Lots of Better Ways to Keep Your Fish Alive

The Pioneer Valley’s famous bird killers, Michael Zak and Tim Lloyd are getting lots of ink in all of the papers. What most of the stories are saying is how stupid it is to try to keep birds away from a fish hatchery by shooting them. Today’s Recorder had quotes from Charles Bell, who runs the state hatchery in Sunderland. “Shooting birds, or shooting mammals, does not solve your problem. You shoot one and another one takes its place….our primary tools are netting and fences to keep them out.”

John Williams manages the Bitzer Fish Hatchery in Montague, he talked about the bald eagles, who take just one fish at a time. The great blue herons are a little more wasteful, he added. “Herons will mortally wound fish by poking through them with their long beaks and then not eat them.”

Bell says the way they keep the big herons from nesting is to drive around the grounds in the evening and honk their horns. It annoys them enough to make them move their nests.