Netting on the Rise

 

Trolling around the fishing message boards this time of year you will find no shortage of fishing reports. Inside those reports you can pull other things that are more disturbing. Things like the large number of commercial fishing equipment popping up all over the Ohio River.

Trotlines that stretch from one bank to the other, many full of trophy fish. It can be hard to pull a drift down your favorite stretch of water without losing all of your rigs to nets and trotlines. Regulations by the state of KY make this practice easily available to anyone with the money to purchase a commercial license. The bounty can be plentiful, especially since right now there is not much of a size and creel limit restriction.

 

 

I understand that this topic may be redundant. Here this guy goes again up on his pulpit telling all of us how to enjoy the sport we love. That is not the case at all; the bottom line is this message needs to continue to be spread.

It is difficult for me to get a hold on what is happening all over the country. Much like anyone else, it hits home and is easier to discuss when it occurs in your own back yard on a daily basis. Pull up the internet if you like and you can watch videos of the hundreds of thousands of pounds of trophy fish being harvested for the purpose of pay ponds. It’s right there in front of you, the proof is in the pudding. Since the Ohio River is 6 miles from my house, myself and all the other die hard river anglers see it on a regular basis. It is spreading far beyond the banks of the Ohio into the Mississippi River, TN River, Santee Cooper, the list goes on and on.

 

Legally and illegally, pay lake owners paying people to live on the shores of waterways states away and illegally catch and transport fish across state lines to keep the small ponds stuffed with trophy Blue and Flathead Catfish.

Sitting at home the other night I watched a show about the danger that the fish populations in the ocean are in. Decades of unregulated fishing in some parts of the world has many species near extinction. With the increase in technology, larger boats, larger nets, the list goes on and on. That program scared me to death. Ladies and Gentleman we are talking about the ocean, the ocean that covers 70% of our planet. Yet somehow, we human beings have managed to deplete the population of hundreds of species of fish due to over fishing. It is estimated that ¼ of the entire catch is by catch. Most of those fish being killed because they were caught in nets meant for other species.

Now think about this, the Ohio River consist of pools that in most cases are no longer than 90 miles or so. Pools that in many ways are their own eco systems. And the state that borders an enormous stretch of that river gives free reign to commercial and recreational anglers to take as many Catfish as they like. How in the world can a waterway of that size sustain a healthy population with lack luster regulation? The answer is it cannot.

 

I wanted to write this to get you to think about that for a moment…Many fish populations in the ocean that covers 70% of our planet are in danger. Shrink that down to 80-100 miles of water, and a state that is allowing it to happen. Folks, if that don’t make you take a second look at what is going on here, I don’t know what will. We can only hope that stronger regulations will be in place in the near future to make sure this does not happen to our inland waterways.