In the mid 80's I got hooked on fishing for striper's on Lake Norman, NC. They were so plentiful that any one could catch one without a lot of effort. With the right gear, bait and electronics you could catch 30 or more in a morning, not a group, but just one person. Our limit in the mid 80's was eight striper's per person per day and a party of four could easily accomplish this feat, thats 32 striper's in the boat of all sizes. It was not uncommon to hear of someone catching an 18 pounder or better each and every time they went out during striper season. A lot of striper's in the 20 and 30 pound class were caught, removed from the lake and hung on the wall as a trophy. Hundreds of large striper's died before they could get to the weigh in during tournaments. Nobody gave it any thought, because we had so many. I was there and I did it just like everybody else. Here it is 2009 and we have a limit of four striper's per day, per person and most fisher persons struggle to get a limit. If you catch a six or seven pound striper during a tournament you will win you some money, first, second or third. Just recently, South Carolina passed a law banning keeping any striper's during the summer months in the Santee basin due to the fragile state of the striper fisheries in that State. A little research will reveal that none of the striper compounds in the South are producing large striper's like they did in the 80's and 90's. Sure some are being caught, but they are few and far between. How could this happen to so many fisheries in the South and most likely elsewhere. Folks, it ain't going to take a rocket scientist to figure this one out! Man and mother nature did it, no question in my mind about this issue. The droughts over the years has/had depleted the prime oxygen columns within our lakes and compounds during the summer months, plus the warmer waters have/had enter into the prime zones where striper's were able to get sufficient oxygen during these periods. The striper fisher person was taking everything he or she could catch and using the striper's for food and trophies to hang on the den wall. Our newspaper sports pages were loaded with stories about great catches, including photographs of the larger striper, each article would create more striper fisher persons. Let me not leave out our State Biologist who depend on historical data before they can adjust fishing regulations to conform to current conditions. Some of you cat fishermen and women are probably wondering why so many people abused their fishery. Well, to be quite honest with you, they were there for the taking, had always been there and we assumed they would always be there. But we were wrong, never for one minute did we think that mother nature and ourselves could deplete the supply that we had always enjoyed. I have included two attachments. One is a large striper that I caught in 1991 and it weighed in at 25.25 pounds and the other one is a striper that weighed almost seven pounds and I won a tournament with it in 2009. There is a moral to this piece and I will leave it up to you fine cat-men and women to figure it out.