This area does not yet contain any content.
Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entries in fisheries management (59)

Wednesday
Nov192014

Angler Who Took Daughter Fishing Fights Back and Wins

How would you feel about being fined for taking your child fishing with you?

That’s what happened to Jack Pick early last spring, as he was ice fishing with his 3-year-old daughter on Saskatchewan’s Turtle Lake. A conservation officer charged him with having more than two lines in the water because he had four, two for himself and two for his daughter.

The officer alleged that the child wasn’t “able to set, maintain, watch, and retrieve fish on her own lines.”

Pick challenged the charge and, representing himself at trial, submitted one item in his defense, the 2014 Saskatchewan Anglers’ Guide. It features a father helping his young daughter fish.

In reviewing the rules, the judge decided that no minimum age limit exists to be an angler and found Pick not guilty.

“Just because an individual is three years of age, and does not have the ability to do everything required when fishing, it does not mean that he or she cannot legally fish,” he said.

Congratulations to the judge for showing common sense, a trait too often absent today in government officials, and to Pick for fighting back and winning, especially in such a simple but indisputable fashion.

To learn more, go here, and be sure to read the comments. My favorite:
“An infant is physically incapable of fishing, a 3 yr old is not (I have taken a 3 yr old fishing, so I know). Yeah they need some help, but so does my wife who won't bait her own hook.

Monday
Nov172014

Freshwater Fish Harvest Data Inadequaate

Those who plan dams and other river projects don't know how important rivers are for fish harvest , according to scientists. AP Photo by Janet Jensen

Wow. Researchers say that worldwide accounting of freshwater fish harvested for consumption is “inaccurate and grossly underestimated” and that the amount “could equal the current amount of marine fish caught.”

As a consequence of this, planning for dams and other river projects doesn’t adequately account for the effect they might have on fish populations.

That’s bad news not only for commercial harvest of freshwater fish, but recreational angling as well.

“It’s not a question of whether we should stop using water for other purposes, but we need to consider what harms are being created, and if they can be mitigated,” said one of the Michigan state scientists. “People are losing jobs and important sources of food because fish habitats are being degraded, greatly reducing fish production in these waters.”

Read more here.

Tuesday
Nov112014

Anglers Get Good Return on Their 'Investments'

It’s too bad that most federal government programs aren’t as financially sound as the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR).

For fishing, this incredible use-pays, user-profits strategy has shown a more than 2,000 percent annual return on monies invested in fisheries and conservation, according to  “The Benefits to Business from Hunting and Fishing Excise Taxes,” a report compiled by Southwick Associates and Andrew Loftus Consulting on behalf of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

How does that happen?

Anglers pay excise taxes on fishing tackle and motorboat fuel. That money goes into a dedicated fund managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which allocates the money as matching funds to the states for fisheries conservation.

“Excise-tax collections and import duties averaged $110 million annually between 1955 and 2006 (equipment only, not motorboat fuels),” revealed the report. “At the same time, wholesale-adjusted purchases of taxable fishing equipment by anglers averaged $2.3 billion per year, resulting in an average annual return of 2,157 percent.”

Not all individual fish and wildlife projects show such huge returns, the authors added. “And the nature of some projects is such that a return simply can’t be quantified.

“However, today’s $30 billion hunting and fishing equipment industries have been built on a foundation of plentiful hunting and fishing opportunities --- thanks to the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration excise tax paid by business.”

Because this program is so profitable, Washington politicians occasionally try to steal these dedicated funds for other purposes. The last time it happened was 1994. Should they ever succeed, results could be catastrophic.

“There is no other funding source that could take up the slack on the scale of our excise-tax-funded Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs,” the report said. “Losing that excise –tax investment would literally be the end of hunting and fishing as we know it.”

 

Sunday
Nov092014

Alligator Gar Plentiful in Falcon Lake

Garzilla Guide Service gar caught on Trinity River

For those who want to catch alligator gar these days, Texas’ Trinity River usually is the preferred destination.  But the Rio Grande and Falcon Lake, an impoundment between Laredo and McAllen, also contain plenty of the nation’s second –largest freshwater fish. (Sturgeon top the list.)

"There are some huge --- I mean really huge, world-record-class - alligator gar in Falcon," said Dave Terre, chief of fisheries management and research for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's inland fisheries division.

"What's really cool is that some of the data collected in this study has never been collected before in Texas. It adds so much to our knowledge base for this fish."

According to the Houston Chronicle, the study documents that those border waters afford some of the best in Texas for trophy alligator gar, fish stretching to 7 feet and longer and weighing 200 pounds or more.

A primary reason for the study was to determine if the large predators pose a threat to the lake’s renowned trophy bass fishery. Examination of the stomach contents of nearly 400 gar revealed that almost 90 percent of their diet is carp, tilapia, and gizzard shad. Bass accounted for just 8 percent of the stomach contents.

With plentiful forage and a warm climate, those gar grow large fast. Females reach 5 feet in five years and sexual maturity in seven, about half the time needed in more northern waters.

But the harvest rate is low, with anglers taking just 1 percent of the population annually. That’s partially because the daily limit is one.

With plenty of fish and little harvest, Texas Parks and Wildlife wants to allow anglers on Falcon to take as many as five alligator gar per day.

"We think this proposed bag limit is supported by the science presented in this study, is sufficient to conserve this population long into the future, and it meets the needs and desires expressed by our constituents," Terre said.

Thursday
Oct302014

ASA, RFA Oppose 'Sector Separation' for Red Snapper Fishery

Not surprisingly, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) also are critical of Amendment 40, which created “sector separation” in the recreational segment of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. (For more about this issue, see post below this one.) 

From ASA:

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is strongly opposed to sector separation and is deeply troubled that this poorly conceived and detrimental plan was passed by the Gulf Council.

In its 2013 position paper on sector separation, ASA urged federal fishery managers to remove saltwater recreational sector separation from all management plan discussions. ASA believes that sector separation will create serious conflicts between private anglers and charter/for-hire captains, and further diminish recreational fishing opportunities for red snapper.

“While we understand the charter/for-hire position, we in the tackle industry don’t see Amendment 40 as being in the best interests of the entire recreational fishing community,” said Gary Zurn, Big Rock Sports SVP Industry Relations. “The economic impacts of sector separation have not been clearly determined, but we know it will have a significant financial impact on the coastal communities and businesses throughout the Gulf region that support recreational fishing.”

From RFA:

President Obama has made it very clear that his "policies are on the ballot" in Tuesday's election - coastal fishermen should understand by now that those policies include blanket marine reserves, privatized fish stock, recreational catch shares, and sector separation.

Despite heavy opposition from individual saltwater anglers, local tackle shops, marinas, most of the for-hire sector captains in the United States, tackle shops, the governors of the coastal states and nearly every standing member of the U.S. Congress, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) voted to divide the recreational fishing community into pieces over the next three years.

In a 10-7 vote, the appointed fisheries managers, led by NOAA Fisheries' regional administrator Dr. Roy Crabtree, approved a proposal to split the Gulf recreational red snapper fishery between charter/for hire anglers and private recreational anglers. The so-called "sector separation" measure approved by the Gulf Council will take the entire recreational quota of red snapper and split it into pieces, with the for-hire sector getting their own share of the quota and private individual anglers getting the rest.

Strangely of course, the recreational for-hire sector caters to individual anglers who book charters or climb aboard head boats to fish for red snapper, making the entire sector separation debate more about divisiveness and less about fixing the problems with federal fisheries management. The new proposal essentially privatizes more of the red snapper stock by stealing open public access away from anglers.