Economics of Trophy Catfish

Discussion in 'LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA TALK' started by price, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    One thing about trophy catfishing is the potential revenue that they can bring to an area. I live in an area where I can drive to TN, SC, Virginia, and anywhere in NC all the way to the Cape Fear in 3 hours or less. If I am going to hire a guide or drive all the way to fish myself with the prices (gas etc) I want to fish where there are lots of trophies. My personal opinion, before the current change in catfish reg's, I wouldn't have picked Santee Cooper or the Cape Fear. I feel, for my personal money to be spent, too many big cats have been removed for me to drive or spend my money. I would prob. drive to the James River or TN River to fish. Both have catchable numbers of trophies and reg's to protect the fishery are present in TN and VA. Others may have different opinions which is 100% OK, but catfish hotspots that produce trophies and protect them like TN and Virginia will draw in my money. This includes gas, motels, expenses, guides, license if out of state, food, etc. If the Cape Fear etc. had better protection of trophy cats, or Badin etc. would I fish them instead, and spend my money in those communties? Until I, personally, feel those things are done I will spend my money elsewhere. This also includes all the family and friends that I take each year on trips and the money I spend. So many of these areas (local communties) could benefit by bringing in anglers if trophies (fishable numbers and a great chance to land one) were present and protected. On a 100% biased note, I would say that in an area like the Cape Fear would anglers come from distant regions to fish for large flatheads and blues or the Cape Fear shiner? The question about protecting trophy cats has many angles and economics is one of them. Additionally, look at the catfish tournaments that are popping up each year. These tournaments go where the big cats are, and people spend money when they go. I just know that when I spend my personal money on a catfishing trip I want to go where the trophies are, and I have the best chance of landing one. If your local lake or river has the potential to grow large flatheads and blues, yet they are hard to catch why is that, and how much money could a community make if they where there in better numbers? I do not have the answer, but I know that they will not see my money until the cats are there.
     
  2. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i agree price. i still like to fish santee at times but the economic value of the catfish to that area is very important to those folks i think. with the low water conditions this year i feel sure they are hurting but i feel the same as you when it comes to traveling to fish. i want to go where the big boys roam. i can catch average fish and get lucky on my home waters at times but nothing like fishing the james river which i have never been but im planning for that trip. dont mind spending the money to go either. i feel like it would a good investment to take my chances on a such a fine trophy fishery. only reason i havent been yet is i know i will get hooked on it. thats good for them and bad for my pockets.:big_smile:
     

  3. catfish4fun

    catfish4fun New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    nc
    how many years have you fished tennesse
     
  4. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,015
    State:
    NC
    Ya thats one problem with going to James river or the Tenn river. Once you go your always going to have to go back. It would spoil a person very quickly. They can slam us in the size and numbers of blues. We do have one advantage, our flathead fishing is very good. And theres some real monsters on are our lakes. Personally I think I would want it that way. Half the year flatheads the other half blues.
     
  5. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    Well over a decade fishing reservoirs allover TN with great success.
     
  6. Pier Pressure

    Pier Pressure New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Mt.Pleasant,NC
    I have done quite of bit of travelling this year in search of the bigger fish and spent a good bit of money doing it. Most of the time I try to keep it rather spartan but gas, beer, food and the like is bought at the destination. In Ga. and Sc. BB herring fetch 5 - 6 bucks a dozen on top of everything else for a trip.

    If bag limits were to change on the yadkin chain bigger fish would possibly be the norm rather than exception and more revenue generated locally. Badin has a lot of fishing pressure but with some tweaking it might level the playing field. There is potential for some real good fishing if changes are put into place sooner rather than later. The lake James ordinance idea would be something that could happen a lot sooner since Raleigh would almost be left of it entirely, just the WRC enforcement part.

    I would like to see an aeration system put in at Badin and an off limits fishing zone around it like on lake Cherokee in Tn. The WRC knows that the dead zone on Badin kills the bigger striper every year and has done almost nothing to help the situation. They put BB herring in for deep water forage and called it good, even though they know the lake has the potential for much bigger fish. Alcoa did install an aerator system on the turbines on the Badin dam to help with water quality down stream (Falls res. and Tillery headwaters) because they knew of the problem. The High Rock dam is to be retro-fitted with aerators in 2010, I believe but the Tuckertown dam has been left out for some reason :confused2: go figure.
     
