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Monday
Feb172014

Reality Versus the Anti-Fishing Movement

Anti-fishing groups are experts at using labels and implication to drive their agendas. Mistaken assumptions by the public because of that tactic are just fine with them as long as they further the cause.

For example, they talk about “overfishing” with no regard for the vast difference between recreational and commercial tactics and harvest. As a consequence, by implication, one is the same as the other.

Also, they cite statistics without putting them into context. For example, if two dead loons have been found at Lake X during the past decade and one of them was revealed to have died of lead poisoning, they will say “Half of loon mortality at Lake X is attributable to lead fishing tackle.”

That is true, of course, but misleading in its importance. Almost certainly the loon population during that decade was harmed much more by habitat loss and predation.

When the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was passed, its authors--- intentionally or otherwise--- did much the same thing. The act defined any stock of fish that is not at a high enough level to produce the maximum sustainable yield as being “overfished.” Yes, some stocks are overfished. But depletion could be attributable to other factors, including disease and weather.

Because of that wording, though, the act has been used to penalize both recreational and commercial fishing.

A blog at FISHupdate.com explains it this way:

“This law is without question the most important piece of legislation that deals with U.S. domestic fisheries management. Thus, equating ‘not enough fish’ with ‘overfished’ contributes to a blame-it-all-on-fishing mindset and a gift to the anti-fishing activists.”

A proposed amendment would change “overfished” to “depleted” throughout the act.

That amendment is contained in draft Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.

“The draft legislation aims to alleviate a number of concerns that recreational and commercial fishermen and the businesses that depend on them have had, since the original intent of the Magnuson Act has been severely distorted by a number of agenda-driven organizations,” said FISHupdate, which cited a previous blog about this at Fishosophy.

Saturday
Feb152014

Praise at Amazon for Why We Fish

“It's a wonderful book that belongs in every angler's home (and non-anglers who ask the question why do you fish?) Not only a must read, but a great gift idea, too.”

 

“This is an awesome book. I got it yesterday and couldn't put it down! It is a must read for anyone who loves to fish. It makes you realize the real reasons on why we plan those spur of the moment fishing trips.

 

“Why we fish reminds us of our past adventures. More importantly, it reminds us of our obligation to share the sport with others. The only thing better than fishing, is helping others to catch fish. Montgomery inspires the angler to do just this.

Friday
Feb142014

Electric Barrier Is NOT Stopping Fish

Oh, yeah! That electric barrier is going to keep Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan via a manmade connection to the Mississippi River basin.

Or maybe not.

A video obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows small fish swimming through the electrified water, just 35 miles downstream from Chicago’s lakeshore.

And no one said that the invaders must be adult fish.

“The only thing holding back the Asian carp at the moment is the electric barrier, but few people beyond Illinois politicians, the canal-dependent barge industry, and the Army Corps are buying the idea that the barrier is doing its job. Many worry the agency's continued confidence in this leaky, last line of defense will take a tragic toll on the Great Lakes, the world's largest freshwater system,” said the newspaper.

Friday
Feb142014

V-T2 Helps FLW Angler Win Check

Lots of factors figure into the equation for how well fish survive in livewells--- water temperature, number of fish, weight of fish, aeration frequency, water exchange rate, etc. But the bottom line is this:

Philip Jarabeck had installed the V-T2 vent system. When he suffered mechanical failure with his livewells during the FLW event on Lake Okeechobee, all of his fish survived. As a result, he won a $10,000 check.

Others did not have the V-T2, and their fish died when their livewells experienced mechanical failures.

“I was not shocked that his fish lived,” said Judy Tipton of New Pro Products, the company that makes the V-T2.

“I have had several anglers test the merit of the V-T2 by not pumping freshwater and running their aerators. They all have told me their fish have done great.”

Tipton added “I have talked to many people who were at the (FLW) tournament, even his co-angler, and they all said it was true that his livewell broke down. His wife emailed me that night, and they were both overjoyed.

“I can’t imagine why all anglers would not want the V-T2 as a backup when they have mechanical failures.”

The V-T2 is an inexpensive and easy to install ventilation system that requires no power. It allows heat and harmful gases to escape, while increasing dissolved oxygen. Check it out here.

Thursday
Feb132014

SJWMD Bureaucrats Give Away More of Florida's Water

"Waterfront" property on the Clermont Chain. Photo by Robert Montgomery

Residents all across Florida were outraged recently when the St.  Johns Water Management District (SJWMD) board of trustees voted 6-2 to give even more of the state’s fragile water supply to a Niagara Bottling facility in Groveland.

Even angrier were those who live on and around the Clermont Chain in Lake County. That 15-lake system, designated years ago as one of Florida’s Outstanding Waters, has been plagued by low water for years and is slowly turning into little more than swamp. Lakefront property is no longer lakefront and connecting canals are impassable or nearly so.

 “Guides are gone and so are marinas and boat businesses. Hundreds of people who are paying taxes for waterfront property don’t have water anymore,” said Dave Burkhardt, who has lived on Lake Crescent for more than 25 years and is the owner of Trik Fish line company.

“And yet this is supposed to be a highly protected system.”

The Clermont Chain is near both Groveland and the Green Swamp, a massive wetlands system that serves as headwaters for the chain and links to the Floridan Aquifer. And while many of Florida’s chains and lakes have suffered from low water during the past decade, none have come close to drying up the way that the Clermont has.

And yet the SJWMD voted to allow Niagara to double its withdrawal from the aquifer to nearly one million gallons a day. Plus, it gave the company a 20-year permit.

And, as insane as this sounds, the SJWMD put a “conservation” spin on its foolish action in a press release: “The St. Johns Water management District’s Governing Board today approved a consumptive use permit modification for Niagara Bottling that is expected to reduce Niagara's impacts on water resources in Lake County.”

Lauren Ritchie of the Orlando Sentinel had some fun with that, as well as conveyed an important message:

“If doubling the pumping at Niagara ‘reduces the impacts,’ then here's an idea to solve every single water problem that ever threatened Florida: Let's get everyone to turn on their lawn sprinklers March 1 and let those puppies run until Christmas. That ought to do it.

“No wonder taxpayers have lost faith in government officials. Not only do they vote against the best interest of the people who pay their salaries, but they act like they're doing the smart thing and the public is too dimwitted to understand.”

It’s long past time, though, for the Sentinel and other local media to investigate the motives behind the bureaucrats and officials who are allowing the Clermont Chain to dry up, even as they permit a private company to profit even more from a public resource.

You can check out my previous coverage of this issue at these links:

Florida’s Clermont Chain of Lakes Is Drying Up

Still No Satisfactory Answers for Why Clermont Chain Is Drying Up