Posted by jd on April 24, 2006 at 15:44:51:
In Reply to: Dead fish, what a waiste! posted by Alex on April 24, 2006 at 12:21:18:
I can see how it could easily be the result of a small tournament. Once the boats come out of the water and everyone starts draining livewells and bagging fish, there is not much turning back. I have been involved with a small tourney that weighed the sacks and big fish in many sacks. After only 2, 3, or 4 people are weighed-out, fish start sucking wind, especially if a 4 pounder is in the bag and it is 85-90 degrees outside. What if the guy weighing the fish had his battery die in the digital scales? No one is going to throw fish back to keep them from dying when you have invested so much time, money, and energy. I don't care what people say, tournaments do kill fish. I do think professional tournaments have a lower mortality, but home-grown T's are more common. However, if you or I choose to participate in such an activity, that is within our rights to pursue such recreation. At least where I have been involed with dying fish, people waded out to get the floaters to eat them and prevent waste. However, I bet the non-floaters were in such shock that they became turtle bait or croaked on the bottom.
I don't know why I choose to stir this pot. The issue with Tourney's is like asking a guy if Ford or Chevy is better: Most everyone has their mind made up already. I think the real issue becomes, in addition to the morbidity, how does tournament fishing affect the general population. Either T's are not having much effect or our government officials are not doing a good job setting creel limits. I think it is hard to compete with the detrimental effects that TVA put on the fishery back in the early 90's simply by killing grass that killed habitat that reduced bait that reduced the population. So, at what point does the introduction of a non-native aquatic plant offset the cost of angling? Obviously we are not there yet because Guntersville seems to be thriving wrt green fish. I just wish I was better at finding them when they leave the shallows!
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