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Barets were seen

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Barets were seen at the North Hatley dam on the Massawippi River.

Radio-Canada

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Barets, a species of fish, were seen for the first time in the Massawippi River, near the dam in North Hatley. Around thirty were recovered.

It was by carrying out an operation to recover the lake trout which descended to the bottom of the North Hatley dam that the Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP) detected the whitefish.

The ministry maintains that the presence of this fish in Lake Massawippi, located very close to the dam, is not confirmed but fishermen have reported seeing them.

The biologist responsible for aquatic fauna at the MELCCFP, Jean-Sébastien Messier, explains that this species of fish is not naturally present in the area.

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The biologist responsible for aquatic fauna at the MELCCFP, Jean-Sébastien Messier

This fish first arrived in Lake Memphremagog ten years ago and is now well established in this body of water. This species has also made its way to the Magog and Saint-François rivers. We believe that it probably happened from an introduction higher up in the watershed on the United States side, said Mr. Messier in an interview on the show Vantement le retour.< /em>

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It is a fish that is found naturally in the Saint Lawrence River.

This species is expected to expand until it hits an insurmountable obstacle.

A quote from Jean-Sébastien Messier, biologist responsible for aquatic fauna, MELCCFP

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The North Hatley Dam on the Massawippi River.

In all cases, when we have a new species that arrives in a body of water or in an environment where it is not naturally present, it is certain that there are consequences which are not desirable […]. It is certain that this will lead to an upheaval in the balance between predators and prey, maintains Jean-Sébastien Messier.

In this case, it is certain that over time, a new balance ends up being created.

A quote from Jean-Sébastien Messier, biologist responsible for aquatic fauna, MELCCFP

He goes on to say that the baret feeds on many species such as vertebrates , crustaceans, insect larvae and other fish.

This fish reproduces quickly in its new environment.< /p>

The positive point of the arrival of the baret is that it is good to eat and pleasant to fish, adds the biologist.

The vice-president of the Lake Massawippi Conservation Club, Gaétan Gagnon, sees the arrival of this species almost as good news. It's very good meat, it will help fishermen keep their fish. We caught some at the dam, there are definitely some in the Massawippi, that's for sure.

We are going to send a message to the members: as soon as someone takes it, let them notify the club.

A quote from Gaétan Gagnon, vice-president of the Lake Massawippi Conservation Club

The Bleu Massawippi organization will keep an eye open on the progress of this species, assures general director Laurence Renaud-Langevin. This is one of the files to follow. You never know how the lake's native biodiversity will react.

Fishermen who believe they have detected barets in the area are invited to report it to the ministry . Anglers can use the IPêche app to identify this golden-colored species that is a little larger than a yellow perch.

< em>With information from Marie-Hélène Rousseau

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