Proposed “critical habitat” for yellow-legged frog includes some popular fishing spots — but not Dorsey Drive interchange

A reader had wondered about this in the wake of some Sierra frogs and toads being protected under the Endangered Species Act this week. Buck’s Lake in Plumas County, Gold Lake in Sierra County, and Caples Lake in ElDorado County is included too (click on link). No word yet whether this will impact stocking of trout. We’ve fished in all these places — along with many others that aren’t in the proposed critical habitat.

How did the frogs become endangered? “Extensive research identifies two main reasons for their decline. First, trout were introduced in high-elevation lakes to draw recreationists and tourists to the area. This created an imbalance in the natural world. Trout eat tadpoles and small frogs and compete with frogs for insects. In addition, trout restrict frogs and tadpoles to small, low-quality areas and separate frog populations from one another. As a result, many mountain yellow-legged frog populations have died out. In addition, a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis is threatening the existence of frog populations that had once thrived in fishless areas. The disease affects the skin of frogs and causes most infected animals to die.”

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Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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