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Sorry I missed the gathering. It sounds like it was a big hit.
Just getting on the message board for the first time over the last several days.
First things first. I disagree with all the proposals....with the exception of mine....two rods for the first two anglers and one additional rod for every additional angler. The boat rod limit would be set by its capacity.
The one rod proposal from Steve Perry and the guides association should be tossed out for the simple reason that it will further hurt the lakes region economy, the guides business and the bottom line for Fish and Game. Not to mention really limit the participation when they need more.
The NHSA (fishing not snomobiling) proposal of two rods for the first angler then one for each additional is is not unreasonable and I am sure well thought out but I can't buy into it.
The reason that I disagree is it would not allow myself and my son, wife or whomever I invite on my 16 footer to have to rods.
Read this and tell me how many of you would have to have a conversation like this.
The conversation with my son would sort of go as follows. Hey Scott lets go salmon fishing at Squam on Saturday. Sure Dad. We get to the lake and I put two rods out (F&G and Guides) or I put three out (NHSA). Now he purchased a liscence as did I and he says Dad where is my second rod? Well Scott you (or I if I'm a good Dad ) I don't get a second rod because the fish in this lake are skinny and short(which we know isn't true but that is the reason for the change). Scott says then why does that boat over there (I'll use the Barge for only an example) get to use more rods(unless F&G's proposal is law)? Well Scott he has a larger boat that can hold more fisherman. Then the discussion goes on to why can't I have a larger boat then on to what I don't want to hear but know it is comming....THIS ISN'T FAIR and I DON'T THINK THAT I WILL GO FISHING IN NH FOR SALMON AGAIN. I don't want to hear this from my son!
We don't want to turn off the young anglers....we should give them every reason to participate.
I will e-mail the Director and all the other addresses that are available to lobby for no changes to the current law.
Thanks for all the updates...I wouldn't be as well informed as I am now if not for this site.
Oh by the way ..... how much of the hook wounding is from Ice fishing? Know one knows....the answer to this. Do we have to stop all open water salmon fishing for a few years to find out the percentage of hook wounding caused by Ice fishing?
The "2 rods per/ max of 4" suggestions that I have read came from individuals posting here and other forums, not from an "official" group. Sorry about the confusion. The limitation of rods per "boat" makes no sense to me. I believe it should be based on, licensed anglers. I think that NHSA has the most equitable proposal that I have heard, given that rods have to be limited. I think it, rightfully so, gives consideration to the angler who fishes alone. Re: rest of my post, I probably should have prefaced my "hypothetical example". Lets consider the first two boats (group #1), as best friends, (3 anglers total) using two "small" boats. Then consider the third boat (group #2)(3 anglers), best friends, who have the option of using two boats, but chose to fish on the "big" one. Both groups used the same amount of rods, using the current rules. Which group did the most damage to the fishery and environment? Which "spread" of the two groups covered more water? This is just my perspective on the "big boat" criticism that I have read in the last several months.
Just wait john the salmon will come to you. With all this rain they should be in Mass. Any time now . Then you won"t have to worry about. Any of these proposed changes.
Fishrod,the post I was referring to was started by John Sampson and called "Gathering, F&G hearing, Fin clipping etc." I wasn't at the gathering so I was getting my information from this post. Maybe I misread it, but I was under the impression the proposal put forth was one rod per angler. If I was wrong about this then that is a good thing in my opinion. Solo anglers could live with the 2 rods per individual angler and one rod for each additional angler on the boat scenario that you mentioned. If it truly is one rod per angler then I go back to what I originally stated and find this grossly unfair to the solo angler. Maybe someone from F&G (Liza) could chime in here and clear up what exact proposal will be presented to the public. Either way, I plan on contacting F&G and expressing my opinion to them.
solo = 1 person =2 rods so wouldnt it change back to i rod per person when iput someone in the boat with me
Devils advocate here... My opinion is a good fisherman with one rod can out fish most people with two. My one rod i only ever fish with keeps me plenty busy! I think the best thing to manage an individual lake would be to cut down on the number of fishing days if quality needs to improve or the lake is "under performing". Plenty of other places to fish if Winni needs a couple days off. Any reasonable fisherman would gladly do so if it meant bigger and better quality fish down the road. .02 added
I'll be the first one to admit that my motivations are a bit selfish (I think we can all admit that) but if the goal of limiting # of rods is to reduce the take, then any combo that allows 4 or more rods per boat is not going to be very effective IMHO.
