Conservation Commission Meeting Sept 17 & 18th

Discussion in 'Gateway Catfishing Club' started by stlcatman, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    There will be a Conservation Commission meeting in FESTUS MO. Most likely they will have the private meeting on the 17th and hold the public one on the 18th of September. This gives everyone time to clear their schedules and make it to this meeting.

    This is our chance to make our case against commercial fishing on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River and its banks. We will need to send a letter to the director of the conservation dept. at least two weeks in advance and request to put our agenda on the list.

    I know we all complain about what is going on and now it is our chance to do something about it. I think we have a strong case to make something happen and I am sure that 100 fisherman at this meeting will show our sincerity.
     
  2. BEHITJ

    BEHITJ New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    Wentzville
    Thanks Ryan for the update.
     

  3. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri
    I should be able to be there but this is a long way off. We will have to keep this thread alive to keep it in folks minds.
     
  4. hillbilly25002000

    hillbilly25002000 New Member

    Messages:
    847
    State:
    missouri
    ill be there just keep us updated
     
  5. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    As of right now I am not sure which day they will open to the public but at least we have some notice and it is pretty close compared to where they usually are. We have a chance here to get a ban on commercial fishing for our half of the river where their equipment or fish in the boat are not allowed on our side of the river. If we include "Or it's banks" this also excludes them from using our ramps with their equipment to access the river. That is a long stretch of river without ramps on the IL side. This also keeps them from setting nets on the Missouri side of the river.
     
  6. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Are we trying to get a ban on ALL commercial fishing or just catfish? Seems there is at least some market for Asians developing and the only way to harvest large numbers of those dudes is with big nets. I'd think getting some of the asians under control would be good.

    I don't have a clue how to go about proposing this legislation, or if this is even where we would do it, but I'll be there if I can.

    Chris? Any suggestions?
     
  7. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    Skip that is a good point. This is the place to get the motion on the table. It is not the end all b all but it is our time and place to put it up there for the conservation dept. to put it up for a vote. I am not sure if this is the battle we want to fight right now but it sure would be nice. There is also the possibility to try for the one fish over 34" and the no transporting of live fish accross state lines.
     
  8. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    I wouldn't pursue an outright ban right now. I say we push hard to institute a one fish over 34" per person posession limit, and make it illegal to transfer live sportfish across state lines. For this endeavor we have precedence from states such as Tennesee and now Alabama. Utilize the catfish rescue petition with a well written cover letter and show up in force to show you are serious about this fishery. It will be easier to enact legislative change when we push for the protections on both the sportfisherman and commercial fronts. When we know the dates it is absolutely imperative that we show up! I propose we aggressively pursue the following

    one cat fish (no matter the species) over 34 inch posession limit.

    The same 5 catfish creel limit sportsman are bound by.

    Illegal to transport livesportfish across state lines.

    Illegal to intentionally take live sportfish from our public waterways for the purpose of stocking a private intenty pay for fishing lake

    Be willing to support a fishing license pay hike to help support enforcement of the rules. As of now, the Missouri Department of Conservation is operating on a very tight shoestring budget and is forcing cutbacks. This is not the greatest of news. In the past the MDC has been very supportive and proactive in. Protecting it's native species. I see No reason why they would not continue that trend if we present our case in a professional manor and in a way that shares in the sacrifice.

    I sincerely believe that 17 bucks for a fishing license is a steal and would support an increase up to 25 bucks to help fund additional MDC personnel to assist with enforcement of the code.

    Let's face it, even with positive rule change, if they don't have the bodies to enforce it, what is the point?

    Take a minute and ask youself honestly how much value there would still be in a paying 2 dollars a month for the privelege of fishing in our great state.

    If we are serious about preserving this great fishery, we must be willing to share on the sacrifice.

    I'll be there! will you?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  9. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT


    Cuz I agree completely and I know you know how I feel about these fish, but how will this effect those of us that fish tourney's??
     
  10. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    The tourneys actually become more competitive. They would be run the same way as the tournaments are run in Tennesee and Alabama.

    The rules still apply!

    For Tournament Purposes, lets say you and I are paired up ratman.

