troutbuttAUGUSTAThe Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) is strongly encouraging anglers to protect Maine’s valuable gamefish by getting into the habit of disposing of the butt-ends of their cigarettes in a more responsible and intelligent manner.

Maine fisheries biologists are reporting increasing numbers of angled trout and salmon with indigestible cigarette butts in their stomachs, according to sources within IF&W. A discarded cigarette butt consumed innocently by a brook trout from the waters of Maine likely remains in that fish’s stomach for the rest of its life and may cause health issues such as noxious breath, yellowed fins and gill cancer.

Cigarettes are commonly used by the weak-minded and then casually disposed of as cigarette butts, often in waters shared with trout and salmon. IF&W is cooperating in studies on the effects of cigarette butt ingestion by trout and salmon, including one recent experiment at Faber College, which was conducted by Fisheries Pathologist Dr. Phil “Hammertime” McLaughlin, Faber College Professor Bill “Little Chicken” Wheatley, PhD., and IF&W Fisheries Biologist Benjamin “The Button” Delgado...and in another study currently underway at The University of Phoenix Online. 

The study conducted at Faber College found that once exposed and addicted, 100 percent of smoking anglers voluntarily consumed cigarettes while angling. Of this sample, 87 percent p'tooed their cigarette remnant into whatever lake, river, stream, brook, rill, puddle or really damp area was handy after they were deemed fully consumed. The remaining 13 percent were observed utilizing different variations of a basic flicking technique in order to ensure their refuse successfully entered the watershed.  “These poor, stupid creatures become increasingly addicted to cigarettes as the pleasure centers in the brain are activated due to the repetitive phallus-to-mouth action of smoking.” Dr. Phil exclaimed. "Then when they are finished- the frigging MO-rons P'TOO them right into the water they claim to love so much, IN-FREAKING-CREDIBLE!"

buttflyIt is after they are discarded into the water that Maine's beloved salmonids are able to consume cigarette butts. To trout and salmon, reportedly the most intelligent of Maine's piscatorial species, these cigarette butts look, smell and taste like their usual forage; discarded ice-fishing trash such as bud lite cans, dog faeces and empty pill containers.  “We found that fish retained the cigarette butts in their stomachs for at least 174 weeks without regurgitating them,” reported Dr. Wheatley. “They also began to cruise the shoreline looking for discarded cigarette and cigar butts or chew containers…there were initial indications that Maine's precious salmonids couldn’t help themselves, but biologists have found they were just plain stupid.” 

Without regard to the purported chemical toxicity of cigarette butts, the fact that trash occupying space in a trout’s stomach limits the amount of space available for natural forage such as beer caps. There is a lot of veterinary medical evidence that suggest cigarette butts not only harm fish, but are destroying the picturesque Maine Lakes and other areas of the environment. 

“We strongly encourage smoking anglers to voluntarily purchase and use a freaking ash tray,” Dr. Delgado said. “Also, we are asking all a-holes not to discard cigarette butts into any water body due to the high risk of them becoming full-blown assholes and also attempt to retrieve any cigarette butts that may have "fallen" into the water or been regurgitated at the boat-side by fighting fish".

smokingtroutFor millennia, trout and salmon have utilized the abundant waters of Maine for nutritious natural forage such as the Swedish Pimple or Mooselook Wobbler. In the last 75 years, casually discarded cigarette butts have begun to compete with these nutritious natural prey items. The effects of cigarette butt pollution on freshwater ecosystems are not well understood- yet, but it is unlikely that eating cigarette butts will be found to be a good thing. “Hell” said Dr. Phil “Any MO-ron, even those who consider themselves “sportsmen”, with two brain cells to rub together knows that you don’t throw trash in the damn water.”

“The wide assortment of cigarette butts is staggering,” Dr. Wheatley said. “Cigarettes come in every color, a myriad of sizes... and they resemble little pee-pees that light on fire- thus giving the smoker an almost sexual feeling of gratification when repeatedly placed to the lips.” 

There are estimates that as many as 200 bajillion cigarette butts are being tossed, flicked, chucked, chunked, spat, p’tood or otherwise unceremoniously discarded into freshwater lakes and streams annually in Maine. The average life expectancy for these cigarette butts is more than 200 years, ironic, when one considers the average life expectancy of a smoker is a little over 19 years.

“We urge all anglers to do their part to protect Maine’s valuable fisheries from this serious threat,” Dr. Delgado said. “Natural phallus-to-lip alternatives are available at many retailers, online, back alleys, public rest area "glory holes" or in the privacy of one's own ice shack and should become the only choice of smokers who love to fish Maine’s waters”.