Commercial Fishing in Missouri

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSOURI TALK' started by Grumper, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    I called my local conservation agent today and had a long talk with him about commercial fishing on the Mississippi. A few of us around here have been spending countless hours on the Mississippi river and just can't seem to catch anything but dinks. We aren't doing anything different, just can't really seem to get on the big fish here lately. He told me a couple of years ago that there werent very many big catfish left on the river down here. I find it hard to believe, I just don't know if the commercial fisherman have anything to do with it or not. All I know is every hole within 10 miles north and south of the boat ramp has a hoop net in it. I asked him if the MDC ever has plans of putting a length limit on big catfish. He said it has been brought up several times, and he wouldn't doubt if they made a move toward a length limit in the next few years. I don't have anything against someone who keeps all their fish, that is their call, but right now in Missouri, you can keep 20 fish per day, (including channels, blues, and flatheads.) What would someone do with all that meat per trip? Anyway, back on the subject. He said over the past 25+ years working for the MDC he has personally seen tons of catfish...big catfish being pulled from these nets. He said they would line the floor of a 25 ft boat from front to back with catfish laying belly to belly and cover them up with sheets of plywood with cinder blocks to keep them from moving around. He said that your average sport fisherman probably wouldn't make a dent in the population compared to the commercial guys. He also mention that most of the commercial guys we have down here are from the State of Illinois. He said the MDC would put a ban tommorow on the harvest of catfish from the Mississippi river if Illinios would do the same. They seem to think that the river is a bottomless pit according to him. He said that even if the MDC did put a ban on catfish and Illinois didn't it would be hard to enforce a law to prove where that fish was taken from. While talking to him I asked him about the Asian carp problem also. He said that there really isn't much to do about them. I asked him about whether or not it was legal to put one back in the water alive (I don't do this anyway) He said that that was legal, but you can't fish with one live or have on live in your boat off the river. They just don't want a potential spread of Asians to another body of water. I enjoyed my talk with him and I figured I would share this with you all.
     
  2. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    I'm all for a length limit or a ban on commercial fishing the Mississippi.
     

  3. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    I agree 100 percent. He did mention that the MDC can't believe how the Sport of Catfishing has taken off over the past few years....about 25 years too late! They have noticed it and that's what it takes to get changes made.
     
  4. deerhunter4

    deerhunter4 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Illinois
    this is some great information...I Thank you for sharing it with us...I am just getting started in the river scene and want to learn more each day to apply out here...:big_smile:

    I would support a lenght or pound limit on these fish...I know of a guy called JW also known as Dreadnaught that has a standing rule in his boat...He is going to show me the ropes in August...it will be my first outing on the river...
     
  5. TeamWhiskers

    TeamWhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Missouri
    What do we have to loose.. Let's go after it in both States. Do we want to enact the 34 inch law like in TN then?
     
  6. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    Same here Buddy, The only thing I can see that would be better than what you said is: A Ban on Commercial Fishing Period!!! Something has to be done about it and, Quick! Often times things are changed when it is to late to do any good!!!
     
  7. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    I'm all for it. The question is, who do we talk to get them changes made? I guess I will have to find out.
     
  8. deerhunter4

    deerhunter4 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Illinois
    this sounds great to me...how do we start???

     
  9. Skunk Master

    Skunk Master New Member

    Messages:
    3,366
    State:
    Colinsville, Il
    Gary.. Until my motor blew up on my boat last weekend, I always fished above the dam around the Piasa creek area of the river.. Last year I was catching 20 to 30 lbers every weekend and one 44 lb flathead.. This year it has been all 5 to 8 lbers and one 15 lber.. Most of the fish I've caught have been channel this year.. Can't seem to find any decent size blues.. I know there is one guy from Missouri that runs a guide service and runs traps below the dam..
     
  10. TeamWhiskers

    TeamWhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Missouri
    We really do need this all across the MS and Ohio river systems. There has been talk, but we need to now organize and get down to it. Write up the proposal and I am sure we can get MO Conservation to endorse it. Then I think we have to get a congressman to present the bill and it goes from there.
    Some of the guys in TN know the procedure better. Not only do we need MO, IL but also IA, IN and KY.
    You all probably chuckle at me for this one. We need to start addressing Catfishing as it being a Sport and really put it that way. From what Gary said and talked about, the word is spreading. We just have to keep up the hard work.
     
