Barbs and Backlashes

AAaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! by whitetips
October 8, 2010, 11:12 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: ,

Here is the thing about having a blog; every once in a while I see or read something that absolutely fires me up.  It just happened again this morning.  With the blog I can immediately “vent” and in doing so hopefully convey a very important message.  Here goes . . .

This is a picture that was posted on the Nebraska Fish and Game Association’s Fishing forum this morning, .

The picture is a little blurry and it may not be apparent what is going on there, so let me explain and you will see why this absolutely fries me.

What you see is someone using a cast net.  Cast nets can legally be used on a few Nebraska reservoirs during July through November.  You can see all the baitfish regulations and especially cast net regulations in the 2010 Fishing Guide .

The violator pictured above is NOT on one of the waters where cast nets can be used.  That picture was taken below Gavins Point Dam.  I will bet you a box full of crankbaits that genius pictured above would not know a small, young-of-the-year bighead or silver carp if you smacked him in the forehead with one.  All of the fish in that cast net probably look like bait to him.  So, he collects a bucket full of bait below Gavins Point Dam, uses that bait who knows where, and when he is done fishing dumps his bait bucket in the water where he was fishing.  Next thing you know we have Asian carp in a bunch more waters where we do not want them.

We have tried to keep baitfish regulations that allow folks to collect their own bait while preventing the spread of invasive species and diseases.  All of that works ONLY if anglers are responsible and know and follow the regulations.  When I see a picture like the one above I wonder if we should not just outlaw all collection of baitfish for personal use?

So here is my plea.  In today’s world most folks have cell phones with them even when they are fishing.  If you see a violation, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU SEE SOMEONE USING A CAST NET BELOW GAVINS POINT DAM, grab the cell phone and make a call!  The Wildlife Crimestoppers number is 800-742-7627.  Phone numbers for every conservation officer in the state are listed in the 2010 Fishing Guide I linked to above.  Find the phone number for the local conservation officer and call it.  Keep calling it.  If you cannot reach that conservation officer call the regional supervisor.  Keep calling.  If you cannot reach the regional supervisor, call the law enforcement administrators in the Lincoln office.  Keep calling.  Call the local Sheriffs office and they can contact a conservation officer.  Keep calling.  We do not have a lot of conservation officers in the state and they very much rely on responsible outdoors people to be their eyes and ears in the field.  If you see violations, call them and keep calling them!

By the way, I have called conservation officers a few times myself about folks illegally using cast nets.  I believe in every case someone ended up receiving a ticket and losing their cast net.

A fish pox on everyone that transfers fish from one body of water into another public body of water!

15 Comments so far
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“I will bet you a box full of crankbaits that genius pictured above would not know a small, young-of-the-year bighead or silver carp if you smacked him in the forehead with one.”

Eric and the NEFGA.ORG will have two Fishing Line Recycling Bins installed at Gavins (boat ramp & fishing pier) if not already in. All Bins have a NGPC “STOP” sign on them with the 1-800-742-SNAP contact number to report violators!

The “STOP” stickers are very visible, but methimks a pic of a guy getting smacked on the side of the head with a 25lb bighead would be even MORE “visible”!

This NE Outdoorsman apologizes to you for having to present this blog.

Harold F.

Comment by Harold F.


Please, you do not have to apologize at all. I thought this was an opportunity to make a point, again. Just keep spreading the word!

Daryl B.

Comment by whitetips

Again my experience every time is that conservation officers don’t answer their phone. And the one occaision that I tried the wildlife crime stoppers they didn’t answer either. Maybe you should get them bluetooths.

Comment by Jeff


Daryl B.

Comment by whitetips

I agree 100 % but I have the same trouble getting ahold of a warden. The district office will not give you their cell phone numbers and they never return their calls in a timely manner.

Comment by Mark

I to have called,and called,and kept calling NO ANSWER !! I did end up getting a sherrif out to the lake I was fishing. He found me and asked if I was the person that called in. It was about some people keeping walleye to small,any way he checked them out come back,and said they all look pretty close to him, “how long they suppose to be”? I told him but still nothing done. If some one is going to come out and check on a call they should know at least some of the rules and regs.

Comment by Big Vic

you can take his net from him but, what will stop him from buying another one… i can go to walmart or cabela’s and buy one in fact i have 3 of them. if we can’t use them why would they sell them in the state.. i know certain places are ok to use them… answer me this though if a guy is using one catches a bunch of little big head carp and silver carp puts them in a bag and freezes them whats the problem with that…

Comment by the catman

There is no problem using those undesirable species DEAD as bait. But if they are captured and transported alive, then there is potentially a huge problem.

I cannot control the sale of cast nets; this is a free country and it is not illegal to possess a cast net. It IS the responsibility of the buyer/user to know where he or she can legally use those products.

