Wildlife And Fisheries


Posted by Chip | Posted in Current Events | Posted on 16-04-2014

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Donald Wildlife And Fisheries

Donald asks…

Anglers what are your complaints and comments about your Wildlife Fisheries Department in your state?

Is it possible for private lake,river, and etc owners to provide better, inexpensive, and hassle free experiences compared to them.

Chip answers:

I’m a little vague on what you’re driving at with your question — it sounds like you’re implying that state conservation agencies are making it difficult for you to fish in the places, times, or fashions you want, and you’re wondering if someone with private land can do a better job?

I guess my answer is yes, it’s possible that a private land owner could provide a “better” experience because there would be fewer regulations. A land owner could, theoretically, could stock fish and create access that would make an angler’s eyes water. However, I doubt that the experience would be less expensive, nor would it be particularly convenient. You would likely have to pay more (maybe a LOT more) and travel to very specific places, as opposed to fishing on public land with a cheap license and having your choice of a wide range of public fishing areas.

Unlike a lot of anglers, I have don’t have much of a problem with conservation agencies or the bureaucrats who work for them. I find a lot of anglers sneer at conservation agencies and game wardens. They b!tch and grumble when they pay their license fees and when a conservation officer comes into view, they roll their eyes and say, “Hooo boy, here’s comes the fish cop to hassle us.” In short, they put so-called fish cops maybe a half-step above mall cop, or maybe even a half-step below.

I feel the opposite way. I think conservation agencies provide Americans with a better experience by protecting and conserving our resources, some of which have unimaginably heavy public-use pressures. That fact that most states in America have miles of free-flowing, wide-open streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs (most of which are surrounded by beautifully wild natural areas) is a pretty remarkable thing in this era of human population explosions. The same goes for hunting — in our sprawling, evergrowing society, it’s a wonder there’s a single deer or pheasant to shoot anywhere. These incredible resources are not there because Mother Nature just decided to make herself available to us — the resources are there for us because of resource management and conservation agencies like state-level fish and game units, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, and so forth.

I go to meetings every year to provide input on fishing regulations, and I feel that my state division of natural resources is very responsive to the angling community where I live. They don’t just listen to us, they come to us, into our angling club meetings, to listen to our concerns and vet possible new regulations. They’re very clear that they are not there to tell us what to do — they work for US. Our license fees pay their salaries, and I feel like it’s quite a bargain. Today was Free Fishing Day here and I went down to the local fishpond to help with a fly tying class for kids. I saw at least six employees of the DNR bending over backwards to make it a fun day — they stocked the fishpond with rainbow trout, gave away free t-shirts, had classes and presentations, even provided loaner fishing gear!

This has gotten kinda long as I’ve run my big mouth about my opinions. However, I’ve got one more thought for you — ask the Brits here on Y!A about fishing on private land. Most of them won’t be able to tell you much, because the “experience” provided by private land owners in the U.K. Is beyond the financial reach of most. Ordinary U.K. Anglers fish for “coarse fish” in canals and other B-list waters — that’s why their always talking about catching carp and tench and perch and all those other fish that a lotta guys here in the States consider trash fish. Only the wealthy can afford to fish pristine rivers for prime trout and salmon, because it’s all in the hands of land owners.

I can drive a half hour from my house and catch a salmon tomorrow on my 365-day resident fishing license, which cost me all of $36 (that’s, uh, 9.8 CENTS per day). If I want to drive for a day or two I could go fishing for anadromous salmon or steelhead in a coastal drainage on a temporary license that MIGHT cost me $50. Now, go ahead and ask a Brit what he’d have to do to catch a salmon.

Mary Wildlife And Fisheries

Mary asks…

I love protecting wildlife but hunting really bothers me, is wildlife/fisheries not the major for me?

Hey everyone, I love protecting wildlife and learning about it. Other animals, too. I’m quite an avid fisherman, but I love animals too much to ever shoot one. Am I in the wrong major if I want a job with wildlife or protecting it? Would my views on hunting torment me every day if I was a game warden/something like that, or do you think it will pass with time? Thanks for the help!

Chip answers:

It gladdens my heart to know you do NOT like hunting. To me, in this day and age, it is barbaric, and has no logical reason. I hate it, especially trophy hunting.
If you really want to help wildlife, and I can tell you this from personal experience, get yourself a Phd in Zoology. Game Wardens and the like don’t really help the wildlife as much as they make sure the rules of fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking are carried out. You could do a lot more good for the world, the wildlife, and the environment by getting a Phd in Zoology. With a degree like that under your belt you can almost write your own ticket. Doors will open up for you and you can choose whatever field you want to specialize in and whatever animals you wish to help, etc, etc, etc.

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