Hang out at any bait shop, launching ramp, Facebook or other online fishing discussion forum and chances are the subject of high-tech electronics will arise. More specifically, are advanced electronics actually going to hurt game fish populations?
“I do feel like we’ll have a problem if we don’t address it,” said Steve English, a third-generation South Carolina fishing guide.
English isn’t alone. Many anglers’ express concerns that side-imaging, 360-imaging and especially, LiveScope may actually allow fishermen to be TOO GOOD. They fear the advanced capabilities will lead to anglers catching too many fish.
I’ll go on the record. I disagree.
I have always been of the opinion that humans – no matter how efficient we are or how many high-fangled gadgets we produce – are not nearly as efficient predators as we like to think we are. Perhaps on small bodies of water – little lakes and ponds – we can have an impact. But on major, mainstream aquatic environments with a thousand variables at play, Mother Nature makes the rules and fishermen are a just a small blip on the radar screen.
Feel free to disagree. Shoot me an angry (or rational) e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But I’ve got a little bit of science on my side (not counting a college degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science).
So far, I have yet to speak with a professional fisheries biologist who will say that advanced electronics have been shown to have any impact on fish populations. Granted, they won’t say they don’t – they simply say that if advanced electronics do have any impact, they haven’t seen it.
Fisheries biologists would, however, make excellent politicians because virtually every conversation ends with the words, “We need to do more research.”
Read more on this subject in Jim Mize’s article, “Can We Have Too Much Technology?”
And again, if you disagree with me, “CHANGE MY MIND.”
As always, we appreciate your support and welcome your feedback. Please send it to us at email@example.com
Richard Simms, Editor
“The outdoors is not a place, it’s a state of mind.”