  7. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    The James is not protected under VA law in the tidal section, where the big blues are. The VA law is not subject to waters below the fall line and the lower James is below the fall line. There is a fair share of commercial fishing on the James but it's done with baskets getting the small fish. A year after the James was stocked with blues there was a chemical spill that closed the river to any fishing for 10 years. So the fish had adequate time to establish their self. There is also good support on the release of big fish on the James. The commercial fishing may show up in the future? And yea the James will spoil a man!
     
  8. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    I think we have only begun to scratch the surface of the economic impact blue catfish have on a fishery. The folks in and around Santee, SC know. Fishing as a whole is big business, and catfish are a large percentage of that. The low water and closed landing has made people in the area realize more than ever how dependant they are on the resources of the lake.

    While no studies has been done to document the impact of catfish on the NC economy, I would bet that more remote areas like around Badin Lake that are in close proximity to metropolitan areas would see significant inflow of money from anglers if it became a known trophy cat lake. Of course that means more pressure, but that is what regulations are for.

    It is really a trickle down effect. Everyone from gas station owners to the local guy that sells bait is affected. Hopefully this will play a small part in future decisions, but I hope more than anything it gets some the non-fishing community on board to support legislative changes. :wink:
     
  9. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i think some of the badin folks are aware. look at the nccats and there bonus program for badin and tillery. 1000.00 bonus for each of those touraments from the county! thats a great sign for the value of catfishing to that area. they could of spent that money on a lot things but they choose catfishing. i love it and dont mind spending money in stanley county either in return. i travel past several gas stations on my way to the lake but i stop in stanley county. got to support those that support the catfisherman.
     
  10. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    Quint,

    It appears to me that the creel limits don't apply below the fall line, but that the length limit on the blues does apply everywhere. Look at this and see what you think. Here's the link.

    http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/regulations/creelandlengthlimits.pdf
     
  11. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Phil and Mike your comments are precisely the argument I used on the Santee giudes I have fished with.Just about all of us can catch average catfish close to home.Heck I live on a river and can reach it with a great cast from my rear deck.So for someone to go to the big fish locations and spend their hard earned money there has to be big fish.I live right between the two great fisheries and love each for its own.Keep in mind there is also a mercury advisory on the James which helps with putting the big ones back.Most if not all the guides up there fully understand the value of the trophy fishery and advocate catch and release.Santee is another story but I believe we have turned the corner there with the new size limit BUT more importantly the guides now realize that you can fish all the big ones out.Some of them helped destroy the largemouth and striper fishery previously.Cant blame trotlines for the decline o f the trophy Stripers.Even if I had a trophy fishery in my back yard and the Cape Fear is a stones throw away I would always succumb to the lure of those far away places with the magical names.From the time is was about 15 I had a to do list for these places and Santee was always one of them.There is a magic about Dale Hollow,Bull Shoals,Ocheecobee,Center Hill,Kentucky/Barkely,Lake Mead and so many others.Fortunately in my travels I have fished most on the to do list but the lure persists.How can you not look out at Santee and think WOW this lake held or holds 4 world records.The day the big cats are gone from Santee will spell the end of the guided fishing business.Save your pennies and follow your fishing dreams while you can.:smile2:
     
  12. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    Your right and the law also applies to the commercial fisherman. The commercial harvest is rather high around 1,000lbs. a day per fisherman. They use baskets and are only getting the 1-5lb fish, some say it will cause a gap sometime in the future? It may also be keeping the fish in balance? Most importantly is that the big fish are protected, in my opinion is the most important.
     
