Daily Bag and Size Limits

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keithm87
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Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby keithm87 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:28 pm

I may alienate myself with this post but here goes anyway:

I think that responsible fisherfolk need to start thinking about the future of our fisheries and look hard at what current FW limits may do for future numbers. Social media is making fishing easier (GOOD THING) but it is not teaching good habits. Far too often I am seeing people keeping a limit of fish, and doing so frequently, the fish hanging on a board thing is becoming popular (though it makes us look terrible in the anti views). This is not an issue for a species like salmon that has a 4-5 year life span, but for Lake Trout, Walleye, and Pike it could have a long term impact as those fish can live 30+ years.
Seeing people take advantage of the conditions we have is a good thing in terms of fish landed, but I feel that to some extent the state needs to step in and do what other states do, when we have Walleyes in the rivers a full month later than usual, and people taking limits day after day of big breeder females, it creates a long term issue for the fishery that is just now recovering. The same is true for lake trout. Seeing charter boats and others posting daily catches where they are keeping every fish caught even the big mature breeders is really disheartening. We need more flexible bag limits and keep seasons to ensure that we are not opening keep season during peak spawn (about to happen with smallies) I know that C&R has a mortality rate of its own, and we will keep fish that are poorly hooked, but make a habit of not keeping more than that most days.
Does anyone else have concern about these things? What should be done? How do we teach our fellow anglers that just because the law says you can keep X fish, that for the future of the fishery we are better to practice release and not keep limits every trip?
TooBitts
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby TooBitts » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:40 pm

I agree with you 200%.. Especially with the Pig Lakers that are being jigged up off the bottom in the dead of summer in the name of profit. I will mention no Names.... Even if released they have to be pulled up slowly to let them Burp.. And then revived properly.. I have seen pictures of Lakers being kept that were NOT treated as for COMSUMPTION.. And who eats Lake Trout anyhow???? Yuck The whole scenario sickens me..
Adkhare
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby Adkhare » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:16 pm

Your so spot on it’s not even funny, This has been an awesome year to date and I’ve kept just one salmon to eat so far and one limit of Walleyes that I purposely space out to last my whole summer. There’s a reason it’s called conservation. Take what you need for a snack and let the rest go to be caught again or possibly by a youngster just getting into our sport Last several years I’ve watched several boats limit go home and come back for more and again this year I watched it again. Especially when they’re in the rivers but when a monster is posted and daily reports with pictures that are easy to tell where I guess it’s expected. Which is fine but pics in the back yard serve the same purpose in my opinion Walleye in the rivers are easy and should be protected a bit more than they are. I get the idea of helping people up their catch but it gets abused regularly. If someone found a tree growing money would they be so fast to give direction and pictures.......I’m guessing no. We the fisherman are the best defense but sadly we are our worst enemy (aside from cormorants and lamprey), hopefully we learn before it escalates to an irreversible event.
dry net
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby dry net » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:46 pm

First thing first, my boat has kept one salmon to eat this year and one last. That being said I would hate to regulate a whole industry out of existence. Do you think the average client of a charter would go if they didn't bring something home? They may or may not I don't have that answer, the limit on bass in Mass has gone down to two a day but I still charter. Love to catch them! Maybe a charter captain should weigh in. Good luck to everyone, Matt
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fishy1
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby fishy1 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:36 pm

i wasnt going to chime in on this and dont want to start a debate. my opinion is this limits are set with lots of of studies done and if a fisherman wants to to take his limit its his right . just because some of you dont eat fish and some of you eat so called snacks every fisherman out there that keeps his legal amount and possession limit had that right. the so called fisherman that go back and forth keeping their limit again are breaking the law and need to be addressed. lots of fisherman like to eat fish. keeping the big breeders is another matter and that is their right also. i prefer to release them but others dont and its their right. taking pics of their catches is okay to that does not mean there going to go there and catch fish. i have seen it more not then them catching any. if i was a charter captain and told my clients they cant keep any fish or big ones i would be out of business in a week. the fishing industry as a whole including tackle shops and more would sink. they dropped the walleyes down to 3 years ago and 18 inches for a reason and there making a nice comeback so its working. lakers there are millions in the lake gobbling up all the smelt forage . the vermont walleye association has done an outstanding job there. i eat walleyes perch bass crappies and now salmon but i release more than i keep. all other fish are released i catch also. its my fishing license right. my 2 cents and will not change unless the laws are changed.
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C-Hawk
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby C-Hawk » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:06 pm

I have said this before, and I will say it again, possession limit shyould be the same as daily bag limit. No one needs to keep a freezer full of any gamefish.
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Cas
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby Cas » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:35 am

