Greenberg found a fishing hole near his home that produced large fish (Large Mouth Bass) and became, what sounded like, one of his favorite past-times. The pond ends up having a mass die-off of the Large Mouth Bass for a reason unknown. I think this sets a fire beneath Greenberg to figure out why.
I did live in a mountainous area in Colorado for a few years called “Leadville.” This area sits at 10,200 feet making it the highest municipality in the United States and we were the epicenter of some phenomenal fly fishing streams. If I drove downhill a little ways, I’d hit a river called the Blue River. This river was ranked as a “Gold Medal Stream” which means there are a certain amount of large fish per square mile. I fished that river almost every day, like many others, and caught a few monster rainbow trout, but the fishing was extremely slow. The next year the Blue River was downgraded to a “Bronze Medal Stream.” I remember seeing fisheries crews floating down the river shocking it for data and seeing countless fish full of gill lice, tons of deformed hatchery rainbows, and every 22″+ fish missing maxillas from fishermen removing hooks roughly. I still don’t know why to this day why exactly the fishery went downhill so quickly outside of high pressure fishing, but it really did strike an interest in me to learn more about our fisheries and fish in general.
As for how Greenberg would have felt about worldwide fish stocks, I think he’d be at a loss to say. He had only been introduced to a small pond in a small area of Connecticut. I believe he’d say something is likely going on, but it’s hard to say just what at this moment. When you see your first mass die-off- i’m sure you know there’s a problem brewing somewhere, so this is likely the beginning to his journey on the health of our fisheries around the world. I think Greenberg will become more pessimistic throughout the book in ways, but optimistic that we can fix the problems with our fisheries before it’s too late. Once you can pinpoint the issue at hand, you can begin to make a change.