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new-logo25   Chuck Frank           2014


“The forest service spends all that time and money to eradicate trout from 7 lakes to save a frog while there are, to this day, zero frogs in those lakes. Now, that’s real progress. Ching, ching, those are your tax dollars still at work.”


fish 1While under the radar, in 2008, a huge trout eradication program began in Eldorado National Forest to save a frog. With the exception of a few people who read a newspaper that actually responded to the plan, there were no public hearings back then for the yellow legged frog. The public comment process was practically null in 2008 and the forest service didn’t make a lot of noise either, less the public be outraged at such an undertaking.
In my recent conversation with Eldorado National Forest fish biologist, Sarah Muskoph, she shared with me that tadpole eating Brook trout in 7 lakes were the reason for an eradication program which had already been completed in 2011 and 2012. Those high mountain lakes affected are located in Desolation Wilderness above the Echo Lake Resort which are Ralston, Tamarack, Cagwin, Margery, Lucille, Le Conte, and Jabu lakes.

To date there is still insufficient evidence that connects frog decline to the eating of tadpoles by trout yet the forest service clings to this assumption. In my discussion with Sarah I asked her if any yellow legged frogs had yet been found in or around those lakes since the eradication and she said, with the exception of a few frogs that had been found in a pond, there were none.  This is consistent with these findings here;

  • The decline of the frog from its historic range has been associated with
    pesticide drift from agricultural areas.
  • Frogs that have been reintroduced to water bodies cleared of fish have failed to survive, and analysis has isolated pesticides in their tissues.
  • Pesticides are considered by some authorities to be a greater threat to the frog than the trout.
  • The roles that pesticides and introduced fish play in frog
    declines is still debated, and the loss of R. muscosa has probably been
    influenced by multiple factors.


Davidson, C. and R. A. Knapp. (2007). Multiple stressors and
amphibian declines: dual impacts of pesticides and fish on yellow-legged
frogs. Ecological Applications 17(2), 587-97.

Taylor, S. K., et al. (1999). Effects of malathion on disease
susceptibility in Woodhouse’s toads. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 35(3),

The forest service spends all that time and money to eradicate trout from 7 lakes to save a frog while there are, to this day, zero frogs in those lakes. Now, that’s real progress. Ching, ching, those are your tax dollars still at work. But what could be the real reason behind a true amphibian decline worldwide? In all probability, it is a weed killer which has been thoroughly researched by U.C. Berkeley Professor, Dr. Tyrone Hayes. (Mother Jones/Jan.,Feb. 2012) So let’s not pick on our trout friends because In all likelihood it’s the chemical industry. Presently, the Environmental Protection Agency is weighing the findings of Dr. Hayes as it reconsiders whether to ban or restrict Atrazine which is the popular weed killer that is in question. Marijuana cultivation and chemical weed control in the Sierra forests is still another issue that seriously threatens amphibians and fish.

For the record, trout and frogs have lived together for centuries, and yes, even in the Desolation Wilderness. But what is even more alarming is the latest proposal for the yellow legged frog and the Yosemite toad, whereby the Fish and Wildlife Agency intends to “protect” these “endangered” amphibians in a 2 million acre land grab of the Sierras. But let’s place this entire matter in its proper context, If approved, the Fish and Wildlife’s recent proposal of 2013 will vastly affect the entire state with regard to fishing and recreation, while at the same time playing havoc on the economy of resorts and towns that depend upon anglers from spring through fall.
But the Fish and Wildlife still have another card up their sleeve. Their aim is to not only use nets to capture the fish, they will also use electrical shocks, and pesticides to poison trout in numerous bodies of water and 41 miles of streams. Included in this mix are 80 lakes, 26 ponds and 4 marshes if you can imagine.…/park-service-extends-comment-period-for-frog-plan.html

Interestingly enough, fish purify the lakes and waterways for the benefit of our health and our drinking needs but the government wants to poison the water? If this isn’t the most outrageous “environmental” proposal yet, then what is? Every person in California needs to write their Congressman before it is too late as these programs need to be defunded and shelved immediately before there is an ecological meltdown in the entire state.

Healthy waterways and the lakes belong to all of the people, while not forgetting that our children are anxious to catch their first fish. These playgrounds have been set aside for reasons of health and recreation, and also for our own well being and enjoyment to be experienced forever and a day. It is now time to save the Sierras, the waterways, and our fish before it’s too late.

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House of Lords: America in the Balance: Tate Publishing
Charles W. Frank