Indiana DNR and Catfish

Discussion in 'LOCAL INDIANA TALK' started by rodpod, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    A few weeks ago I sent an email to the IDNR about the use of alot of illegal gillnets in this stretch of river. They thanked me for informing me of them, and sent my email to appropriate dept. The second reply is very good news, it seems they arent treating catfish as a rough fish like some other states do. And they also sent some good information about catfishing studies in the wabash and white rivers.

    Let me know what you guys think. Sounds like we need to all get together and let this Ohio River Fish Management Team know there are probably more catfish anglers than they think. I am going to send a reply back, maybe inviting him and the Ohio River Fish Management Team to the BOC to show how much support there is for better conservation of trophy catfish.

     
  2. MadKater

    MadKater New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Evansville,IN
    I too sent an email to the IDNR about differant things,complaints,comments,suggestions and what not and got a similar response. im glad to see the state is taking catfish more seriouse but it makes ya feel that they are not even reading our emails,as soon as they see its about catfish they simply send a pre written statement,i understand they are busy but sheesh.{here is the email i got}
    The IDNR recognizes catfish as important sport and commercial species. The IDNR annually stocks approximately 100,000 8-inch and larger channel catfish into small lakes and impoundments to provide fishing opportunities where none would otherwise exist. In addition, the IDNR has recently focused increased effort into evaluating catfish in Indiana's rivers. Comprehensive fisheries surveys have been conducted on the Wabash River (1999), the East and West Forks of the White River (2003 and 2004) and numerous smaller streams. Many of these surveys can be viewed online at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/publications/notes/notes.htm. The East Fork and West Fork White River surveys are in the process of being completed. Significant catfish data was obtained through these surveys including age and growth information and mortality estimates. The IDNR also completed an angler survey on the lower East Fork and Mainstem of the White River in 2003 in part to evaluate angler harvest of catfish. This report is available at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/publications/notes/farchives/WhiteRiver.pdf. IDNR contracted with Southern Illinois University to study catfish growth, mortality and exploitation on the Wabash River. This report is available at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/publications/notes/Executive Summary for Tom S..pdf. An angler survey is now underway on the Wabash River. The lower portion of the Wabash was surveyed in 2005 and the upper portion will be surveyed this summer. This survey involves 4 creel clerks covering approximately 250 miles of river each year. IDNR's Big Rivers program is collecting additional data on catfish on the Wabash to complement the creel surveys and the SIU research. Many catfish were tagged last year and more will be tagged this year to evaluate mortality and movement. At the conclusion of this work, Indiana will have one of the most comprehensive datasets of catfish population information in the United States. This data will allow IDNR to make intelligent catfish management decisions based on sound biological data. Recommendations for changes to minimum length limits and bag limits will likely be generated from this research. Public input will also be a very important component to Indiana's catfish management strategy. Any changes to catfish regulations will be accompanied by extensive public input and involvement. Keep an eye on our website for updates.

    Thanks again for your interest in catfish and catfish management. As we develop future regulatory proposals using the above good science, we will be looking for your input.

    Sincerely,

    Bill James, Chief of Fisheries
    Division of Fish and Wildlife
    402 W. Washington St. W273
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    317-232-4092
    bjames@dnr.IN.gov

    all we can do is keep sending our emails until we see changes i guess. which looks like they are in the works.
     

  3. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Thanks for info.
     
  4. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    You can't get a more personal response than that! Apparently they will be looking for your public response at a later date.
     
  5. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    if they are not considered trash fish then why dont they have regs to protect them???????/ i mean the regs are usless! no limit on rivers is like saying they dont care if you take them all? with regulations like these our rivers are here for the taking or rapeing! really now how hard would it be to get some real regulations to protect these trophy cats and what would it hirt? comercial fishermen are limited to the ohio and lower wabash but they can go to any river and take all the fish they want legaly anyhow. there is no way they could be caught transporting these fish from other waters to their buyer,or to pay lakes. i think they are over looking the catfish of our state,and feeding us a bunch of BS. keep sending those emails about your concerns on our regulations and some day they will change them and protect our trophy catfish waters.

    sorry for the venting guys but i feel that fish mongers are way out dated and should be stopped.
     
  6. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Messages:
    639
    State:
    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
  7. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Thanks for the info, rep points will be given.
     
