Catfish Regulations & Commercial Fishing

Discussion in 'LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA TALK' started by price, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    I had a great thread on commercial fishing erased, and still not sure why or if it was read correctly, so I will start again. Anyone interested in putting safeguards on trophy cats and putting restrictions on commercial fisherman please meet at the Mooresville Gander Mt Store (I-77 exit 36) the 2nd Wed in May at 7:00 for the Carolinas Catfish Club Meeting. We will have a NC biologist there to hear about the issues. I have also emailed all the NC Wildlife Comm. and several have stated they want regulation ideas in writing. At the May meeting and thru. email I would start with the following:

    1. The transportation of any live fish from public North Carolina waters (rivers or lakes) to a private body of water for any reason is illegal.
    *This would eliminate people selling trophy cats or catfish in general to private lakes for profit.

    2. Recreational anglers are limited to no more than 1-catfish of any species per day over 30". Harvest of catfish under 30" is not restricted.

    3. People with a commercial fishing license cannot harvest a catfish over 30" at any time, and must immediately return the catfish to the water alive.

    *This protects trophy cats and makes sure great spawns continue. Recreational anglers could still keep at least 1 cat over 30". I called several (20+) places that buy catfish for food and they all stated that they looked for catfish under 5 LB's, which is a cat well under 30". If the y (commercial fisherman) are really making a living selling fish for the market then this rule would have no effect on the honest commercial fisherman, yet still protect trophy cats from any stray idiots out there that would like to sell trophy cats (alive or dead) for money.

    4. (optional) All recreational anglers are limited to no more than 50 jug lines, 50 trotline hooks, and 50 limbline hooks. Anglers cannot exceed 50 hooks in any combination at any time.

    *If an angler fishes 50 jugs then he can't fish a trotline or limbline. If he fishes a 50 hook trotline than he can't fish any jugs etc. He could fish 25 jugs and 25 limblines. At least this would keep people from throwing out like 200 jugs (I have seen it no lie!) and then loosing 1/2 of them.

    This is a rough draft and I will be working on this until the meeting then emailing the final to biologst and the NC Wildlife. The laws I mentioned above are all in some way part of other states all ready in use (TN, SC, Missouri, OK, Kansas, TX etc.)
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You know, there has always been alot of flap on this site against bass fishermen, their attitudes, their equipment, and their beloved fish.

    Thats where this is headed. Down the same road.
    Your rules suggest Elitism.
    Just because someone may have PAID to posses a commercial fishing license means they cant keep a catfish over 30" at the rate of 1 per day like anyone else can? You have got to be kidding me.

    I got more news for you. Commercial fishermen by and large sport fish too.
    In fact alot of those guys commercial fish on the side to pay for their sport fishing.
    In fact I would dare to say commercial fishermen understand more about specie management then some biologists and of course the sport fishermen.Especially since its how they make their living in part or whole.

    Now I guess you'll want to create even more elitism by specifying all this bull will only apply to those with a commercial catfish license?

    I dont want the sport of catfishing to become full of elitists and the attitudes that accompany elitists.
    I've heard enough whining and moaning about bass fishermen to last a lifetime on this site.
     

  3. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    There ya go again Mark. What to hell is an elitist. Ya really need to bring it down a notch every once in a while. Some of us are not as omnicient as you. LOL!
     
  4. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,711
    State:
    Independen
    I'm just glad that Missouri banned commercial fishing on the river in '92!
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC

    The commercial fishing industry is tremendously valuable to this state.
    They aint going to shoot theirself in the foot.
     
  6. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    I could go along with some if not most of Price's suggestions. I think they are a reasonable set of amendments to the current regulations. I like idea number one about tranporting live fish but the problem is how are you going to prove it? In the real world enforcing such a law would require plenty of man hours of staking out to catch the perp. both leaving the public water and delivering to private and catfish just are not that high on the DNR's priority list. It's a good idea, just not very enforceable.
    I do think the trophy rule of one fish over 30" per fisherman is a good one. But it should be across the board and include commercial fisherman if you are going to do it. Limited number of hooks sort of takes care of itself but again 50 per fisherman is reasonable. My brother and I worked a string of about 125 bush hooks one night and I'm here to tell you that is hard friggin work. I doubt many guys work more than 50 hooks apiece anyway because of the labor involved.
     
