¡Hola de Bariloche! While I doubt very much we’d get the opportunity to sample Nahuelito, the local monster, we did get a pretty good representation of key species from the entire food web in each of the 3 sites in Lake Nahuel Huapi over the past two weeks. Last Thursday and Friday, we sampled the third and final site, the southernmost bay near Dina Huapi and the Rio Limay, a famous trout river. Nahuel Huapi National Park is renowned internationally for its trout fishing, with all of its trout species introduced since early 1900’s until about 1950-60’s. Now, all trout species are self-sustaining and provide very important economic revenue for the region.
While we were searching for a place on the Dina Huapi beach to put the boat in, I came across this dead trout, likely a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), although I couldn’t confirm the identification. Within the Park boundaries, anglers are not permitted to keep the fish they catch, but must release all fish. The cause of death for this trout is likely exhaustion and poor handling after capture.
This image reveals the other side of trophy and sport fishing – fish do suffer and do not always recover rapidly from being caught especially if there is a long fight on the line and a tricky hook to take out. I liked this image as it contrasted textures and colours of the pale decaying trout against the beautiful cobblestones under the water in the very harsh morning light. As such, the presence of death in such hard surroundings sends a powerful message.
I am not against recreational fishing. However, it is good to be reminded that all actions we undertake will have consequences, and it is always wise to minimize the negative impacts of those acts when we can.
Here is a shot of the nearby river and the Park signage: