Anglers and Fishery Management is going to ruffle a few feathers. All anglers believe they are doing the right thing. If you look at the state of many waters across the U.S.A. the truth is different. Overfishing on many waters, along with poor catch and release practices harm the fisheries. Anglers seek large catch rates and a personal best. This is fine but care needs to be taken to protect the fish.
panfish. Anglers Co-operation and Fishery Management
I hear anglers complain about governing bodies for fish management. Some anglers believe what they think is better than biologists. All states have biologists monitoring the fish populations and growth. In other words, they have the data to make informed decisions. The average angler does not have all the data. They go by what they experience which is limited in the bigger picture.
Biologists spend hours collecting sample catches from bodies of water. The data helps to plan future stocking or regulation changes. When seeing a decline reducing the limit or stocking is needed. On the other hand too many of a species will allow more harvesting. In some areas, this is common with northern pike. They will overpopulate and damage a fishery if left unchecked. This is not a normal occurrence since many species tend to be over-harvested.
Anglers can help management with the local agencies. Become an active volunteer by helping with stocking efforts. Also fill out surveys when asked to do them. This is an effective managing tool for biologists. Knowing what anglers are catching and where helps with planning in-depth studies. This will help improve the waters you fish. A few small steps are going to help so do not blow off helping. Little steps do make a difference. Learn more at this
The future of fishing needs anglers and fishery management agencies working together. I am an older fisherman and have seen what poor practice does to a fishery. It is everyone’s responsibility to improve fishing. A “me-too” attitude will not help the fishing. If you believe bed fishing or keeping everything you catch is fine. You are part of the problem. Be reasonable and practice selective harvest, also let fish reproduce naturally. The cost of poor management makes fishing less productive.