  7. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    mark are you referring to the commerical catfishing or just over all commerical fishing be so valuable?

    i havent personally seen no commerical fisherman on my lakes that i fish other than santee. i do feel like the juggers are hurting the big cat populations on my lakes. i know a few of them and they dont release nothing. the main one that i know has burnt his fishing buddies out on jugging. two of them have came to me wanting to rod and reel fish this year. i havent taking either one of them for the fear of them going back with jugs to some of my holes. just dont trust them. with this said i feel sure there are some folks jug fishing to make money out of local lakes. thats when its wrong to me. i have had offers to buy fish from me from pay lakes before but they are still waiting on them fish. they will never get them from me. i have noticed a increase in the jugging on my lakes from the post on here too. its like a bunch of buzzards setting around waiting to make the attack on a good fishing report. they going to start waiting too. the good thing the state did do was outlaw live bait for these folks. so the flathead fishing is doing great for those that know how to get them out of these lakes. look at the tournamnet results from the nccats from highrock lake. hard to fish jugs in structure.:big_smile:
     
  8. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    The reg's I propose are already in many ways being used in other states. It is just time that NC do the same. Restrictions on commercial fisherman to fish under 30" is not going to hurt their ability to sell fish at the market. The markets are looking for fish 5 lb's and under. The rule would just hurt their ability to take fish from public waters that are trophys or live cats in general and sale them to private waters. Mark J, I read your stuff all the time this is just one of those things that the vast majority (99.9%) of catfish1 brothers agree with. This is all I hear from private emails, groups, and anglers that I run into. I also want to let people know something else that does make me happy. I work in a high school here in North Carolina. There are so few kids left that would be willing to go out and commercial fish in the future that it is going to die....I just want to speed it up. Most of the kids I work with are also unwilling to get up at 5:00 and feed the animals and wotk on the farm. I would also state that the vast majority of the boys I work with have no male figure in their lives and not only do not hunt, but also do not fish (for anything). I try to take out my stepson (13) and his friends as many times as I can. Most have never been fishing. I also preach CPR on all catfish we catch. This issue is not going away. Restrictions, due to pressure from sport catfish anglers, are slowly happening around the US and I want NC on that list.
     
  9. canepole

    canepole New Member

    Messages:
    730
    State:
    Woodlawn Tennessee
    Go for it, Sounds like your looking out for the generation's to come, Most people don't relize the Big brute cats hold pounds of eggs and the smaller ones hold ounces of egg's, Plus the Brutes get the best holes, The surviver rate for the egg's is higher. I hope you get your's Bills passed
     
  10. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I am pushing for similar things in SC but on a smaller scale so we can build up to the ultamite goal catfish as a game fish. I fyou can get that passed there will be no more commercial fishing. I dont have a problem with a couple of guys going to the river and running 50-100 lines but what kills me is when they come back and bring home 150-200lbs of fish in one night. My question is WHY? What can you do with that much fish fillets? I just couldnt fathom even wanting to clean that many fish every weekend. I think enforcement by DNR is going to be the most fesible answer but they say people dont care about the catfish. I hope to change that, and hopefully a statewide limit like just pased in santee 36".
     
  11. McDreamy

    McDreamy New Member

    Messages:
    279
    State:
    nc
    well i can tell u for a fact what killed the big flat heads out of tucker town resevior was sports fishermen passing the word on and others going down there keeping everything they catch and people running juggs and trotlines and limb lines me and my dad used to go down there and catch 30- 40 lb flats but now we are luck to catch one around 20

    i see the same thing happening on high rock and the yadkin i talked to a guy the other week he says he keeps every flat he catchs over 25 lbs and the upper high rock and lower yadkin has alot of big flats in it.

    i really do believe that their should be a size limit on cats but i think it should be set by speices not just an over all size like say for flats for instance anything from about 15 to 50 lbs has to be released or any thing over a 5 lb channel has to be released that way they can get bigger.
    i would use measurements but im not to sure right off hand.

    also their shold be a bagg limt on cats lets say 10 a day. 10 pansized to 2-4 lbs. makes a good meal for a family of 4.

    I have a 5 yr old daughter that when she has kids i want them to be able to catch some giant cats. instead of listening to their old senile grandpaw telling them stories.


    welp thats my 2 cents worth
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    What you fail to understand with your repeated 99.9% comment.
    I work on the BOC. I'm a member of the BOC. Both of those entail the use of a computer sitting at home or work.

    I have a day job and pay taxes. Alot more then I would like to.
    Commercial fishing in NC is a 100 million dollar a year industry in just 2 and half million acres. The Pamlico sound alone is responsible for about 90% of that. What is catfishing bring in?
    If you toss out that 100 million then its folks like me that will have to pick up the tab for the lost revenue.
    You see. I love to fish and probally more then anyone on this site but my fishing has no economic value in my life compared to the over 100 million dollars a year commercial fishing kicks into the economy I live in.
    Some of us actually pay attention to such things and understand what necessity is and what play is.

    Your theory that commercial fishing is dying is wrong.
    In 1990 there were already twice as many commercially licensed vessels in NC as there were in 1970.
    Commercial fishing has always been a big part of NC and NC is in the top tier states for commercial fishing.
    Granted, the vast majority is saltwater but you cant attack commercial fishing of any kind and not bite the hand that feeds you.

