Fishing Reg Change

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by catman george, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    It is that time of year for any proposed ODWC reg changes for the upcoming public hearings in January 2009. Last year there was some discussion about seining minnows for personal use for bait. AWSHUCKS and I had a brief discussion this morning to refresh my memory. The proposed change is to change the word "minnows" to "non game fish" such as perch. This is proposed change would allow sportsmen to use a seine 20' or less to harvest non game fish for personal use as bait. This proposal will be heard by the Oklahoma sportmen and women in the January public hearings.

    If anyone has any suggestions for changes to the current regs let me know ASAP. The deadline for submission is 8/1/2008 and any other changes must reviewed and properly worded before that deadline so time is of the essence.

    There also is some current discussion for significantly increasing the daily limit on catfish from 15 to 30 or more.

    catman george
     
  2. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Oklahoma!
    I thought the limit was six per species! Wow, I don't know what to think about doubling it to 30 or more, what do you think?
     

  3. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    It appears the resource can support the change. You must remember that just because the daily limit may change you first have to harvest that many to impact the population. I do not foresee any noticable difference. The recommendation comes from research and considerable discussion I am sure. The purpose of the recommendation is to reduce the number of blue cats in some of the lakes. I assume that there will be some specific restrictions on flatheads. Time will tell.

    catman george
     
  4. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I had heard about the 15 to 30 fish per day. I also thought they were thinking about a one fish or 30 or 27 inch per day. Have you heard if there still considering that. We have tons of blues, but think we could have a better trophy bluecat population by limiting the amount of larger blues harvested.
     
  5. Redneck1

    Redneck1 Guest

    I've got a bad feeling when you say there may be some specific restrictions voiced toward flatheads. If these restrictions on flatheads are some how aimed toward the noodlers I would not be for that at all but I would be 100% in favor of noodlers being able to keep blue cats and flatheads.
     
  6. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Chris- You are correct the current thought appears to be 1 fish/day at or over 30" the rest must be under. The target seems to be to increase harvest on blues.

    REDNECK1 - The regs on flatties may stay the same or change little. I am not aware of anything targeting the noodlers. I will find out more after 8/1/08.

    catman george
     
  7. Redneck1

    Redneck1 Guest

    Hopefully that max size limit wouldn't be a state wide restriction, if so it would be ridiculous, a 30" blue cat isn't a very big catfish.
     
  8. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    A 30" blue cat weights around 25 #'s. The meat on a fish that size is not as good a quality as say a 10 pounder. A 25 pound fish and larger is harder to clean. By providing some protection on these larger fish then more people will evntually have a better oppportunity to catch some of these pigs. The current thought is to let anglers harvest 1 over 30"/day. Hey that is a big fish in anyones book. If this change is approved then everyone can legally double their catch if they are so lucky as to get into them. Rod and reel anglers,I do not think, typically catch their limit every time they go out. They may catch 7-12 nice fish to keep and they may release the rest. You still have something to take home for the table and have a ball C& R the rest. It is all about having a good time and sharing the time with family and friends. If this change happens I will be tickled.

    The perch trapping issue is being given some serious consideration. This issue was not seen, but it WILL be addressed. My contacts indicate that this is a very positive step in the right direction for the department and Oklahoma anglers. Stay tuned, I will know more after 8/1/08 and will report to everyone.

    Tight lines,screaming drags,stay cool and jerk some jaws this summer.

    catman george
     
  9. Redneck1

    Redneck1 Guest

    Whatever, I don't know why people are appalled by the fact someone could actually be fishing for catfish for the primary purpose of eating and filling their freezer. I didn't know that people actually fished for them just for sport. If a guy has to throw back one 25 pound catfish, then he'll need 5 five pound catfish to replace it, that could take him all day or maybe 2 months depending on when he can go fishing again, be it rod and reel, trotline, or jugs, but as you stated you'll be "tickled" because your chance of catching a big fish went up.
     
  10. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Personally I don't see a problem being restricted to 1 big fish per day. It would help the trophy fishery and ultimately give more folks the chance to tangle with a big one. There are plenty of smaller fish to keep for the eatin'.
     
  11. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I'll be the first to tell you that I love harvesting catfish, I've cleaned thousands of them. I love eating them and love catching catfish big and small. One thing I think all catfisherman can agree on is we like to catch big fish and lots of them. Blue cats have really taken over our lakes and rivers in Oklahoma since they were introduced 30 years ago. When you go fishing these days you will catch 10 blues to every channel cat and most are these 1 to 5 pound blues. I personally like it since the blues get bigger and taste better than channels but there's TON's of these 1 to 5 pound blues in our rivers and lakes. I personally think the idea of taking more of these smaller blues can help sustain a larger bluecat population. If they increase the harvest rates from 15 to 30 I'd personally like the other fifteen be in under 20 inch range to cut down on the smaller sizes. I don't want any fisherman not to have the abilty to keep the biggest fish he catches for the day no matter if it's 8 or 80 pounds not everyone can fish as much as some of us. Anyway I like the idea of one fish over 30 inches a day....like George said that's a good 25 plus pound blue. There tons of blues in the 8 to 20 pound range that this wouldn't effect for someone who wants to make a nice haul of blues to fill there freezer. I think if they increase the daily harvest rates the additional blues harvested should be the smaller 1 to 5 pounders that are mainly under 20 inches.
     