  8. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    I believe RiverScum got the same email in regards to his email last year. As MadKater said, these guys are busy. Responding with a personal letter to each individual would be nearly impossible. Remember, us catfishermen are probably the group of anglers they hear from the least!. Bass, walleye, muskie, & trout anglers have been making organized efforts to influence the DNR for years now and the DNR receives letters from all of those guys too. On top of letters, the DNR biologists also receive data requests from newspaper & magazine writers, tons of calls about private ponds, and the always fun "My daughter found a baby bunny the got its leg chewed off by a cat. Can we bring it in to your office so you can rescue it?" On top of this, most of the biologists have to deal with approving/denying vegetation treatment permits, seawall permits, pier issues, and the occasional educational appearance. Then, sometime between reconciling petty cash accounts, minority vendor reports, mileage reports, and personnel evaluations, these guys get out and do the jobs they're supposed to do and manage our natural resources. I'm not being a homer. And, I'm not saying that these guys work harder than anybody else. Let's just keep in mind that just like you, they're busy at work and everyone has tasks that take priority. Responding personally to every letter is not, and cannot be a priority.

    I would say just be thankful you got a response. But, I know each of you is thankful for getting a response. I completely understand your frustration with the DNR's apparent lack of management effort targeted towards catfish. It frustrates me as well. RiverScum & I have had numerous discussions about it. But, PLEASE don't get negative. The best thing that catfishermen can do is build a relationship with the DNR. Yes, it takes time and it can be frustrating. But those other groups (muskie, trout, walleye, etc.) have been successful in dealing with the DNR because they've been supportive of the DNR (even though there are still disagreements) and made the effort to communicate positively and work collaboratively with them.

    As far as changing regulations, it takes data to make the right decision. In the past, that data has been lacking. But, as indicated in the letter, the DNR in the last 5-7 years has collected a plethora of catfish data and that data will used to consider different regulations. Granted, all this work has been done down south. Now, for RiverScum & the other northern Indiana brothers, the data is not available...yet. And as much as it pains me to say it, it will take longer up here because catfishing is not as popular as it is in the southern part of the state.

    One more thing to consider and then its time for me to got to bed! Once the data is collected & analyzed, regulations may not be changed. The data will tell the story & dictate what should be done. The data may show that restrictive regulations would not benefit catfish fisheries. If that's the case, the DNR would most likely not change any regs. Let me give you a similar example. Many bass anglers are pretty hot right now and pushing for the DNR to impose a closed or catch & release season on bass during the spawn. The bass anglers claim that having an open season during the spawn harms bass populations. They claim that during the spawn bass are too vulernable on the beds (yes, they are more vulnerable) and when people catch bass off the beds it harms recruitment because those bass are unable to protect their nests. They also believe that when caught these fish, that are already stressd from spawning, are exposed to even more stress due to the rigors of being caught and consequently mortality of bass (particularly big breeding bass) is increased. All of these claims are viable and indeed happen on an individual scale. But ultimately, the bass anglers claim that fishing during the spawn has had a negative impact on bass populations in Indiana's natural lakes. Therefore, they think that the DNR should change regs to address this problem...plus, Michigan DNR did it so Indiana should too. Here's the catch: The DNR's data shows the complete opposite of what these bass anglers are claiming. The DNR's data shows that we have more bass & more bigger bass in our natural lakes than we ever have! And, until the DNR or someone else can present some good data to show otherwise, the DNR is likely not going to support a closed season for bass. OK...my point being that, just because we want "better" regs, doesn't mean we should get them. We may not need them. Only the data knows. So, if you get stopped by a DNR creel clerk while fishing on the Wabash, give the kid good data because it will help the cause.

    Can I get negative rep points for an outlandishly long post?

    It's nearly midnight. If I said something that doesn't make sense, I'll clarify later!
     
  9. MadKater

    MadKater New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Evansville,IN
    thanks for that post Matt. you cleard up a few questions i had.
     
  10. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    They consider the catfish an important sport, and commercial fish..There is the problem, get rid of the commercial part and have it sport fish only.
     
  11. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    Brent you did good! I think that inviting the DNR is a excellent idea. In fact we could be a help to them by keeping records of where we caught, length, weight and type of cat.
    Bill
     
  12. dusky

    dusky Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    indiana
    Well put, FishGeek.
    It's late for me too, so pardon me for any randomness, fellas.

