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Fishing Limits & Government Resource Management

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posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 11:12 AM
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I went to college in the fine state of Wisconsin, and one of the best things to do on a summer weekend there was to go fishing. Now I was a rather casual angler and felt great if I caught one fish that was a keeper all day, but today I found this little story out of my former city of Milwaukee:

13 Men Caught Thousands Of Fish Illegally

Now this raises some interesting questions in my mind of how government management of natural resources affects the average citizen. As a socialist and a naturalist I believe in reasonable management of our world's resources but, I also support hunting and fishing especially as a traditional pastime and in order to preserve natural harmony, overpopulation of animals is easily curbed by human consumption.

However, if these guys were able to pull literally thousands of fish in one weekend there is something seriously out of balance in that particular waterway. The Wisconsin inland bag limit for bluegill and subtypes is 50 per day, that is quite a lot of fish except for the fact that a bluegill is really only good as a small pan fish and it takes 4 or 5 to make a meal for one person.

Now if the state of Wisconsin is placing unreasonable bag limits on fish, this makes me question how resources are managed in the United States. Is there a political or monetary motivation for this, and if so how can this be changed in order to preserve our outdoor resources while preserving them for future generations?

Furthermore, is this an abridging of personal freedoms, and what legal recourse or changes in law could bring about a change to that?

When the government sends rangers in to regulate weekend fishing trips when there is a serious flaw in the populations of fish in a given area, we've gone beyond responsible governance and into a nation where law is no longer a servant of society but society is oppressed by law.




posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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Bag limits are like bike locks. They do nothing to prevent the crime. At best they just keep honest people honest.

No law has ever prevented a poaching.


 
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posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 11:43 AM
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I am not sure how those men taking those fish makes you think that Wisconsin Fish and Game set unreasonable bag limits. Why do you make that connection?

Lots and lots of research goes into bag limits. Wildlife officials will use everything they know about local population to determine the bag limit.

They also will still put cap limits on species that don't need management. You have to so people can't do large scale commercial fishing and to avoid lots of huge catches like this one.

The bluegill population in that waterway will easily recover from this poaching incident, but if these guys and other were going to down there frequently it have noticeable negative effects.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by thedarklingthrush
I am not sure how those men taking those fish makes you think that Wisconsin Fish and Game set unreasonable bag limits. Why do you make that connection?

Lots and lots of research goes into bag limits. Wildlife officials will use everything they know about local population to determine the bag limit.

They also will still put cap limits on species that don't need management. You have to so people can't do large scale commercial fishing and to avoid lots of huge catches like this one.

The bluegill population in that waterway will easily recover from this poaching incident, but if these guys and other were going to down there frequently it have noticeable negative effects.





The bag limits in Wisconsin are statewide for inland waterways with very few exceptions, this is a bit of an issue in my mind as not all bodies of water are uniform. While the overall ecosystem may be kept in relative balance individual areas may have horrible population issues. I completely understand that the state cannot go to all of the areas locally, there probably are not enough fresh water ecologists in all of the United States in order to do that, but the issue here is simple: the poaching in this case was far from ordinary. The issue must be looked in a more complicated light.

While I do believe the law should apply, honestly these men should be given some leeway because of the ecological issues that present themselves. In order to keep a bluegill, not because of any legal limits but because they tend to be very small fish, it must be quite mature. For there to be this concentration of mature fish there is something here worthy of further study.

In my opinion the Department of Natural Resources should partner with hunters and fishermen in order to better gauge the ecosystem especially in individual instances. If I were allowed to make the judgment in this instance, fine the men but don't revoke their fishing licenses for the year.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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I fish Ontario Canada
the limits are working fairly well, but the penalties are draconian
they can seize every thing you own if you violate any of these laws and limits.
no trial.

considering it isn't fishing in most cases lowering the fish population
its over civilization and oil spills and pollution and dams and idiotic stocking procedures

but here at least, citizens are allowed to take direct action
and clean up rivers, and operate hatcheries

still it isn't to serve and protect, its to charge and collect...
the honest people don't much care for poachers much though...

[edit on 9-6-2010 by Danbones]



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 12:40 PM
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I know a lot of people who fish thatll take any fish they get, it doesn't have to be a mature large fish. They just like saying "look at how many fish I caught".

I see your point that if these guys were able to catch thousands of these fish in what a day? then something might be off balance. But it may not have been entirely made up of just those fish, or just mature fish.

The smaller fish are usually meal for the bigger fish. Maybe they'd like to eat 3 or 4 at a time also, hence the limits.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by ProjectJimmy


While I do believe the law should apply, honestly these men should be given some leeway because of the ecological issues that present themselves. In order to keep a bluegill, not because of any legal limits but because they tend to be very small fish, it must be quite mature. For there to be this concentration of mature fish there is something here worthy of further study.

In my opinion the Department of Natural Resources should partner with hunters and fishermen in order to better gauge the ecosystem especially in individual instances. If I were allowed to make the judgment in this instance, fine the men but don't revoke their fishing licenses for the year.


Large numbers like that aren't really odd for bluegill, and there is no length limit for panfish in Wisconsin so they weren't all necessarily mature fish. Chippewa Flowage is a pretty big lake too. You said you were a casual angler yourself, just trust me on this. 2200 fish for 13 guys in 2 days on a lake that big doesn't indicate overpopulation, it indicates a well managed panfish population. Especially in the current season. Right now the bluegill are on beds and are blindly trying to attack and eat everything that comes their way, making them extremely easy to catch in large numbers like this.

I have seen resource agents in a couple states out in the field doing population studies, and measuring all types of things regarding the environment. These agencies spend far more time and money actually doing science to protect and enrich the environment then they do enforcing bag limits. They're spending hundreds of man hours and taking into account information from thousands of people when they set limits.



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by thedarklingthrush
 


Wow, alright I do know when to bow to those that know considerably more than I do on a topic, thank you for your insight onto this issue.

It seems I flew off a bit on this one, and the Wisconsin DNR rangers probably were doing their duty to help stabilize the ecosystems of their state. It is good to see times when government does their duty to the citizens well.

Next time I get the chance I will have to remember that late-spring is a good time to go fishing for Bluegill in Wisconsin, hopefully there will be some mature ones in the mix, the larger ones do taste quite good once you get past all of the little bones haha!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread, I have actually learned quite a bit in just a few posts!



posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by ProjectJimmy
 


Late spring is always the best time, as thats when fish move into the shallows to spawn. Easier to catch them then than at any other time.

/Southeastern, WI resident.




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