Georgia Native Fishes Need Your Urgent Help
Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:35 AM
The fishes of Georgia need your help. Contact your state House Representative and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 360. This bill re-defines three species of Tilapia as legal and suitable for stocking private ponds. And as we all know, this is just asking them to get released into the wild, where who knows what havoc they might wreck on our natural environment and our native fishes.
Check here to find your state house representative… click on “write your lawmaker” and fill in your zip code to find your Georgia state house representative… and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 360.
You can also check here to see the text of the bill. It is not much, and I don’t have further details, but it certainly does not sound like a good deal for the fishes of Georgia. I think it is safe to assume that this is about fish farming of tilapia, and while I like the idea of sustainable fish farming, we do not need another invasive species here in Georgia. Some people will say that the tilapia are not cold adapted and will die in the winters. But this is not necessarily the case, as many of our river systems are spring fed and maintain water temperatures even in the coldest of winters (and this has not been the coldest of winters has it?).
It would be best to write something individual and not just copy a letter, but something like…
Dear Representative X,
I am very concerned about Georgia SB 360 and urge you to VOTE NO. This bill will allow the release of invasive fishes (tilapia) into Georgia ponds. These fish have been accidently introduced in other states in the southeast and represent a serious risk to our native fishes. They are hardy enough to survive our winters in some locations and will almost certainly have a negative impact on our native species and the enjoyment that sportsmen have in the pursuit of panfish.
Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:40 AM
Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:56 AM
This has been a pretty big debate the last few years. Several local, privately owned fisheries/pond consultants that are hellbent on getting Tilapia legalized in GA. They are wanting to stock them not only as forage for bass, but also as an easy solution to clearing ponds of unwanted vegetation / scum. I know a few folks in SC that raise Tilapia for private pond stocking on a small scale and they make good money off of this, but the legalization of this species is begging for eventual escapement in to streams/reservoirs. I am not going to comment much further because I have a few mixed feelings about this, but here is some reading for those interested.
Here is a former UGA grad student's thesis: If yall don't want to get into the nitty-gritty, I suggest reading the abstracts for each chapter, and then scrolling down to page 70 - 75.
Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:03 PM
Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:30 PM
Tilapia die in House!
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