    We can have 2 fish over 34 inches in our posession. (one for each of us) If we both have hogs, we now have to catch 3 fish that are UNDER the 34 inch limit. In some venues, its not easy to find rats! :smile2: It serves to equalize the playing field. One team cant run to the scales with 5 30-40 pound fish anymore. You have the ability to have 2 large fish, and 3 under 34 inches. Lets face it though, its a very tiny percentage now of the teams that go to the scales with more than 2 fish over 34 inches long.

    As the sport of catfishing evolves, and grows, down the road we can push for some of the Catfish Tournament Series to be sanctioned, and therefore the possibility of a one day exclusion from the rules being as the fish are to be released alive. For example some of the Bass Pro events get waivers from restrictions on slot lengths since they are Catch and RElease only events. WE are quite a ways from getting this, but we have to start somewhere.

    As for the transportation, Its illegal to transport live gamefish for the purpose of stocking a pay lake. Not illegal to transport for purposes of a catch and release tournament.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  11. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT


    Okay....what about the transporting of fish thing....such as the Riverbend Tournament Series? Would the fishermen be able to launch from Columbia Bottoms, then weigh in at the Alton Marina?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the size limit, I'm just playing devils advocate and getting clarification.
     
  12. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    If its feasible, a bona fide tournament series could perhaps apply for a temporary one day waiver on the transporation issue. I'm not sure how receptive the Conservation Commision would be on this, but its worth a shot.

    For example, Justins Riverbend series could apply for a one day tournament 'waiver' for the transportation issue since the fish are released back into the Mississippi River alive not being transferred to a pay fishery.

    Let me make a couple phone calls this morning and see whats best for the avenue we pursue. Its possible we might just have to suck it up and not be allowed to transfer fish from say Columbia Bottoms to Justins weigh in, which forces all of the boats to use the Illinois ramps.
     
  13. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Just a headsup also. Lets try not to limit our thinking to just our own back yard. Rules and regulations apply to ALL Missouri Citizens. We will come across anglers that dont see any problems at all with the current regulations, anglers that believe there does NOT need to be a creel limit, anglers that will NOT support any fee increase. There are anglers that believe our big lakes have NOT been overfished and over exploited. (The Convervation Commissions own Biologist disagrees with these fisherman and has indicated publicly that the fisheries have been overfished) but some folks are smarter than biologist dont ya know? :wink:

    I'll try and find out if its a valid avenue to pursue on emplacing restrictions on just the Mississippi River Basin. They did it on the Missouri, but its not bound with Illinois either.
     
  14. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Oh, I know! There are a BUNCH of em in the Missouri section here on the BOC! It's amazing how brilliant they are....god just gifted them I guess...:roll_eyes:
     
  15. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    Tell me it wouldn't be nice though. To not have these guys out there with nets in the winter time scooping up all of the huge pods of catfish and filling their boats. This would save the fish that use our side of the river to hole up and a good portion of the river without ramps on the IL side. There is something to discuss here. I like the 34" rule and the no transporting of live fish but I don't know how easy that would be accomplished at this meeting as it would be a state wide restriction. At this meeting we are talking about an east side of the sate ban on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River.

    If memory serves me Skip the commercial fisherman are still allowed to trap other fish besides catfish on the Missouri river. Most of them will tell you they are just after the spoonbill and the sturgon anyway.

    I will find out wich of the two days will be open to the public and post up as soon as the information is made available. They don't even have a venue picked out yet but it will be in Festus.
     
  16. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Sure seem like it would be easier to have catfish classification changed to sportfish. That in itself would pretty much get what we all want, wouldn't it?
     
  17. catfishchris

    catfishchris Active Member

    Messages:
    679
    State:
    missouri

    Catfish(blues, flatheads, and channels), are already classified as game fish. They along with paddlefish happen to be the only catfish that can be harvested by commercial methods.
     
  18. catfishchris

    catfishchris Active Member

    Messages:
    679
    State:
    missouri
    I meant to say they are the only gamefish that can be harvested by commercial methods. The dinner bell was ringing and I got in a hurry!:smile2:
     
  19. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    bump
     
  20. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    You will have to do better than I did with the petition. I currently have 54 signatures. Of them 31 are from out of state. And 15 of them, are out of the United States.
    In other words I have only 23 signatures from the state of Missouri. There are more GWC members than that but they either dont share our belief or it is too much trouble to sign the petition. I dont know what it is gonna take to get this thing started.
    I am willing to sign a petition, attend a meeting, speak to the people on the river and other fishing areas. But it is gonna take a whole lot more effort than I am seeing.