First, a word about a goof.
A couple of weeks ago, an article I wrote for this page described the Division of Natural Resources' 1966 stocking of Erie-strain walleye in Summersville Lake as a "goof."
That might have been accurate, but it wasn't at all fair.
Stocking Erie-strain walleyes in West Virginia waters was a widely accepted practice in 1966 when the lake was impounded. Biologists back then didn't have the advanced knowledge of genetics they have now.
They couldn't have known that fish from New York's Lake Chautauqua or Pennsylvania's Pymatuning Lake wouldn't thrive in West Virginia waters as well as the Gauley River walleyes already present in Summersville.
At the time, a walleye was a walleye was a walleye. Not until the year 2000 did scientists realize that walleyes found in West Virginia's New, Gauley and Elk rivers were genetically different and far better adapted to thrive in the Mountain State's relatively infertile waters than walleyes from other locales.
What DNR officials did in 1966 was a goof only through the rather narrow lens of 20/20 hindsight.
In other words, I goofed by calling it a goof.
Call me a masochist, but I actually enjoy sitting through biologists' presentations about things scientific.
At the recent Northeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies conference in Charleston, I got to sit in on several. One that really piqued my interest was a West Virginia University study on the dietary habits of young brook trout.