Mar 20, 2012 5:43 PM by Lacey Steele

Bucket Biologists endanger wildlife

Moving fish from one lake to another sounds pretty innocent, but it actually causes major problems for local wildlife managers.

We looked into the problems surrounding "bucket biologists."

Avid fishermen and anglers may have their favorite species, but sometimes, that can cause a problem..

"Some people would like to see some of their favorite fish in their lake closer to home, and they take it into their own hands to move those fish into those waters," said Doug Krieger, Senior Aquatic Biologist for the Southeast Region of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

They're called "bucket biologists" because many of them literally place fish in buckets and move them.

"They have negative impacts on survival of the fish that we have already in the system," said Michelle McGree, an aquatic biologist.

"Down at Lathrop State Park, down by Walsenburg, where somebody put in Northern Pike," said Krieger. "Those Pike are now eating a lot of the Rainbow Trout that people really want to catch down there."

Those with the Colorado Division of Wildlife ask for people to immediately stop this illegal activity.

"To allow us to manage the waters for the best uses we sit fit," said Krieger.

For those "bucket biologists" who are caught in the act, the price can be steep.

Much of the money goes toward helping restore the fishery if possible.

"We have to go in and move all the fish, typically through using chemicals, and it's an expensive process," said Krieger. "It also takes the fishery out of a good fishing place for a couple of years."

Fines for "bucket biologists" can be as high as five thousand dollars.

CLICK HERE to find more about the illegal movement of fish and learn how to report any questionable activity.



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