Are We Over Doing Catch and Release?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by TxRiverman, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. TxRiverman

    TxRiverman New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    Lockhart Tx
    I think most of the BOC members can agree that we as fishermen have to be on the front line of conservation. The continuation of our sport begins and ends with us. That being said,are we as fishermen over doing the whole catch & release. I realize this is a touchy subject and it has been discussed many times. I know that as a group we want all the little fish to grow up and become big fish. And we believe that by letting the little fish go we are doing the right thing to insure that. But we could be cutting off our noses to spite our faces. The real question is,are we practicing catch & release,or reverse selective harvest?
    Studies indicate that long term catch & release can indeed impact a fishery in a negative manner. Smaller,more aggresive fish deplete the food resources of a lake/river faster and more efficiently than larger fish. According to bioligist these fish actually take more forage for their size than they're worth to the lake/river in recruitment. That equates to larger fish having less to eat and not growing as fast as they could under optimum conditions with plenty to eat.
    In alot of our lakes/rivers catch & release has stymied the ability of a new angler to go home and say they did good. We've become over-zealous in our conservation efforts,the complete oppisite of 20 yrs. ago when we took home ice chest full of fish to show everyone. Striking a balance between total catch & release and a more natural selective harvest wont be easy,but as conservationist it's something we should strive to do. Everyone cant change their ethics all at once,but by keeping some of the smaller fish we can help the over all population become bigger and healthier.
     
  2. solomon

    solomon New Member

    Messages:
    735
    State:
    MS
    Kinda like a lot of the old timers around here won't allow their clubs to shoot does. Funny cuz that's about all they have :roll_eyes:
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    I don't really think I've seen anyone on here preaching that we need to release each and every fish. Some may choose to do so, either because they are C&R zealots or because they just don't want to clean fish, but my sense is that *most* folks on the BOC only keep a few here and there, and that many have a personal policy of releasing all fish over a certain size.

    If that's not selective harvesting, I don't know what is.

    I'm sure there are still lots of catfisherman, who are perhaps not as well educated on the benefits of catch & release, and who think a "good day" of fishing can only be measured by having a cooler full of fish to show off their fishing prowess. Fortunately, many catfisherman now understand that there are other ways to measure fishing success.

    BTW - can you provide references for the studies you've cited? I'd like to read them if they're available online.
     
  4. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    Messages:
    389
    State:
    Oregon
    Aaron, when I'm speaking of CPR it is directed at fish 10lbs. and over. There is a lot of other members that think that should begin at 20lbs. or higher. The only real question is "do you practice CPR at any level"? Bigger fish, more eggs, more propagation of the species. Logic dictates if a fish has lived to reach 10lbs. he/she has been around a while and adapted. Thus becoming a valuable asset/contributer to the selective breeding stock. I'll be among the first to say yes to two or three pound and half to three pound fish for supper. I'm also first in the boat to tell you if you fish with me anything over ten pounds goes right back in the river/lake after CPR.
    Don
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I dont think we are over doing it at all, nature can take care of itself with out us thining out the catfish population.
     
  6. TxRiverman

    TxRiverman New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    Lockhart Tx
    Don, I totally 100% agree with you in every thing you said. The whole idea of the thread was to maybe educate those who dont realize what a valuable resorce we have,and how to keep that resorce healthy.
     
  7. elphaba7

    elphaba7 New Member

    Messages:
    795
    State:
    Mo'town, WV
    Aaron, I think that is a very informative post. I have seen some very serious debates on this site invloving CPR pros and cons. The word "conservationist" is the key, I believe, and doing what is best for certain species of fish. I think there was even a recommendation by a state DNR to please remove any (flat? blue? can't remember) from a certain body of water due to the aggressive nature of said fish and the fact that it was not native to those waters. I'll have to see if I can find that thread.

    All in all, it was a good post with even better intentions.
     
  8. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Aaron I think perhaps you may have interpreted CPR in a different way.What I and many others advocate is not releasing all the little fish to grow up and be big fish,for precisely the reason you state.We advocate preserving the big fish and keeping the smaller fish to eat.This is precisely the problem Santee Cooper has had.When all the big stripers were killed off the lake filled with smaller fish that eagerly swam into the void created.Unfortunately they also compete with all the other smaller fish and right now Santee has gone from world record holder to a lake full of 5-10lb stripers.Same thing is happening to the trophy catfish situation.CPR is not the answer every where.Selective harvest can be much more effective as a management tool particularly if you want a trophy fishery.In some places like a trout stream with limited spawning capability CPR of all the fish is the answer.Having management tools available to the DNR is critical.Right now in many states catfish are not considered gamefish so no management is possible.ALL that are caught may be kept.Don't construe CPR to be an all encompassing technique.:smile2:
     
  9. SilencedMajority

    SilencedMajority New Member

    Messages:
    320
    State:
    White Mtns, AZ
    I like that logic! It makes sense to me that alot of the stories of 100+lb catfish come from times when lakes are rivers were barely beginning to be harvested. Those huge fish were around when there was the most competition from small fish, because they had not been fished yet. CPR is just the ultimate way to leave nature how you found it while you enjoy it, just like when your camping. I don't recall leaving extra food around my campsite for the animals to benefit from it, because even though they will have more food, its not nature. That said, I will eat a couple fish every once in a while, and I encourage everyone to do it. Catfish tastes great, just don't keep a big fish for a trophy, its a selfish reason to kill an animal we all enjoy as a big part of our lives.
     