  13. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    Letting the big ones go could be the right thing to do. It could also be the wrong thing to do. If you look at the trophy management of almost all other fish species you'll find that the regs say a fish has to be "so" long in order to keep it (bass,crappie,rockfish). This method has been working for years and it even changes from time to time on certain bodies of water. Falls Lake (Raleigh) is one of the finest bass lakes around. The last I checked you couldn't keep any bass from there under 16". What a lot of you guys are adament about is the total opposite of this time proven method of management. The comment you made about the gap is one of the things that concerns me the most. That's why we have slot limits on so many bodies of water. It seems to me that the cat limits were set because of political pressure moreso than because of a well thought out plan stemming from studies. Again, I'm not at all qualified to say what the limits should be. I can say that if setting them whimsically helps at all it will be due to coincidence, not education. It could be that in order to successfully manage a trophy catfishery on a particular body of water, you'd have to allow the harvest of, say, 4 fish per day over 40 inches and none under. Who knows? I think the answer is, Noone! Because there's never been anyone to care enough about these fish to study them as extensively as we have other species.
     
  14. mifit98

    mifit98 New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Morganton, NC
    First, thanks to Philip for starting this topic; it is important not just to the BOC but to the general business community.

    Dieter, in response to your post, you and the guys in the Carolina Catfish Club are among the leaders of an effort to build support for getting new regulations in place to develop a trophy fishery on LKN for catfish. Have we made any effort to get the leaders of local Chambers of Commerce and/or local elected officials to speak in support of the economic impact a trophy fishery would bring to their markets? I know you are working to get a lot of fishermen speak on behalf of the proposed regulations, and that will undoubtedly help our case. But it seems to me that support from non-fishing business leaders would carry even more weight if our case is going to be based on the economic impact of the new regulations.

    So my question is whether this idea (trying to get the leaders of the business community to speak at the public hearings) is worth chasing? And a follow-up question is whether you feel we have time to do it (since the hearings are only a few days away)? If you want to talk about it, get in touch. I could be of more help with the hearings set for Morganton than I could be for the hearings set for the Charlotte area. Like me, Philip Price lives in Morganton and knows the Morganton market as well as I do...I wonder whether he thinks this idea is worth the effort, especially this late in the game.

    If you think it's too late to play this card for the two hearings that are already set for mid-January, the idea may still help us get the regulations approved at future hearings.

    Let me know if you want to pursue this idea.
     
  15. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,247
    State:
    North Caro
    Thanks, Bro. Mifit98, I have sent a letter to the Lake Norman C of C and the Stanley County Chamber requesting their support on this issue. Mac
     
  16. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Bryan

    That is a good point. The NCWMR reps we met with have admitted that they do not know much about catfish management. The fish is becoming more popular and interest is growing, they are taking notice. They are open to angler suggestions but pushing laws through is easier said than done (many groups with an interest have a say). Probably gonna take some years to sort it out but at least the message is being heard as evidenced by the new law on Santee and proposals for size limits on Badin and Norman.
     
  17. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    Mudkip thanks, what are the new laws proposed for Santee? It sure needs some like the striper did, really even more so.
     
  18. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    Great post and questions Mac McCrary!! :big_smile:

    Is it worth contacting them? Yes, but I think for it to be effective it will have to be done by someone that has some personal contact or releationship with them, perhaps through another enterprise or business, perhaps even separate from the fishing world. An unsolicited letter from an individual would probably be treated with a pat on the head, a "thank you for your time", and then shuffled somewhere to the back of the stack. An expressed concern from a business owner in the area such as a hotel or motel owner might draw more attention.

    In my opinion, the folks we need more than anyone is the anchor store at North Carolinas largest tourist attraction. Of course I am talking about Bass Pro Shops at the Concord Mills Mall. It is centrally located between Badin Lake and Lake Norman and would also benefit greatly from the lakes being a trophy destination. Those guys have the ties that we need to "grease the skids" and make things happen!! :wink: If they were on board and vocal I feel they could seal the deal for us.

    Any ideas?
     
  19. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    we have a member on here that works at bass pro shops(concord) that is a catfisherman. he fishes badin too but i cannot remember his name. catmagician or something along those lines. good post dieter. David Mcdonald use to be the manger but dont know for sure if hes still there.
     
  20. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    Sorry to have to ask, but whats up with the sick fish in their tank?