  12. Redneck1

    Redneck1 Guest

    This is just a little skit I came up with about this, so don't take it too serious. It would probably be better with a cold beer.

    Game warden: Lee, you're gonna have to throw back 2 of those 10 cats you caught because you've got 3 there over 30" long and the new regulations state you can only have 1 over 30", but you can keep 30 smaller ones though, so it really works out in you favor.

    Lee: Gee, warden I hardly ever catch more than 10 fish in a single trip and now I have to throw back 2 of 'em because they are too big, heck now I'm down to 8 fish.

    Game Warden: Well Lee I don't know what to tell you, I guess you'll have to start fishing harder so you can reap the rewards of the new harvest limits, trust me it's for your own benefit.

    Lee: Thanks warden, I guess I'll go home and try to figure out how it's possible that now that they've doubled the harvest limits, somehow I bring home less fish to clean.
    :confused2:
     
  13. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I see your point there Lee but I also think it's pretty darn easy to catch a mess of blues any time of the year on any of these lakes or rivers. If you can catch 3 or more 25 pound plus blues in a day you should have a easy time catching a bunch of others and culling down some more blues under that 30 inch size. I personally don't care what a person keeps but I'd like to see some bigger blues on a more regular basis and I think culling down more of all these dang smaller blues will increase the population of the larger ones. We already have IMO the best flathead fishing around and I think we could have just as good a big trophy blues with some more effective management. The blues reproduce very well in our lakes and there not going to be a shortage of smaller ones. I'd like to see some of our lakes starting to produce more 40 plus pounders on a more regular basis.
     
  14. HOLD-ACCOUNT

    HOLD-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    oklahoma
    I have been keeping up with this regulation change. It has been intersting to hear all the opinions!

    I have a neutral position. I am concerned about the future of our resources and I will support any regulations if they are voted on and changed. We have hired these folks to manage our resources. These folks are not perfect, but I know the ones that are studding the catfish in OK are trying their best to come up with a plan so our future anglers are left with good fishing. The last thing any fisheries biologist wants to deal with is a species disaster while they are managing a particular body of water. The changes to the regulations will only be made after at least 3 years of studies.

    There is only 1 thing I am hoping to clear up for your debate. This is, that in all the electro fishing and angler participation testing done by Jeff Boxrucker assistant chief of fisheries for OK. and his staff a 30" bluecat averages 10lbs on Grand Lake, Lake Texoma, Fort Gibson, Keystone, Kaw, Kerr, and Webber's Falls. The average age and growth rate for a 30" bluecat is 10 years old.

    After a blue reaches 28 inches its considered an adult catfish. It can spawn and has reached sexual maturity. The early years for a bluecat are tough....the growth rates are very slow and there are gillions of these cats that never even reach 28" because of natural mortality. This is why in some biologists minds a 30" catfish is a valuable asset to the waterway it survives in. It has already exceeded the law of averages..it's a survivor....Weather you like to keep um all, or just the bigguns, or maybe just the skillet sized cats, the public has to be informed of this valuable educational information so they can make educated choices about the harvest of the catfish they catch.

    The other fact in their 3 year study suggests that in lakes where there are to many cats under 28" the over all growth rate slows way down, overcrowding, resulting in a slower than average growth rate. The top end cats will suffer greatly in this instance. It happens in ponds....A lake is just a big pond.

    I have had the pleasure of working and participating in these studies with OK and MO. It has been amazing to see the age and growth rates stay almost exactly the same from state to state. The blues in each state are growing alike and the fisheries managers are trying to figure out why there are not more large adult blue catfish caught by anglers.

    One more small thing while I am rambeling on ....a blue catfish should not be judged/managed alongside other game fish like a bass or crappie. They have to be managed very, very, differently. A blue catfish/flathead has the potential to get huge. They also are slow growing making them more of an investment in time. ODWC's primary question is.....Are we harvesting the big blues faster then we can grow them? I sure don't have the answer.....I have faith in Jeff Boxrucker and his team, I think the ODWC will make the right decisions. Catfish management is new and there is a lot to be learned.

    Hope this information helps......
     