  11. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    well thats messed up what about the comm. fisherman? thats there bread and butter too. just because you cant catch much you want them to ban comm. fisherman? thats bull right there, i could see a length limit. but a ban would be alittle over the top people have been making a living for many generrations from comm. fishing
     
  12. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    Sorry to hear about your motor. I feel your pain about not catching any big fish. The holes I am fishing now are the same holes I could go to last year and pull 150 pounds of fish a night out of, now the contain hoopnets. The agent said that traps and trammel nets werent allowed this time of year, just hoopnets. This reminds me last year I snagged a net with my anchor. I pulled it up and found a net with no tags, full of dead fish.. Carp, drum and a few nice blues...all dead. They need to ban it completely even though I hate to see someone lose thier job. Or else, prohibit catfish from being taken. The market is more for spoonbill and steurgon anyway. My point is if these guys, commercial, or not being the net I found wasn't tagged, they should check their nets when they are required to.
     
  13. Skunk Master

    Skunk Master New Member

    Messages:
    3,366
    State:
    Colinsville, Il
    Vince... I've been thinking about trying to get a local catfish club going for the guys around the St. Louis and Metro East area.. It's not something I can put together by myself.. Any ideas, help and input from everybody would be appreciated.. It would be a time for everybody to get together, BS, and get to know each other.. Does it sound do-able..
     
  14. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    You're absolutely right, it seems as if that is what happens. Just look back in history, it has happened to so many species. Wolves, grizzly bears, bald eagles, the list goes on and on and on! When they finally decide to put an end or enact a more rigid guideline, it's to late, that species is near extinction and put on an endangered list! Let's not let that happen to our beloved fish, to our beloved sport, to our beloved past time. I have such a profound respect for all wildlife. I only wish there were more people in our communities that felt the same as I know we, the members of the BOC, do.

    I love fishing for these spectacular fish and hope to continue fishing for them till the day my card gets pulled to go upstairs with the man.
     
  15. TeamWhiskers

    TeamWhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Missouri
    Just wait till Cuz finds out about this one. He will write a dissertation and probably have a heart attack over this subject.. Thanks Gary.. Now he wont be worth a hoot for this weekends tournament!
     
  16. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    i am sure most guys do check there nets when they are suppossed to since that how they get paid.i hate it when anyone wants to get ride of someones rights to trap weither it be fish or fur.besides the comm. fishing guys could be the ones who help the most on the asian carp issue should they be able to get a good market going they could put a dent in them pretty fast
     
  17. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    That's easy for you to say. You probably don't have a hoop net in every hole 10 miles north or south of the boat ramp, and a parking lot full of commercial guys from out of state. Every time I go fishing I have to drive 20 miles to get away from them. Let them target something else like sturgeon or spoonbill or help put a dent in the Asian population. there is more of a market for them anyway. Let the catfish go. Apparently I'm not the only one that thinks this is a problem. The MDC is aware of it and they can't change anything alone anyway. It would be up to both states to change it. Everybody seems to think these big fish are in an endless supply. JMHO.
     
  18. slider

    slider New Member

    Messages:
    581
    State:
    louisiana, mo
    need to talk to the guys on the missouri river they have had a catfish ban on comm fishing for ten years i here the missouri river catfishing is outstanding also there is a petition going around to stop trot lines and bank poles on the missouri
     
  19. TeamWhiskers

    TeamWhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Missouri
    This argument has gone on for years in TN. The ban they put on there did help the Sport. I have personally seen the impact. Same with here on the MO river. We have needed this type of legislation for years around here in the Mid West. Granted, It might hurt a few of the commercial fishermen, but what about us that want to preserve our Trophy Cats for future generations.
    What about us that are World Championship level Pros that are trying to make our living with this Sport? Yes, It is a Sport now from many of us working years and thousands of hours to promote it to where it is today. The Catfish is a Sport fish here in MO so why not treat it the way we do the other Sport fish like Bass for example.
     
  20. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I would love to see it happen in Ky. Seems like every idiot and his brother can get a commercial license in this state. Out of state outfits come here because the state they live in was ruin by their actions now, they want to come here and ruin ours. If they won't stop them at least charge them enough to make it hard to get, SAY AROUND $20,000.00 a year, that seems reasonable to me, LOL!!!