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Probably too early to tell, but "many reports" I'm hearing indicate a much better fishery this year with only one "no Derby" year. It could very well be that much of an impact..
The Fall netting data will tell a better story and if it shows a marked improvemennt I think we should push for "no Derbies at all", any more, allot better than all the other ideas talked about earlier.
Now how do we fix the other Salmon lakes, lol.
Travis, congratulations to you and your lovely bride!! Welcome back to NH and to this, your website. Your posts have been sorely missed, by me for sure but I would bet by all. I think we all can thank you for the invaluable information and direction to say nothing of the enjoyment we get from this site. Thanks for enriching my fishing experience!!
Without out any controlled research on the matter, I hesitate to declare that only one cancelled derby made the total impact. Many fishermen on this and other sites have taken it upon themselves to take more care but removing trebles, using rubber nets, taking care in releasing fish, keeping severely hook wounded fish etc. I have to think those those factors had AT LEAST as much impact and cancelling one 3 day event.
I truly respect Travis' opinion on the matter but don't understand why one cancelled derby gets credit for bringing a nearly dead cold water fishery back to best health ever in just one season. If this is the case though...I agree that the derby should become nothing but a fond memory of years gone by. I'm sure the cancelled event helped fishing in the few weeks following the cancelled event compared to past years due to that heavy pressure not being there.
I do not want to make any negative impact on this presently very positive board. I would just like to say that IMHO I am not at all sure that Winni was as "dead" as was often mentioned this winter. I agree with you that rubber nets, & most importantly care in releasing fish are huge factors. I also agree with Travis, that the cancelled derby had a significant impact on hook wounding the number of fish that would have been released in haste during the pre-fishing & derby. I also believe that the negative info on the condition of Winni, last fall, winter, & spring has deterred many from fishing Winni. I think that the lesser pressure has given Winni a much needed break.