4 rods is the perfect amount for my little boat and I have posted days very similar to guys with 8 or 10 line out. If the fish are active, you are on the right pattern, depth and speed, you will be very busy with 4 rods. Now the extra rods will add a few additional fish but I would bet if you could (which you can't) scientifically measure it, I would bet that the additional rods beyond 4 probably only account for a small percentage of the days take.
Furthermore, all the rod limit proposals I have seen target one group over another. You can't make the guides and big boat guys happy without targeting the little boat is solo guys. You can't make the little boat/solo guys happy without blasting the big boat guys.
Why disenfranchise either group when rod limitations are probably not the answer we should be looking at? Why not try less invasive solutions such as:
-banning nylon nets
-increase the size of stocked fish (already being worked on)
-implement a "salmon tag" to generate revenues to improve the hatchery quality
..let these ideas ride for a few years and if the fishery continues to struggle - then get down and dirty.
The Winni Derby folks stepped up and cancelled the derby (the effect of which is still up to debate in my opinion). I would like to see the Rotary Derby folks step up also and change that derby to focus major prized on lakers (not rainbows...which have a HUGE salmon by-catch as a result). Perhaps the Winni Derby folks could bring back that derby and do the same...change the top prizes from salmon to lakers to incourage the targeting of lakers over salmon...at least until the fishery is deemed "healthy" again.
This is the first time I am posting on here after 2 years of lurking. I attended the gathering for the first time and thought I would get involved a little.
I agree with MikeF the problem that need fixing seems to be having to many injured fish. The best way I can see to help fix that problem is not the number of rods out but how do we lower the number of injuries on release. I think the first step should be banning trebles and or barbless hooks only. That way everyone still gets to catch fish (and makes it a little more sporting with no trebles or barbs)and keep the same number of rods. No us against them. Limiting the number of rods just means fewer fish are caught but injuries to those released will still be there. Obviously fewer because less fish are caught. We are all out there because we love to fish. Lowering the number of fish caught makes it a little less fun. Fix the problem at hand fish injuries!!!
Many many good ideas on here ...One thought came to mind what IF a few of the problem lakes that need a break are closed a little early each year while others stay open to the normal time ???? Going along this thought we all could still fish during the normal season but give the fish a chance to grow before winter ? Thanks to all the effort everyone has
put in to this cause .
Glad to see so much response to this issue. Please understand that the NHSA's recommendations are not made lightly. I can't speak for all in the room, but I don't believe that anyone of us wants any change at all. This comes from the harsh reality that salmon #'s and weight are significantly down. The hook wounding has dramatically risen to 30% which means that almost one out of every fish caught already has this injury, and if they don't before we boat em, they will if we release them. So F&G has a much more complicated problem before them. Logically, if you think about it, reducing the # of lines will definetly reduce the catch. We want to try and help them make a decision that is more angler friendly. The issue of closing the lake early would represent a huge problem. Imagaine if you booked your vacation 2 years ago, and the week you are scheduled the lake just closed to fishing....
As to treble versus single hooks, I have it from a F&G biologist that there is NO evidence that this will reduce the hookwounding at all. Developing and practicing the best catch and release skills possible is the only way to minimize this problem. A rubber net is also a must as the problem this represents can not be collected, fish kill due to being in the air 2 long, and losing their protective "slime" for lack of the actual term. We must also be careful to try and protect this.
If you want to have a voice attending the F&G rules proposal meeting is most important. Everyone who can attend, should. We make sure to post the date, time and place here on the Website when it is determined.
Well, the #'s piece is the most confusing. My best understanding 2nd hand is that F&G had to do multiple nettings to get the #'s they looked at, so this comes from their fall netting studies. Don't know if you went to The Gathering, but Bill Finn presented a wonderful set of graphs regarding size, # and hookwounding, but the # issue seems decieving, but not in light of the reported multiple netting anecdotal info.
My best understanding of the info is that all of what we are discussing has impact on the problem. I hate to get off the water at any time, any day. So I try and fish as long as I can and practice catch and release. I think I am among the majority. I keep only those I know will die. But if we are all out there, fishing better (I would never call myself a good angler, but I know that I am better then I have ever been). So I boat more, catch and release more, and so on, and so on. Another way we can all help is practice volutary restraint. Try and reduce hours/days fished. So that we can continue to fish and have fish there for the catching. This is a very difficult issue, and totally voluntary. I work all week long, so when I do finally get a chance to fish, I want to make the most of it. I know that I am just like most other's who post here, most of us can only fish a few times a month/season. My hope is that if I fish a little less now, I can continue to fish for the rest of my life, not just today. Still, trying to make me behave is next to impossible......
Russ...the other Johnson
Thanks for the reply. I wish I had been at the gathering but family comes first.
The netting numbers that you speak of are I believe a good indicator of the salmon population in our lakes. Did those reduction in total numbers account for the undersized salmon put into the lakes the last two years. I have seen the data from the last several years and they do tell a story. One thing I know fishing many hours at Squam is that the one and two year old fish are practically non existent both in the fall netting and the fishing creel. I don't mind catching large older fish but there are two age classed missing from that lake and I presume the other lakes as well.
My point is if you go just by the numbers and don't look beyond the surface for all the underlying contributing factors it never becomes corrected and perhaps some restrictions are placed on the fishery that aren't based on all the information and aren't needed.
In the long long ago past the salmon population in all our lakes have increased and decreased based on a number of factors such as available bio-mass, fishing pressure, fish kept, carefull release, health and size of the stocked fish and so on....This has happened before and the fishermen go away....then as the population gets healthier and word gets out the fisherman come back. It is somewhat self correcting with a little help from our biologists at Fish and Game...thank goodness.
Self restraint is a tough one...just ask Mr. Sampson. I've fished with him.
Curious to know how the salmon are making out on Newfound and the other lightly stocked lakes. I have fished Newfound alot in the past and rarely catch salmon.Stocking 25k a year in winni and 500 a year in Newfound, would be interesting to see the comparison in fish quality, health and hook wounds.
Come on Russ and F&G. Have you never released a single hooked fish vs. a treble hooked fish. There's a HUGE difference IMO.
Rarely does the treble hook only have one hook embedded. And after you get one of the hooks released and you're working on the second one, the fish wiggles and your released hook gets embedded a second time.
All this time the fish is out of the water and handled a lot more than just releasing a single hook.
I don't believe that single hooks get swallowed deeper than treble hooks-at least that's not my experience.
Treble hooks HAVE to cause much more severe hook wounding than single hooks IMO.
Amen Cal. My thoughts on treble hooks, exactly. I believe NHF&G's position is that they don't have evidence or maybe data to support that. Perhaps because, in a netting survey it is impossible to determine what kind of hook did the damage. If I had to guess, I would say the anglers among F&G would tend to agree with you.
That was not my opinion, that was a stated opinion from F&G that was based on facts, as I reported. In truth, I haven't fished as extensively with singles to have an opinion. But I did ask another expert opinion who has fished singles hooks and their response was that there is no easy answer, singles represented yet another problem when catching shorts, potential lethal hooking. I think it still remains the intent of most if not all of us to be as conscientious as possible. If it isn't, it should be. I know that the folks I speak with all intend to swap to single hooks. Obviously, I will develop my own opinion soon enough. But I will be very mindful of both of the expert opinions I have solicited when I develop my own.
And we all know that practicing careful catch and release, keeping the injured only and releasing all healthy, rubber nets, etc, to name only a few will go a long way in the conservation of our fishery.
Tight lines all, the season is upon us. Good fishing!