes and rivers in Montana for fishing. These fish, otherwise known as invasive species have thrived so much that the native species, such as West Cut Throats have suffered a decline in number.
This has resulted in aquatic systems not being truly ‘natural’. The big question here is, should we intervene once more to undo our original mistake?
By restoring the system to its ‘natural’ state we are interfering. While this time it has scientific findings behind it and is being done to regain a native environment it feels as if we are playing God. Particularly when the way to restore native species is to electrocute all the fish in the stream.
I have spent the past three days camping, hiking and electrocuting fish in Brays Canyon enabling us to collect them, measure them and eventually reintroduce the native ones back into the system. I killed any invasive fish species we came across in the most humane way with my thumb and forefinger. This is one of many projects done in order to regain a wild or natural environment.
What do you think? Is it our duty to undo the mess we have made historically? And is it cruel to kill invasive species?
The fact that we recognise our historic wrongdoings has to be a positive, but the management strategy in combating these issues is highly controversial.
Nonetheless this project has taken me to a beautiful part of the world and I have met some fascinating people on the way.