Ramble with Storm: Unnatural input & arbitrary calls

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Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

I am working on a story about a non-native fish caught on Labor Day, so I was trying to get it straight in my head for writing.

The morning air hangs thick as a Miami afternoon, ripe for more rain.

At some point, I had to laugh.

Because I was walking to town pond with ground bait on the morning ramble with the meathead. I am helping a friend by ground baiting daily.

He spotted an odd non-native a couple weeks ago and he is now obsessed with catching it.

Actually, it is not that odd of a fish. It is non-native but relatively common. For my side, I hope to get a story out of somebody obsessing on, targeting and catching an odd fish.

All which jumbles into the question of how we define desirable fish, non-native fish and invasives.

And it matters in terms of the natural world and how we spend money as a society.

We dump 3.3 million non-native Chinook salmon into Lake Michigan annually (well that will be cut in half in 2013), yet spend millions upon million dollars (it’s at the point where it is difficult to track the money) trying to keep bighead and silver carp from reaching Lake Michigan.

Chinook are viewed as valuable for keeping alewives in check, while Asian carp are feared because of their eating habits (and I suspect because the leaping silvers make great videos and help some environmental groups raise money by fear mongering).

The call of one as good and another as bad, even with justifications, is an arbitrary call.

Somebody will get a pop-up thunderstorm today. It feels unnatural for early September.

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