I imagine when the limits are set, they take in to account some fisherman are catch and release, some keep a few, some keep all, and factor that in. The diary program is important for this reason, it gives the powers that be another tool to gauge the health of the fishery. Charters are part of the economy, it wouldn't bode well for the gov't to restrict them, as it would severely hurt their bottom line. As to daily bag limit vs possession limit, I took a few fish out of my freezer just this weekend to put on the smoker with 2 I kept while out this weekend. I smoke them when I have enough to fill the smoker, and have time to do so. Only being able to smoke fish within a day or 2 of catching them isn't always possible.
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Vtmopar
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby Vtmopar » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:40 am

C-Hawk wrote:I have said this before, and I will say it again, possession limit shyould be the same as daily bag limit. No one needs to keep a freezer full of any gamefish.


Pan fish like white perch nothing wrong with stocking up with some fillets.
But I agree with walleye,salmon,pike and Bass.
Like someone else mentioned let the breeders go.
Eat the smaller fish. I cant stand people who feel the need to kill everything they catch.
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keithm87
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby keithm87 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:10 pm

My take is more based on the fish lifespan. I think that if people understood the lifecycles of fish they would be more apt to release the breeders. I get keeping the trophy fish, but taking a big laker or walleye to eat seems like a waste for 3 reasons:
1. The bigger fish tend to have more viable (not quantity, but quality) eggs, meaning that for the same number of eggs produced they will tend to have a higher level of hatched and surviving offspring, so when we take that big walleye out of the population, yes the 19 incher we leave will produce a similar number of eggs, but the big one would have had a much higher level of successful eggs.
2. The big fish have higher levels of heavy metals, they are not as good for you to eat, and can in some cases be harmful, this can be especially true of the fatty fish like lakers that people tend to smoke, and consume belly meat (highest concentration is in the belly meat)
3. The bigger older fish don't taste as good as the younger ones. (not talking about keeping a just stocked fish, but a 22 inch laker will taste better than a 32 incher.

But the big thing for me really is time. I have no problem with someone keeping a limit of salmon, even a limit of big ones. Salmon have a short life span, if tomorrow a flip was switched and EVERY salmon in the lake was gone and the state stocked at the same levels as today, within 3 years we would have Smolts, 18-19 inchers, and 22-23 inchers. In 5 years the entire lake would be back to where it is. If the same switch was flipped for Walleye, in 3 years we would have some 9-10 inchers, 5 years we would start to see some mid teens fish, it would take close to 10 years before the first fish reached the keeper size, and it would take up to 25 years to get back where we are today with the upper 28-29 inch fish. Lakers are the same story, it would take 6-8 years before we started to see "mature" lakers over 20 inches, it would be 15 years before we saw anything breaking 10lb again, and as we are seeing now, the 20lb fish are starting to exist (one caught by a charter last fall) those take 20-30 years to reach that size. The thing is that this game has already been played. The laker population was completely destroyed and started to rebound with stocking in the 80's, Walleye are the same story, and are finally coming back.

My opinion isnt that people shouldnt keep fish, and its not that they dont have a right to do what is legal under the law, its just that every angler when making the decision to keep or release should consider the catch as part of the larger whole, they are not the only fishermen. Me keeping a limit of lakers every trip may not seem like a lot to me, but if every boat fishing shelburne shoal did that each trip, we would not have a laker population there any longer. Understanding the biology makes restraint a whole lot easier on the slow growing fish, and I think it is all of our job to understand the results of our actions, and educate those who we fish with.

As for charters, there are plenty of charters who do C&R, from bluefin tuna in PEI to Tarpon in Florida, Sturgeon in Washington, and everything in between. But I think catch and keep is fine if practiced in a sustainable way, A board with nails with lakers hanging from it is a bad image for us, and reality is that a large percent of fish kept on charters does not end up consumed (especially when they are something like lake trout)
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fishy1
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby fishy1 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:45 pm

keith i like your comments and so true right on but we still have to let the fisherman decide that as long its legal what their doing. thats what the regulations are for . i have always practiced what i dont eat i release unless its badly hooked and i know its not going to make it. here is a little of my fish count last year all from shore dont count fish the few times i trolled. i landed 78 walleyes last year and kept a total of 14. salmon was somewhere around 200 or so havent got my book right handy kept around 20. lakers i dont keep track of but will start now since i been keeping some smaller ones for a freinds smoker. this spring so far here at home i landed 46 salmon kept 9 since i now eat them once in awhile. walleyes 11 kept 3. most of the boats down this way keep very few salmon or lakers but i still have doubts that they live. casting from shore it is much easier to release a fish trollers stress the fish out alot. my final point is this we as fisherman should band together but should not tell other fisherman what to do with their legal fish. everyone has that right that owns a fishing license. i like this post and everyone has an opionion.
dry net
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby dry net » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Well said Fishy!
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the_doctor
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby the_doctor » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:20 pm