    The commercial fishing industry in this state was funding species management way long before "sportsmen" ever kicked a dime in. That's a fact.

    Maybe not in Ohio, Tennessee or some of those other states but commercial fishing will always be available in NC and until the pleasure angler particularly catfishing anglers start producing upwards of 100 million a year I will gamble to say commercial fishermen will remain top dog in NC.
    I dont have to like any of it but I understand it, I know the value of its existence, I can look at the broader picture, and having a family that still farms independently on a large scale I will always support commercial fishing in any capacity. There is little difference between the two.

    Go work in a classroom on Ocracoke. Every child there has already commercially fished and will more then likely commercial fish fulltime or part time. Its commercial fishing that is providing.
    Go to a classroom in Raleigh and what you say will hold true.

    Coexistence and management of all species is the answer.
    Its fact you need to remove alot of fish from a body of water for fishing to be above average. I've heard the folks from state college tell what needs to removed from a pond yearly and its alot more then I would have thought at the time.
    There is a reason why the best fishing you'll ever see in a pond will be the 3rd and maybe 4th years of its flooding and stocking.
    The reason is that by nature we are hoarders. It ticks us off that someone walked out of the pond with 75 big bluegills but in reality he did the pond more good then harm.
    CPR isnt management. Its just a small part of management. In fact CPR can be distasterous if you arent working off data that outreaches the bow of your boat.
    Until this state starts coming up with hard numbers and study results of the catfish populations I think its best to leave well enough alone.

    What needs to be done is to make catfish a gamefish.
     
  13. McDreamy

    McDreamy New Member

    Messages:
    279
    State:
    nc
    i used to work in alot of resturants andif i go to the grocery store i all ways go to the seafood dept. and all i have ever seen are farm rasied catfish.

    also lets say for in stance lake"X" has a high mercury content in bass bream, and crappies would not that effect the catfishing industry on that body?? cause of cross contamination cause thats mainly a catfishs diet right??
     
  14. bowfin

    bowfin New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    North Carolina
    Mark J have you ever been a commercial fisherman I have set nets for nine years.They shoot there self in the foot every time they go out and fish there nets.dont get me wrong I have no prob with commercial fishing off shore. but when they set nets in the rivers the bycatch is way to high.I have seen nets with twenty or more drum that are dead and will be put back in the water.Commercial fishing dont bring in as much money to the state as you think.If it did why are all the fish houses closeing along the coast.Most of the seafood you get in North Carolina come from over seas or farms.And for the state to make laws for catfish you might get more than you wont.
     
  15. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Interesting discussion.

    Up my way I would say that the only problem with the limited amount of CF is the fact that many round these parts are under the impression that fish from a pay lake are clean of contaminants when the truth is many, if not most, come straight out of the river. The same river with "do not eat" advisories.

    Sounds more that a bit on the criminal side to me.
     
  16. jbarnes17

    jbarnes17 New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Commerce, Oklahoma
    Here in Oklahoma commercial fishing is illegal and restraunts can only buy catfish that is farm raised. However, noodling is legal and people take way more than there share especially flathead. We don't catch near as many flathead as we used to 15 to 20 years ago. I can only imagine the devastation commercial fishing would bring if it were legalized in our state. It would be hard to enforce regulations due to the lack of man power and the amount of water that would have to be covered.
     
  17. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Those same figures are on just about any state run and federal run website dealing with commercial fishing.
    Like I said. 90% of that 100 million comes from the Pamlico sound.

    This year was the 21st year of the of the NC commercial fishing show and it was the largest on record.
    Commercial fishing is alive and well. Fish houses have always come and gone but when your are talking about several thousand of them in NC losing a 100 or so in the last 5 years isnt much of an indictation that commercial fishing is on the decline.
    NC ranks around 10th in the nation for commercial fishing and 1st in Summer flounder .
    We rank only second to Fla in King Mackeral harvest.
    Our crab harvest attributes to 25-35 million dollars a year.
    We are 4th in Menhaden harvest as well as shrimp and the list goes on.

    I dont commercial fish and dont have that desire. I still could sell all the big blue cats and flatheads I could drag home dead. there is a market for them.
    People want them to eat. I guess not everyone is happy with flash frozen channel cat in the grocery stores.
     