    I think that the DNR is influenced, naturally, by economics. Supposing bass anglers make up the majority of fishermen in the state (or are at least the biggest spenders), it makes sense to the government to satisfy and reel in that sector. I don't blame them. Besides, for me, half the fun of being a catman is being a minority! We know waters by night... and know the meaning of STINK!

    But, there is no doubt that catfishing is big sport for lots of us. And Indiana should be cashing in on it by creating more and better trophy fisheries via enhanced regulations, whatever those might be. Last year I hauled my boat all the way to Selkirk, Manitoba to fish the Red River for channels. Heard the fishing was phenomenal (which it is), and forked out a good bit of dough for that trip. Certainly the genetics there are are great, but the quality of the fish is no doubt affected by the regulations. You can keep only a couple catfish over 24 inches per year... or something close to that. Indiana needs to do that with some of its waters. It would draw in cash. And me.
     
  13. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    But some people live and feed their families by commercial fishing. If it is done responsibly, legally, and with some common sense then there is nothing wrong with commercial fishing. I do agree that there needs to be some regulations on it though.

    And I read about one state (can't remember which, wasn't Indiana though) DNR that did research on setting a limit to the numbers of catfish on the Ohio. They found that a limit could harm the fishery. Catfish have a very high survival rate in the Ohio and this leads to lots of fish. Lots of fish means more competition for food and smaller size. So what they found a limit would do is create more, small fish and not the big brutes that we all down here love. So harvesting fish makes the fishery better. Just like deer, shooting some improves the whole population.
     
  14. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    The commercial fishing shouldnt be allowed in the Ohio. All they do is take the trophy cats out of the water and sell them to ********. Then they sell them to resteraunts that do not disclose the fact that the fish come from a river with advisories for PCB's and mercury. So I go to some country style resteraunt with my kids and they eat that crap unknowingly and have a health risk. All this for some guy making money raping and pillaging a river that generates alot of revenue from fishing licenses from catfishing. Then the tournaments probably generate a little revenue for the small communities that host them. The commercial fishermen are out there doing everything possible to make more money whether legal or not (unlabeled gill nets that injure everything in its path..EVEN BASS) Commercial fishermen should go buy their own land and breed the fish themselves instead of screwing up the fishing for everyone else who has just as much right to be there.

    There are rivers much smaller and with regulations they are attracting people from all over the country just to fish there...Look at the James River or the Cumberland..The Ohio is not in bad shape, but it could be alot better.

    Being a commercial fishermen is the equivalent of living off all the pennies in the penny tray at the gas station. Some people take what they need, but the commercial fisherman take as much as they can.
     
  15. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    I know of a commercial fisherman that gives eggs to the local DNR's. They get all their eggs for stocking programs from him. He contributes more catfish to the waters than he takes out, I bet he is directly responsible for 100,000's of catfish swimming around.
     
  16. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    Well thats good, he needs to set an example for the rest of the guys out there. Ive met a few of them out on the river...they dont give a crap about you and me or the catfish...Its about the $$. Anyways, are you sure he "gives" the eggs or is he making money doing this? My perception of commercial fisherman is pretty bad, so id like to hear some of the pro-commercial fishermen stories. Thanks for replyin.
     
  17. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Rodpod have you gone to Ill. conservation site? They have some good nfo about this subject. I think you would enjoy it. I don't know how to post the link or I would .
     
  18. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    yeah, he gives them away, absolutely free. Have you ever met a forester? Is he/she the devil for cutting down trees? No, as long as there is management. We all use the wood they get everyday. I'm not saying that all commercial fisherman (or even most) care about the catfish in the rivers. But some do. They all should if even for the simple fact of business, you clean out a fishery and then there's no more fish to sell.
     
  19. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    Ill check it out Leonard. Thanks...
     
  20. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    Never met a forester but one of my neighbors works for the forestry service. They are not the devil for cutting down the trees, but trees are more of a neccessity than catfish. And you dont see loggers go into the public parks or reserves to cut down tree to sell wood and reap all the profits. I am glad that your uncle is more respectful and ethical with his commercial fishing career. There needs to be more like him.

    Well if there is competition on public water between other commercial fishermen then I dont think they can accurately harvest all of these fish to the likings of real fishermen like you and I. Especially if they have quotas to fill for these gaylakes H20 Mellon and JW goes to. LOL I havent seen any type of oversite from the DNR to these commercial fishermen. Nor have I seen limits to these guys. I am going to check out the Illinois site and read up a little bit more. Thanks for the post...