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!