Invasive? That's hard to say. Ring-neck pheasant are non-native, but generally not considered "invasive". Carp? Red fox? Starlings? Canada thistle? Purple loosestrife? Hydrilla?
I don't know how much money would ever be spent to determine whether brown trout are "invasive", because I believe the agencies running stocking programs would probably prefer not to know this information. Like the lock and dam system and USACE.
If they can ever link brown trout or rainbows to predation on an endangered species like hellbenders, all hell might break loose.
Well, they're eradicating the introduced trout in many lakes of the high Sierra, mostly rainbows, because of their impact on native amphibians ...
I don't know ... you put a whole lot of new mouths in any ecosystem, and it's going to have an impact. They're eating a whole lot of creatures that either wouldn't get eaten, or would get eaten by something else, if they weren't there.
They've been the ruin of many good brook trout streams ...
As a valuable game fish in their own right they don't annoy me like, say, silver carp might.
Of course they can be invasive. The definition of invasive is if a critter is stocked or escapes into an ecosystem in which it is not native, and spreads, to the detriment of the native species. Browns have definitely done exactly that, as has been pointed out, helping to wipe out native brook trout and cutthroat trout. I say "helping", because it seems like it's almost always a combination of browns and rainbows that does the damage.
But do they have an adverse impact on other species in the ecosystem? Brown trout have been stocked extensively in the Ozarks, which had no native trout species. They can only live in cold tailwaters and in stream sections so heavily spring-fed that they remain cool enough year-round that the warm water Ozark gamefish were not as common in those sections. It doesn't appear that they have had much of an effect on the warm water gamefish. But have they had an impact on some other organisms, such as the endangered Niangua darter?
At this point, there aren't a whole lot of waters where browns (or rainbows) could potentially be invasive that don't already have them. So although they might not be good for some ecosystems, the damage has already been done for the most part.
Whole heartedly, 100% YES. Better, They were set up to be so. Originally it was accidental, but as time/knowledge progressed. Homogenization of strains of browns was used to ensure their ability to invade and take over aquios environments.
"Brown Trout" is a very wide range strains. The original stockings in the 1800's were an amalgamation of smaller, light colored fish which prefer shallower streams, a larger, darker and longer fish which prefers deeper water but still flowing and a very large, almost black, sort of football shaped, fish commonly found in deeper, cold still water. Dump a breeding population into any of the streams or rivers in NY and new New England, they will not only survive, but do so prolifically. What they are being dropped into is extremely similar to their environments of origin.
The native char suffered, this, after being horrifically over-fished by humans. The white trout is approaching endangered species population densities, mostly from loosing habitat form humans and browns. Smelt, dace and 'chub' strains were and are being pushed around.
I could go on for a while longer.... Needles to say I have been very much in love with this very prolific and invasive species my whole life.
The big difference between browns and carp... Browns are beautiful and elegant. Carp bonk you in the head while you are driving your boat down the river. Browns taste good; carp, not so much. Browns are pereived as desirable, carp well, they are carp.
For me the question is invasive, or invasive and destructive. In most places browns are former, but not the latter. Downhere we can live with peacocks and oscars. Snakeheads, lion fish, and pythons not so much- Its a difference between competing with the natives and totally throwing the eco system out of whack by destroying them
Invasive ? Yes! Still like them alot as well as Peacock Bass and many others ! Don't like it when they destroy a native fishery like Bighead Carp and Snakeheads! It's all about how they are managed and where they end up!
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
"Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser
"They're non-native Euro trash that shouldn't be there in the first place other than that you like fishing for them. Right??
I love brown trout and enjoy fishing for them, but these are all artificial fisheries that most certainly have a negative impact on native species.
Sure, "protect the brown trout fishery" I guess is the goal..? It's certainly not the desire of native sculpins, cyprinids, larval salamanders, native brook trout, etc. etc. ":
"I just view this as unique, because a person could argue that tossing brown trout into the woods upon capture might save some native dace, sculpin, sucker, crayfish, hellbenders, etc. species. I would never, ever do this -- don't take me wrong. I take pride in releasing fish alive and healthy, particuarly since I'm rarely going to eat them.
To me, there's just a pretty fine line between how we view trout and how we view carp and other non-native species. Before someone says "brown trout don't harm native species like carp" or something -- wait until more data comes in for native hellbenders.....most state agencies are avoiding this like the NFL and concussions....given that they've invested all this money and time into making sure people can fish dry flies to trout in places where they really shouldn't be. Most of these studies haven't given us a clear understanding anyway, so I think it's inappropriate to make that assumption. I just saw a study that suggests snakeheads aren't having the devastating impacts on some natives that we originally thought."
The above are the thoughts of one member who has brought the idea of Browns as invasive up in multiple threads. Personally, I'm not losing sleep over the fate of the sculpins, nor the aforementioned dace. However, the plain truth is, when you go messing around with mother nature and screwing around with the food chain, it's altogether possible that bad things will follow.
I (personally) believe fully that the oceanic food chain is in serious trouble and some estimates are that if we don't quit decimating key populations that food chain could become irreversibly impacted within 60 years. This is serious business, because (again, imo) the last war will be either over food or water.
If we want to bring up invasives and the seriousness of their threat, then lets talk about it. If there's serious thought behind these remarks I'm interested in hearing it.
I say yes they are invasive, but now they are as normal as a rainbow.
A hundred years ago they were invasive and destructive. They wiped out untold millions of fish, along with rainbows, brookies, and pretty much every other fish species in Colorado. They are all/were invasive.
If they wanted to stock them Bear Creek in Colorado Springs, where the only population of REAL Greenback Cutthroat Trout are, then they would become invasive and dangerous. They would easily overtake the cutthroat population and wipe them out.
I believe it was John Gierach who told of a story of fishing in RMNP. There was a harvest notice for all non native trout species to help the cutthroat trout populations. He, or whoever the story teller was, was catching brookies out of some high mountain streams and beaver ponds, but didn't harvest them. When they got back to fish count station he had to tell the Ranger he couldn't take the fish.