Lake Tahoe Crayfish Harvesting Featured on New York Times Website
Tahoe.com Staff, 2:06pm, 7/13/2012
Last week, on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, a local scientist persuaded authorities to open the commercial harvesting of crayfish in Lake Tahoe. Not only would the crayfish population yield good eating at local restaurants, but it could also improve the lake’s clarity, which has been diminished by the growth of this invasive species. Norimitsu Onishi recently covered this story for the nytimes.com’s Science/Environment section:
SAND HARBOR, Nev. — Just after dawn on Sunday, with a white moon still visible over mountain-ringed Lake Tahoe, Fred Jackson maneuvered his small boat into clear water about 35 feet deep.
“Hard right — back up,” said his nephew, Justin Pulliam, standing on the edge of the boat and peering at a shadow at the bottom of the lake.
“You got it?” Mr. Jackson asked.
Soon his nephew was pulling up a trap containing a couple of dozen crayfish, the day’s first harvest. But more significant, it was the first act of commercial fishing in Lake Tahoe since the overexploitation and extinction of the Lahontan cutthroat trout led the authorities to ban all but recreational fishing here in the 1930s.
Last week, Nevada authorized the commercial trapping of crayfish after Mr. Jackson and a local scientist persuaded state authorities that it would be good business. And not only that, it would improve the famed, though vulnerable, water clarity of one of America’s greatest natural treasures.