  10. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    I believe in cpr myself.But on the otherside of the coin if we keep all the smaller fish there wont be any small ones to grow into big ones correct?Or am i totally off on this one?I just think there needs to be a balance between the two,like mybe its not a good idea to keep all the small or all the large ones.Does that make any sense what so ever?:confused2:
     
  11. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,

    With all the fish stocking programs and natures course, I don't think you will be able to keep all the little ones you can and cause problems to the fishery. Dependent upon the size of the body of water, if enough small ones are left without balance, then due to numbers vs food supply will result in stunted fish. The only thing I believe is that with heavy pressure, and no conservation efforts, you will lose the numbers of large fish. It has been proven time and time again with Bass, Bluegill, Walleye, Muskie, Northern Pike, Crappie, what other proof does a body need? For me it's a moot point, for i don't catch that many big ones. I return mine with the hopes that one day my daughter, my son, their children and their childrens children will have the same opportunity. If i had a dollar for every time i have heard that the fishing for x is not the same as it used to be or the hunting foy this isn't near what it was 20 years ago, I'd be a wealthy man. Why do we make those statements? Simply we destroy habitat, interrupt food supply, over harvest, and take 20 years to stem the damaging processes. Dang greedy humans! :sad2:
     
  12. barbel

    barbel New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Somewhere
    Well, when you think about it, the ratio of smaller fish to bigger fish is like 1000:1. So just by harvesting the smaller fish doesnt mean that you are going to keep them from becoming big, because there are so many of them.

    And I believe that the idea that nature can take care of itself is the right sort of idea. The main problem is not that the fish will compete with each other, and we have the responsibility to curb that, it is that we take out the bigger fish a lot of the time (and don't take offense if you do, I have just seen more people physically take a big fish than release it; I support CPRing over 10 pounds). But it was said that in the time of Mark Twain, the rivers and lakes were barely harvested, and there were fish over 200 pounds that were reported. So nature does take care of itself, and we do not need to be worried about us taking care of it. We just have to be worried about the damage that we do to the ecosystem.
     
  13. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Or they might be like me, and just don't like the taste of fish.

    I don't think my CPR will hurt the fishery here. I see way too many fishers take anything and everything they can from these waters. Then they go home, clean their fish, and return again to catch another limits worth.


    Lewis and Clark wrote reports of very large blue cats being found (and caught) during their trip through the country. This is during a time period when very few fish were being harvested. Nature has a way of taking care of itself. There are other situations where this doesn't work as well, but that is normally when we (humans) have already reduced the numbers of natural predators.
     
  14. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    TX, "fish" may overpopulate but flats are cannibalistic. I see so many shad in the river and don't understand why there aren't more flats to enjoy this unlimited food source.

    Also, for a real trophy fish that is 10+ years old, there ain't a whole lot of protection from fisherman for them. Different things in different places but jugs, trot lines, bank poles, etc all are kinda crazy ways to target big fish. Muskies here are limit 1 and they have to be 40+" and they are stocked fish, yet they are protected quite nicely.

    In places where the water is too polluted to eat big fish there seems to be more big fish. This kinda tells me nature will sort things out just fine if the fishhogs leave them be for a while.
     
  15. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    You can realate catfishing to raising cattle!!!
    Let's say you have 10 Cows and a Bull. Now you breed the cows to the bull and what do you get............10 more More cows!!!
    Now let's say you decide to have one of the cows processed! Next season you will only get 9 more cattle and you better hope you get at least one more heffer to replace the processed cow. Either way you are still down by 1. You only make money by breeding more cows, and selling the calves, and building up you breeding stock. You stand to loose more money by taking out the cows.

    This method works the same way with fish, keep the breeding stock and keep the offspring for food.
     
  16. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Just like the one guy said, back over 100years ago our cats were bigger and plentiful, that was before the country became over populated. Now everybody wants the big fish, especially the pondboys. The more big fish that are not released is a big dent in the population of the big fish and small fish.
     
  17. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Boy, but don't Dreadnaught make sense. Thats putting it in a manner that can be understood by all except vegatarians. And, I also do not like the taste of fish, nor the smell of fish cooking. But, I do love to fish. I just don't keep any, no matter the size unless someone else is fishing near me and wants some fish.
     
  18. darklight825

    darklight825 New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    pa
    I fish the Monongahela river in Pa. It is way too dirty to eat out of so almost everyone releases all their fish. They say it is getting cleaner but I'm not going to be the one to start testing this out. Ieat fish from other water ways but I do agree all trophy fish should be returned to the water immediatly.
     
  19. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    I agree with Jim alot of people go out to catch fish. they keep the big ones and throw back the small ones. too many people do this and were are the big ones, gone the small ones havent had time to grow. In the mean time the smaller ones that are getting thrown back are having more smaller ones untill they get big enough for someone to keep. I definitly believe their should be slot limits so everyone would have a better chance at a monster, and even out the size to # of fish ratio
     
  20. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    THANK GOD JW finally explained CPR.Lets see if I got it now .When I go fishing I SHOULDN"T stop at MacDonalds or Burger King because if I get some hamburgers that means somebodies cow had to be processed thereby reducing the capabiliies of the herd to reproduce.If I get Col Sanders that is ok becasue there are far more chickens than cows!:lol: :roll_eyes: Since everything tastes like chicken anyway no one would be bothered if we ate all the chickens.One thing I dont get though is if you breed the bull to ten cows wouldn't you by sheer luck get some more little bulls by which you could then breed more cows to make up for the loss of the processed cow?:big_smile: I used to release all the fish I caught but now I am NOT ever going to eat another burger in order to maintain a balanced cow population.I feel MUCH better now knowing I am doing the right thing and being a conservationist.Thanks JW that whole cow thing was keeping me up at night.:big_smile: :lol: :smile2: :roll_eyes: :eek:oooh: