I sat this one out and will continue to until things change. Ilucas and Roland two well respected fisherman and good guys bring up a great point. The Derby has been around for years and fishing has been good and bad with the derby on. I think we can all agree that there is without a doubt more sustained pressure on the fishery throughout the summer months and again catching Salmon in 55 degree water and then releasing them in 70 degree water does stress out the fish. The problem is simple with the sustained pressure and the Derby the lake simply does not have time to recoup and as such we see the problems that we have today. Remember everyone who catches a quality fish during the Derby kills it takes it out of the lake and who can blame them after all they are trying to win a boat. How many quality Salmon do you think are harvested during the three day Derby? I know that when I fished the Derby I fished longer and harder than I ever do running as many lines as possible again because I’m trying to win a boat. We have had several Derby weekends with well into Double digits days as do many.
If there was ever to be a study done on whether or not the Derby hurts the fishery well that has been done for us last year. With NO Derby last season the fishery turned around FAST the Salmon are bigger and healthier and the fishing has vastly improved. I have spoke to some anglers whe felt as though there was less pressure on the lake last year I disagree last year during the derby dates there were a pile of boats on the lake I suspect because many had the dates off and booked lodging. The difference was they did not kill all the healthy fish they caught. Rick Davis said it himself in the paper. From the Laconia Daily Sun:
“Winni Salmon Derby returns this weekend after year off to give fishery a breather
By Adam Drapcho
May 13, 2011 12:00 am
LACONIA — After a year off, the Winni (Salmon) Derby has returned this weekend and Executive Director Rick Davis said yesterday that the hiatus has proven to be a good thing. This derby, now operated by the Laconia Rotary Club, will be the 29th time the contest has been held. Last ye...
LACONIA — After a year off, the Winni (Salmon) Derby has returned this weekend and Executive Director Rick Davis said yesterday that the hiatus has proven to be a good thing. This derby, now operated by the Laconia Rotary Club, will be the 29th time the contest has been held.
Last year, Davis attended the salmon netting operations held by the state's Fish and Game Department, in which they extract eggs from pregnant fish for spawning in state fisheries. He didn't like what he saw. There were fewer fish and of those he saw, "About 30-percent of what I saw had hook wounds, were quite skinny, they weren't going to make it." Hook wounds are caused by careless or inexperienced fishermen who roughly remove a hook from a fish's jaw, causing permanent damage that limits the fish's ability to eat.
The land-locked salmon fishery is under pressure from anglers like never before, said Davis, due to more numerous fishermen and the increasingly sophisticated technology they're employing. After seeing the state of the lake's salmon, Davis called off the 2010 derby.
A year later, he was glad he did. Observing the same netting process, he said the fish "were in great shape." The three-day derby begins today and will continue through Sunday. Two Princecraft boats and cash awards are among the $50,000 worth of prizes. Anglers can register as late as today, and may do so by visiting www.winniderby.com or at A.J.'s Bait & Tackle on Main Street in Meredith.
The canceling of last year's derby was only one response to the state of salmon population in the state's largest lake. Fish & Game has enacted new rules, such as one which prohibits the live storage of salmon – anglers either immediately release a salmon or keep it for good. Several other rules pertain to types of lures and techniques fishermen may use.”
Another major problem that I have with the Derby is comments made like this one:
We also understand that the amount of fishing pressure is way up and it stays that way all season long," Davis wrote in his press release. "No one seems to know how many charter boats are fishing the lake and, in some cases, two charters per day. Reports of 20 to 40 fish a day being caught are not uncommon."
I know we have beat this like a dead horse but it still gets under my skin. The derby is a for profit event that is a business for all involved and much like any business if it does not make money than it does not make sense.
Unfortunately you will never be able to shut a put grow and take fishery down for 40% of its season dates. What you can do is NOT fish the Derby. I commend everyone who has chosen not to fish in the Derby and do not look down on anyone who chose to its and individual decision and I understand for many it’s a huge event and was for me and my family for years. I will miss fishing the Derby until something gives and hope one day I will be able to enjoy the event again.