The responsibility to protect our environment and all its inhabitants, (i.e., people, wildlife, fish, etc.) is levied on all of us. There is a need for balance in nature and hence the requirement to control what we harvest.
State DNR fish biologist routinely analyze our fisheries, as funding and time permits, to determine the correct balance for a given lake or river. Many factors determine this balance and a big part of it is size and creel limits based on these factors. Based on studies I have requested and been involved in opened up my eyes to the complexity of this science.
One of these factors is water fertility, the balance of predator to food base is another. The food base begins at the micro level, photo plankton, insects, etc. which feeds the small minnows and shad and then they support the medium and larger populations of fish.
We, the human, impact these fisheries either at the water purity, fertility and, in some cases, the water levels and flow. These impacts can be both positive and negative and hence impact the growth rates and populations. Just as the land has a measurable carrying capacity for people, so does the water. Just so many pounds of fish can inhabit each acre of water.
If we over harvest one specie of fish or disrupt the age distribution of the lakes and rivers, this can and will alter future populations of all fish in that area. As our electronics and techniques are more and more improved, we are seeing more of our larger mature fish caught. The numbers of fish that make it to super weights are few and far between. As nature and humans have impacted their numbers over time. Only the hardiest survive.
I ask for your help by:
- If you catch a trophy fish, take measurements and pictures of the fish so that a replica mount can be made if you desire one and release the trophy fish back to provide good genes into the fish population during future spawns.
- Follow all creel limits.
- If a fishery seems out of balance, contact your state DNR and determine when the last study has been accomplished. If one has not been accomplished and negative impacts are being experienced, write a letter to your DNR requesting an analysis.
- Report any noted pollution sources and their impacts to your DNR and Environmental Protection agencies for resolution.
- Lets us know if you do not receive support. We will try to help.
Remember, it takes a village to protect our world.
God Bless and Good Fishing!