Posted by Kerry Grissett on November 22, 2003 at 20:14:09:
In Reply to: Re: Guntersville CRAPPIE posted by sammy on November 21, 2003 at 21:19:25:
I am not going to defend keeping the legal limit as there is no need for a defense. However, I do agree with you to a point. I see a great many people keeping short fish and I mean a LOT of people! Also, there are many who, given the way they were hitting for us, would have taken their first daily limit somewhere and then returned to catch another illegal limit and maybe even a third illegal limit in the same fashion. These things are definitely part of the problem, not to mention the hoop nets I have personally seen being harvested for catfish and the owners don't think twice about keeping any game fish they happen to have caught in them.
However, I can't see that over-fishing is the whole problem. There are many things at work that have a part to play in the decline of any fishery over the years.
Just for your information, I only keep what I can use and I don't keep any crappie that will not yield a decent fillet. That means I throw back a lot of legal length fish. Whatever I catch over what I can use personally either go back into the water or are given to friends who love crappie but either don't or can't go fishing or just don't catch as many as I do. I give away many more fish than I keep for myself. As for Alex, I know he has at least one, maybe two BIG fish fry events where he feeds quite a few friends and family members. No fish Alex or I take ever goes to waste.
Is it possible that the current limit of 30 is too high? Maybe. Should the legal length be raised from 9 inches to 10 inches? I definitely think so. Is there a lack of enforcement of our current regulations? Yes, we simply don't have enough officers in the field to do the job. For better answers to these questions and any others you may have contact the DCNR and ask them. There are some good folks there, ready to provide answers to any questions about the current regulations you may have.
Good luck and good fishin'
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