Ft Washington Cats - Commercial Fishing Ruined It?

Discussion in 'MARYLAND RIVER TALK' started by HoytArcher45, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. HoytArcher45

    HoytArcher45 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Maryland
    Name:
    John
    Hey Folks. I've been catfishing the Potomac around this area since at least 2008, but took a few years off due to kids. Went out of Ft Washington yesterday evening 8/8/20 and was shocked at the amount of commercial gill nets spread out all over the river. We we're only able to catch fish in the 10-15lb range, and I've never struggled before to catch 30-40 pounders. We also didn't see anyone else out catfishing, which was a bit surprising for a Saturday summer night with beautiful weather. Whats the deal? Was it just me, or are the commercial catfishers ruining this once-emerging trophy fishery?

    I've also noticed this forum is not super active, and I haven't seen too many people posting about catfishing this area on FB anymore (although I could be looking in the wrong groups). Anyone know whats up? Did I miss the memo?
     
    Big Sam likes this.
  2. Herbhome

    Herbhome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    784
    State:
    Arkansas
    Name:
    Neill
    Welcome Hoyt,
    I live a long distance from you and can't answer your questions but I'm sure some of your neighbors are on here.
     

  3. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    I don't know but would suspect if you have a netter taking out 500 -600 lbs. of fish out of a stretch of river every week or so eventually it would start to have an effect, multiply that by several netters and the effect would occurred quicker and be more severe. Where I fish a good netter can and does catch more fish in a week than my wife and I do in a season. While we don't keep a lot of fish anything we do keep has to be 15lbs. or < but we are not trying to make a profit while many of them are, so culling may be rare for some. Don't wanna get too high on my soap box but many of the game regulations in my home state were written prior to sonar, 40 MPH fishing boats and all the other things that make me as well as the commercial guys much more effective coupled with the increase in population using the public waters it may be time to give the regs. another look.
     
    typer181 and metalman like this.
  4. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Exactly!
    It's the same here in Indiana. Little or no regulations for years and now the few there are don't have the effect they're supposed to due to loop holes and lack of enforcement.

    ...W
     
    Big Sam likes this.
  5. orion11

    orion11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    pa.
    Name:
    Brion
    I have been fishing the Potomac about 10 years also and notice the same things as you, Hoytarcher. Maryland is intent on attacking this "invasive fish" and and doesn't care about the trophy value of these large fish. Another thing is the health advisories on eating these fish. They are sold to unsuspecting consumers. I tried different agencies in the Md. health divisions and got no satisfaction and a run around. At least Va. has a limit on the number of large fish commercially harvested, I think. Now the Blues are showing up in the chesapeake. It will be years until they get trophy size. Brion
     
  6. HoytArcher45

    HoytArcher45 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Maryland
    Name:
    John
    I wonder if "attacking the invasive species" is just the excuse they use to justify unlimited commercial exploitation. I also wonder how much of it is actually guided by science. Can you really control a species that already constitutes 50% of the total biomass of the Potomac? Are there surveys being done to see if the commercial harvest is actually having an impact? What about the bi-catch...it can't be nothing, and the Potomac is a key river for spawns of Rockfish and Shad.

    I suspect commercial fishing won't ever make much of a dent in the overall numbers of fish, but will instead reduce the numbers of trophy fish such that it isn't as special as it was 5-10 years ago. Commercial interests over recreational interests - that's the Maryland DNR for you.

    Maybe some blues in nearby rivers like the Pax will start to get in that 40-50lb range before they get hard-hit by commercial guys too, although I know they already target them with trotlines in other rivers. There just aren't the huge runs of shad in other rivers like there are in the Potomac.
     
  7. jumpmaster

    jumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    550
    State:
    ohio
    Name:
    david
    Couldnt have said it any better than you just did john. I would like to know if the people eating these fish know that there is a consumption advisory on them, I bet not
     
  8. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    David, I doubt the majority of folks buying the fish for consumption do know. Then there are some in my area that think for some reason every state that borders the Ohio issued a consumption advisory for some reason other than public health and really don't care.
     
  9. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,759
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    They cleaned us out with nets down this way too..watched it 1st hand..... nothing personal but never post your fishing locations...they monitor fishing web sites and Facebook...
     
  10. jumpmaster

    jumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    550
    State:
    ohio
    Name:
    david
    They dont have regs in arkansas to protect trophy fish yet? I hope you dont wind up having what we have on my part of the ohio. If you catch a nice fish here, it was one lucky cat to make it through the nets and trotlines.
     
    Big Sam likes this.
  11. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,759
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    Yeah it's been that way for a while now..... There is no seasons on nets here you can run them anytime you want to... Commercial fishing license is $25 ...... Then you pay a net fee
     
  12. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,888
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    I too find it amazing a 30 plus lb. catfish in the lower Ohio made it long enough to get that big. During their life they have avoided predators, props, getting stranded outside the banks during high water, pollution, trotlines, nets and the rod fisherman looking for some nice fillets and I wouldn't doubt some poachers with shocking devises. I would like to see a bracket like some locations have on crappie, no smaller than/no larger than.
     
    Big Sam likes this.
  13. jumpmaster

    jumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    550
    State:
    ohio
    Name:
    david
    I would say that as more and more states make laws to protect cats, the few that are left with out them will be hit even harder, especially for the paylake trade. I feel that there should be no commercial fishing allowed on public freshwaters of the u.s., then we wouldnt have to worry about slot limits for cats, on most rivers at least.
     
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  14. prlwng

    prlwng Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,842
    State:
    south dakota. sioux falls area
    Name:
    bill
    Commercial fishing for asian carp only would be ok by me. Nothingeles they could use em for fertlizer. Mink food, etc.

    Have hauled fresh carp to packers. Went out on boat for netting in Wisconsin. Upon bringing in nets saw some big walleye, northern, etc. They all got put back in lake right then.
     
  15. orion11

    orion11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    pa.
    Name:
    Brion
    Maryland is also allowing electrofishing for catfish in the Potomac. Just started this year and although a limited amount of commercial licenses were allotted for this, it will probably take off. Off the original topic a little, I am more experienced with the Susquehanna than the Potomac. At a Maryland boat ramp on the river I talked to an Ohio commercial fisherman and saw the fish in his aireated tank. He told me they would be in an Ohio pay lake that night. They were trophy size fish for the area.