  15. Larry Collier

    Larry Collier New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Wagoner, Oklahoma
    If the state wants to set a length limit I feel an increase in creel limits is in order.
    To be honest I doubt most cat fishermen don't realize the average size of their catch. In fact I would go so far as to say they believe their fish to be longer than their actual length.
    What I am getting at is that everyone I know that catches a 24 inch cat is as proud as punch of their monster cat! And I am one of them. Any time I catch my limit of cats running between 18 and 24 inches I have had an amazing day. To limit ourselves to one cat over 30 inches per day is not going to hinder the average cat fishermans ability to fill the freezer with fillets.
    Remember, while we enjoy our resource we also have the awsome responsibility of preserving that resource for future generations. My kids and grandkids are worth anything I can do to make sure the sport of catfishing is at least as good and hopefully even better than it has been for me.

    Larry
     
  16. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    I don't think that the higher limit number will change anything. Most weekend fishermen can't catch a full limit in any one day anyhow!.

    Now before you go throwing stuff at me, I visited with the local warden last year during a creel check. He had found me fishing with two clients. He checked licenses, then did the creel check. We had 41 blue catfish under 10 pounds in the livewell... almost three limits. He allowed that we were among 24 boats checked that morning, and the only boat with a limit of fish. Most of the boats had a small number of fish with several zeroing out.

    In short, raising the limit of fish in the creel will do nothing but make the average Joe think that the State is giving us something. I don't want to be standing in the heat filleting fish for hours just because I can keep that many!

    This new creel limit will effectively not impact the catfish fishery in the least. There will still be lots of blue cats in the lakes and rivers as long as the breeding stock is released back into the water unharmed.

    Practice CPR with the big breeder fish and we'll have catfish for a lifetime.
     
  17. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I know they all ready have emplaced regulations on Flatheads to protect them, such as the minimum length requirement. My personal preference would be to see a maximum length limit placed on them also. I believe most of the large flatheads are caught by noodlers, and I don't begrudge any of these gentlemen their right to catch these fish. If they are doing it for ego, they would object to a length limit very strenously. If they are doing it for the table, they would probably say a few choice words, release the fish, and go about catching another. If any resource is not protected, it will soon disappear.
     
  18. Redneck1

    Redneck1 Guest

    You don't begrudge these gentlemen their right to catch fish, just their right to keep 'em I guess. I don't know how you'd feel about having to throw your food away, but I'd have more than a few choice words about it. Heck, noodlers only have a three fish limit now, a max size limit would pretty much put an end to the guys who catch them for eating. For me when it comes to catfish, without the eating, there's not much point in the fishing. I'm seeing that my way of thinking is way outdated on this site, because it seems people can't understand that a man could consider catching a "trophy" nothing more than a bonus to catfishing, the same way killing a "trophy" deer is just a bonus to hunting, not be the driving force to why he does what he enjoys doing. So this will be my last Post on this site, and I know you guys won't miss me when I'm gone. So all you guy's keep on CPR'n especially the big ones, cause that's more fish for me to keep and eat. Good Luck to Y'all. Hope all the catfish you catch are 50 plus pounders that way the enjoyment and suprise you'd get from hooking into a big one will be somewhat lost.
    :smile2:
     
  19. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    Just like a kid... get mad 'cause no one wants to play his game then rant and run away...

    Oh well... GOOD RIDDANCE!

    :smile2::smile2::smile2:
     
  20. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    I hope I ain't too late to get in on this one. If you've always stamped off like a little girl, then so be it I guess.

    Hey redneck, when you whine about these regulations being unfair to noodlers, I know for a fact you're full of it. Know how I know? I noodle. 3 average fish noodled will put as much meat in the freezer as 50 small fish will, and how many noodlers do you know that throw their fish back? ZERO i bet. Noodlers will generally keep every single big fish caught, and they'll also keep enough for all their drunk buddies who are watching from the bank, so don't try to blow smoke up my tailpipe. I know how it works. 2 guys noodling will end up with 12 fish. 3 for me, 3 for my buddy, and 6 for the guys dragging the ice chest. :eek:oooh:

    Okay, take the average catfisherman who knows what he's doing...... he'll catch 40 good fish on a good day, with several being bigguns. If he has a head on his shoulders, he'll pitch back the bigger fish and keep the smaller ones for eating, because they're the ones that taste the best. It's called "selective harvest." If more OKlahoma noodlers knew what it was, we'd have lots and lots more big fish to catch today. Instead, we have a bunch of infants who keep every catfish they catch, then wanna gritch and moan about how things "just ain't like they used to be." Well no crap! You've kept every fish you've ever caught, and you wanna know why it ain't as good as it could be?

    I believe in catching, keeping, and eating catfish too. Heck, that's why God invented them. They taste great. That doesn't mean we have to keep every single one we catch, and especially every big one.

    I've wanted a one fish over "X" inches limit for years. I think it's a phenomenal idea, and I hope it passes.