Trout and DeerSunday, April 24, 2011
Those of us on the East Coast can assure you that the reduction in trout size and numbers have resulted in a rapid expansion of the deer herds in our area, which (in turn) has led to terrible over-browsing of our woodlands and gardens. Shrubs and perennials now exist only in the glossy plant catalogs, artfully naturalized on our coffee-tables. There are practically no woods with normal undergrowth anymore. If you were younger, you could kneel down and see for miles beneath the trees -- everything that deer could reach has been eaten.
Fortunately, baby boomers' attention is short -- and they have, for the most part, abandoned the streams -- first for mountain bikes; then, as their aging limbs gave out, for four-wheel drive vehicles. I think, if we can manage to keep their sport utility vehicles out of the trout streams, there is a small chance that the normal balance of nature will reassert itself. The deer-eating trout may rise again from the primordial depths to gorge themselves on flesh -- perhaps even the flesh of yuppies.