  18. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    ok... enough about the commercial side and if its dying or not... the simple answer is people love seafood, others have to catch it... (seafood being general to include freshwater fish)... thats all that needs to be said about it.

    so now to the real subject of this thread.

    some of those restrictions would benifit some people but not all people. i know a couple of people that catfish for a living, selling to local resturaunts and local stores. you got to think of how it will hurt not only those people, but also the resturaunts and stores and their customers. yes, most places sell only farm raised catfish, but the little mom and pop places can't afford to do that, so they buy what the can and what the need from the local guy that has the lower price so that he can put food on his table, in his house, for his family... most of the guys that i know that do this for a living aren't able to work a "regular" job, and they are busting there butts to make ends meet... these are the guys that are going out in small jon boats running multipule trotlines and then bringing the fish home and cleaning them and then selling the fillets to the mom and pops... i don't know if everyone here has tried to run a bunch of trotlines and then clean 100 pounds of fish 5 days a week... i know that i haven't... yes, they take alot of fish, but have you seen a big decrease in population?, or are you just not catching any fish. i haven't caught a catfish yet this year, do i blame it on commercial guys?, no. i blame it on the weather. every time that i have gone out, noone is really catching anything because of the weather, or just cause i'm on the wrong part of the lake... and i know that all of these guys that are making a living on it have to run more than 50 hooks. 50 hooks is alot of work for the average person, and i don't think that people will run more than 50 hooks unless if they are making ends meet money wise.

    the hook number reg would be a nice addition to the non commerical special device license, but if you have the commercial license you should be able to run as many hooks as you want. you just put in 10 times the amount of money to get the license just to try to make ends meet. but i think that the limit should be more on the lines of 150 hooks using 3 trotlines giving 50 hooks per trotline, or using 150 hooks total using juglines or set hooks (limb lines) for the non commerical guys. that would give the non commerical guys a bit more leway, 150 hooks is still a bunch of work, and most won't run that many. either way, people will still keep a bunch of fish, or throw back a bunch of fish.

    i love to trotline, i run 50 hook trotlines to keep the danger level a little lower, and the workload lower... now i don't keep everything that i catch on them, i'll only keep what i'm going to eat. i just love to do it, cause it makes me feel like i accomplished something that night. but on the flipside, i won't pass up an opportunity to just go and fish using only fishing poles... there are others out there besides me that are just the same, using trotlines, jugs, and set hooks just to catch fish only to let them go... it also brings home some good stories of hauling in 100 pounds of fish just to keep 4 or 5 fish for dinner that night.

    the reg i would like to see is a max size limit like what they just done on santee, but it would have to be for everyone, including the commercial guys. anyone in the state can buy a commercial license, its $100.

    the only other thing i would like to see is catfish becoming a game fish... that way the bassers would stop makin fun of us for fishing for a nongame fish... lol... but wildlife and the bioligists, all have to work together to anylise the catfish population, and they have to study the different breeds to put size regs on each breed, not just a general size limit.

    look at shearon harris's size limits for bass and look at what it is doing for the population, there are huge bass in that lake, and you can keep the trophy ones, the ones that you can't keep are the ones in the prime breeding size and age, these are the one producing the most fry that have the highest chance of survival... that took alot of research to come up with those numbers, not just a couple of guys sitting around the table drinking coffee deciding on what sounds good.

    the first thing that has to happen in order for any regs to take place, is that the catfish has to be a game fish... that is what should happen... and then once the research is done, then and only then can other regs be put into place.

    sorry the post is long, but i feel it is what needed to be said
     
  19. bearsfan

    bearsfan New Member

    Messages:
    19
    State:
    north carolina
    I was just curious if anyone knows if these huge catfish that have been introduced to the capefear and other rivers are doing more damage than good? It is an introduced species and I was curious if a 50 pound fish is really damaging other species. Does it do the system more good if these huge fish are taken. Just curious, they must eat a crap load of food to get so big. It seems like there is shellcracker forum online some place, where they are complaining that the big cats are eating all the fish. Besides, I have come to the conclusion after many outings that there are no catfish over 12 pounds in the cape fear. I have come to believe that all these stories and pics are just a big conspiracy by Walmart to keep me buying tackle. If anything huge was in the river surely with all my skill I would have caught it by now. These posts have been interesting and thought provoking, thanks.
     
  20. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Considering the last 2 flathead records for the state came from the Cape Fear I'd say the Cape Fear is a good bet for big fish. I know I'm not disappointed in it.
    The Cape fear isnt always kind though.


    I dont know what catfish populations are doing to the river. I have a history of posts on this site concerning the rivers and the catfish populations and why CPR may do more harm then good on these rivers.
    Beig a "sportsmen"
    And managing a fishery isnt CPR'ing fish. Managing a fishery and being a "sportsman" is doing what needs doing regardless of how its accepted by yourself or anyone else whether its removing the larger fish, removing all fish caught, or slot limits.

    This tunnel vision mentality of catfish catfish catfish doesnt cut it with me. Like humans fish also coexist. A catfish is but a small piece of the overall picture in the sport of fishing or the pleasure of fishing and an entire ecosystem.
    Without proper management of a multitude of species there isnt a need to waste the effort on a catfish. It would be a lost cause and a waste of money to do so.
    The catfish is on the upper side of the food chain. Without managing whats lower on the chain what have you got? To manage whats below the catfish may require the removal of catfish.