Daryl B.

Comment by whitetips

You should ban live bait. There’s plenty of other bait we can use to catch fish.

Comment by Butch Blankenau

The numbers now published for the Conservation Officers on the NG&P website and the guides are all cellular now. That should make it easier to get a hold of them. If you are unable to reach one, keep trying, or call the sheriff’s office of the county you are in.

Comment by Scott

I know there are states where the use of any live fish for bait is illegal, and it’s because of stuff like this.

A few bad apples can sure spoil the bunch.

Comment by Teeg Stouffer

“You should ban live bait. There’s plenty of other bait we can use to catch fish.”
You obviously don’t ever fish for anything like flatheads. It’s not the live bait that’s the problem it’s idiots who don’t know anything about maintaining a fishery and how easily a lake can be messed up. Many of us would high tail it to another state and spend our money there if it boils down to stupid laws like banning live bait. If anything make it a crime to put live card back in to a lake with a stiff $500 fine and enforce it.

Comment by Jeff

daryl, although I understand your frustration, why not make cast nets legal everywhere and try informing people of what young of the year fishes look like and maybe put out an identification guide, instead of complaining that people don’t know what a fish looks like?
ban live bait altogether? Might as well ban fishing for over half the population! you could never stop the people in this state from catching their own bait and using it where they want no matter how many laws get passed, better to try educating people on what fish look like at different ages. guess most of us will end up taking our fishing lisence and park fees out of state with this kind of attitude against anglers who do things different from the way the you fish.nefga forum has got you twisted into their BS, try contact with the real world now and then.

Comment by don

The difference between a young-of-the-year silver carp and a gizzard shad is very slight. The difference between a small white perch and a small white bass is very slight. I spend A LOT of time trying to educate people on the difference between blue catfish and channel catfish, white bass and wipers, even green sunfish and bluegills. As a matter of fact we do not even manage white bass and wipers separately in most Nebraska waters because we do not think we can expect Nebraska anglers to know the difference between those two fish.

I would love to be able to say that there is no problem, we can trust people to know the difference and NOT transport unwanted species from one body of water to another, but we have a darned lot of real world history to prove that is NOT true. In fact we suspect in some cases that folks may intentionally transplant some of those species into new waters.

So, in some cases we try everything we can to prevent that from happening and I am afraid that takes some very useful tools out of the hands of some anglers.

No one has “twisted” me nor do I have an attitude against anyone that does not fish the way I do. I have contact with the real world of anglers as well as the real world of fisheries biologists and fisheries managers. I have used cast nets on the Nebraska waters where they can be legally used, but on waters where they cannot, I will adapt and adjust, find a different way to collect bait or find a different way to catch fish. It works in my real world.

When baitfish regulation discussions occur here in my real world of fisheries biologists and fisheries managers, I am always trying to take the side of the angler. I fully realize how effective wild, self-caught, live baitfish can be! And, in some parts of Nebraska, if folks could not collect their own baitfish, there would be few if any baitfish available. I am all for allowing folks to catch their own baitfish, but there are reasons we have the restrictions we have, and I am afraid some of those reasons have been displayed in the past few days. If anything, most of what I have seen and heard would be arguments for even more restrictions on the personal collection of live baitfish. I am afraid as invasive species continue to be a threat, there are going to be more arguments made for more restrictions.

Daryl B.

Comment by whitetips

Here’s a guy who probably has to use shad for bait. He didn’t read the regulations. Bad place to net, wonder how often he gets away with this? I can understand a biologist flippin his lid on this. I remember fishing at standing bear one evening and meeting a self taught biologist. He had his cooler and was keeping all the yellow bass he caught.I was pleased to see someone finally keeping these fish. Then he laid the line “these white bass are going right to my buddies’ pond.” ….pause…. I here this stuff too often. Thanks for stocking everything downstream of your buddies pond the next time it floods. That’s why there are regulations in every state . Don’t just figure since you saw a guy on espn in fla. casting a net for bait you can do it in NE. The ocean is just a tad different than freshwater. When I was a kid ,I used to dipnet my bait from the papio creek and take those shiners I caught to Cunningham lake. I didn’t realize that every fish I netted probably wasn’t a shiner but I did the dump the bucket in the lake move every time. Now I know that move was not the smartest. We never used to care back then. When we spend lots of dollars in this state to maintain our fisheries, I am glad we are not just relying on the fact everyone is reading their regulation booklet. There are to many that don’t care. We live in a greedy society, some think there intitled to do what ever they want. There will never be enough game wardens to keep it a perfect world. Take the time, when you see someone that can’t see what they’re doing is wrong, tell them. Your paying for this too…

Comment by Ray

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