Fishy1 is right in saying that the regulations exist for a reason and we can't blame fishermen for following them. We can only hope that the regulations are based on sound research and numbers. I think the need for slot limits on many species is clear, for one thing, as far as the "big breeders" go.
As for the charters, they have a special responsibility to make their customers follow best practices, like reeling in lakers slow and burping them. And advising customers to release trophies unless they are injured. To me, saying that the charters contribute to the economy, "it's their job", as an excuse is backwards. They catch (and kill) a hugely disproportionate number of fish, and the fact that they profit from this doesn't absolve them; it INCREASES their responsibilities.
Me, I think a few perch taste way better than a "sport fish.". Usually I can't bear to kill a big beauty. This year my friend caught a big walleye and we decided to keep it because it was the first of the season. I had it in the back well of the boat and went to make the kill when somehow the fish slipped away into the water, still swimming but bleeding. I still feel awful about this and think of it often... I hope she survived. :-( still kicking myself for being so careless. Think it must have been karma and I won't try and keep a big 'eye again...
The lucky thing is it seems most have the right attitude and a good respect for the fish. I think it is a few bad apples who spoil it. As always it's a balancing act.. without good regulations there won't be any fish left. I think I speak for most LCU members when I say any regulation that is necessary to keep the fishery healthy has my full support, always!
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JabberJaws
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby JabberJaws » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:53 pm

I do not have a problem with someone keeping some fish to eat as long as it is done leagly. I do not usually keep a fish unless it is not going to survive. Something to consider with big fish is alot of toxins and heavy metals are cumulative meaning small or medium fish are healthier for you to eat. We try to educate customers when given the chance some listen some don't. Ramel
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Crayfish
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby Crayfish » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:04 am

This is a great discussion to have, especially with newer fishermen. We don't need to kill every fish we catch. It is concerning me to see the number of BIG walleye being caught this year. I hope that this is just a sign of a healthy fishery and not a sign of how much damage is being done due to a late spring!

This is one of the reasons I don't participate in the Basin Derby. You have to kill the top specimens of a species in order to get on the board. I caught a 41" pike last year the weekend before the LCI that certainly would have placed in the Basin Derby. I didn't weight it because I wanted to get it back in the water as quickly as possible. It still took ~10mins to revive it to the point that she swam away. I hope she is still swimming because what a beautiful fish that was. It never even crossed my mind to keep her.

We also like to eat some of the fish we catch, so we will keep a couple of game fish now and then (mostly pike and salmon). We also try to stock up on panfish in the winter so we can have some fish in the freezer. We aren't very good at walleye fishing on Lake Champlain, so IF we manage to catch one a year it comes home with us!

I'm not sure this sort of thing can be regulated (short of slot limits). It's more about education.
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Captain Paul
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Re: Daily Bag and Size Limits

Postby Captain Paul » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:42 pm

As a Charter boat Captain I will try to reply to this a little. We catch a lot of fish compared to most boats on the Lake that is our Job and at the same time Some of us worry about the fishery more than others. We have always practiced the best catch and release we no of out of our clients a lot of them only keep a fish or 2 to eat and most only fish lake Champlain 1 day a year at the same time we have a few people that come and love to eat fish and keep there limit but again they usually only come once or twice a year. Also we have a lot of clients that don't keep any fish. The biologist set limits for a reason based on number of people fishing a certain type of fish that is what they figure the fishery can sustain. Most biologist I have talked to would rather see fishermen catch there limit and go home than keep catch and releasing fish because the guy that catches 20 fish a day and handles them poorly could be killing most of what he caught and after seeing the way many of the Lake Trout being caught this weekend and released where being handle I have no doubt that a lot of the them die ( there are some fishermen that have absolutely no respect for the fish they catch it is sickening to see)
We always stress to our Clients that the fish have to be handled gently and no hands in the gills and released quickly and if they are going to keep fish the smaller ones eat a lot better than the big ones but some people insist on keeping the big fish and that is there right. Remember there are very few people that book more than 1 or 2 Charters a year I am pretty sure they kill less fish than most forum members. By the way for those of you that don't think Lake Trout taste good you apparently don't no how to cook or you don't no how to take care of fish I have cooked them for a lot of people that said they weren't fit to eat and changed there minds about that.
One more thing that has to be considered who has more to lose a Charter boat or your average fishermen if the fishery goes to HELL I think it the Charter boat does with out fish there is no business.
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