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Dan Kreher

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Dan Kreher last won the day on October 22 2015

Dan Kreher had the most liked content!

About Dan Kreher

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  • Birthday 10/20/1964

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    Ellisville, MO
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    Stream Smallmouth Bass; Missouri Smallmouth Alliance member; flyfishing

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  1. Absent vandalism of MDC signs, I'd estimate that the special regs signage -- be it for Smallmouth in those regs areas or for Spots in Meramec basin -- last for several years at an access point. Many will fade with weathering particularly if they have a Southern exposure. Our newer, colorful MSA signage still looks good after about 3 years depending on where posted. Keeping signage in good shape at access points is difficult at best. Flooding, vandalism, urgent need for firewood -- all come into play for any structures at these oftentimes remote access points. We've been fairly lucky that our MSA signage has held up as good as it has since we began posting the updated signs back in 2012. As part of the updated smallmouth regulations enacted in March of this year, the MDC was supposed to be updating its regulations signage for stream access points. So far, I've not seen any re-designed signage at any MDC accesses, but admittedly, I've not visited nearly as many of those sites as in years past. MO Smallmouth Alliance will check in with the MDC Fisheries Chief to inquire about where they sit on this initiative and report back to the Forum readers once I hear something from them. Personally, I was a bit too miffed on how the MDC handled their withdrawal of the proposed SMB special regs stretch on Current River last year to be overly concerned with new signage. However, those hard feelings have since dissipated given the new regs water we did actually receive on Big, Meramec, Big Piney and Jacks Fork. So we soldier on.
  2. Black Bass regs signage from MDC posted at access points in the Meramec River basin where spotted bass regulations have been liberalized. Based on our members observations during annual visits to most of the MDC stream access points across the Ozarks as part of our joint sign posting project with the MDC, we have found these signs to be present at the vast majority of the areas facing the "spotted bass invasion." This sign was in real good shape compared to most. Spot harvest in action -- MSA Prez Matt Wier posting with the days take of spots on Bourbeuse River.
  3. The following appeared in an issue of Bronzeback News, the official newsletter of the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance, back about 5 years ago. As a bit of background: MSA has sponsored a Spotted Bass Round Up fishing 'tournament' on selected streams across the Meramec Basin off and on for the past 20 years or so. During this event, MSA members hold a good natured fishing competition to catch and keep as many spotted bass (up to the legal daily limit of 12), have a total stringer weight weigh-in followed by a fish fry. We've done this over the years on Big River, Bourbeuse River and Meramec River, but the event has been on hiatus for the past couple of seasons. We could easily resurrect the event if folks were interested in bringing it back for a fun day on the water and festivities thereafter. Plans to hold one were in the works last year but the flooding damaged our event venue so it was postponed. The other info, obtained from discussion with the MDC, might be of interest to readers of the OA Forum. Meramec Basin: Spotted Bass Management Update The Missouri Smallmouth Alliance recently held its annual Spotted Bass Round Up – this year targeting stretches of upper Big River. During this one-day event, MSA members seek to catch – and keep – up to the legal limit of 12 spotted bass while fishing in a tournament-type format. We hold this event to bring awareness to the influx of this non-native species in the Meramec and its major tributaries and to encourage anglers -- both MSA members and not – to harvest spotted bass on these streams. This year we ‘weighed in’ and ate about 30 spotted bass ranging in size from 9 inches up to 16.5 inches with most running about 10-12 inches in length. I also experienced a highly productive two-day trip on middle Bourbeuse River (Noser Mill to Reiker Ford) in early September which produced great bass fishing for a mixed bag of smallmouth, largemouth and spots for Matt Wier and myself. On this trip we caught about 150 bass in total with about 35% being spots, 40% smallmouths and 25% largemouths. We harvested a good number of the spots – frying up about 10 or so at our gravel bar campsite one night and taking another 20+ fish home for later use at Spotted Bass Round Up a few days later. Having just caught more spotted bass than I’ve taken in several years, I thought I’d run a few timely questions by the MDC fisheries staff responsible for sections of the major stream fisheries within the Meramec River Basin. Their collective responses are noted below. 1. What trends in the relative populations of spotted bass has the MDC seen in their electro-fishing surveys conducted over the past decade on the streams in the Meramec Basin - Meramec, Big, Bourbeuse, Courtois, Huzzah? The MDC has seen little change since 1998, which may have marked the height of spotted bass expansion into Big River (lower/middle). Spotted bass catch rates via electrofishing (>7”) have ranged between 11/hr and 23/hr, averaging 15/hr. Spotted bass densities appear to increase during periods of low flow and decrease during normal flow years. Smallmouth bass appear to do just the opposite. Biologists report similar (though weaker) relationships to flows in the lower Meramec River (Jefferson/STL counties). Spotted bass size structure has also remained relatively unchanged since 1998, with few fish over 12” and none > 18”. 2. Have spotted bass numbers been increasing, decreasing or holding steady? Spotted bass numbers in the Meramec[O1] [DK2] Basin have been holding steady based on electro-fishing surveys. 3. Have the more liberalized regulations had the desired impact on spotted bass populations / distribution on these streams? The MDC believes that these more liberalized harvest regulations have not really made much of a difference in population trends since their enactment; however, the apparent stabilization of spotted bass densities may reflect some impact from these regs. 4. Are anglers taking advantage of these liberalized harvest regs? The MDC biologists surveyed have not seen much change since their 2002 survey of Meramec River Basin stream bass anglers. From that survey, the MDC found the average annual spotted bass harvest was only nine fish (maximum DAILY limit = 12/day). About 78% of anglers said they harvested 12 or fewer spotted bass for the entire year. Fewer than 4% of those surveyed said they harvested more than 30 spots for all of 2002. A significant number of anglers (47%) harvested none of the spotted bass they caught. So, biologists don’t believe the special regulations are encouraging enough spotted bass harvest to make a difference in overall populations. However, by no means are the liberalized 12/day & no MLL regs limiting anglers that choose to harvest spotted bass. In summary, with regards to spotted bass in the Meramec Basin, it appears that the news is not all that bad. Their numbers and distribution appear to have stabilized although angler harvest remains rather limited. Regardless, MSA members should definitely harvest all spotted bass (up to 12 per day) caught whenever they are fishing streams in the Meramec Basin. Just be sure you know how to properly identify a spotted bass and remember to bring along a stringer and some additional ice. Judging by the Spotted Bass Round-Up fish fry, spotted bass are quite tasty – even with the occasional yellow grub in their flesh – while reducing their numbers via harvest will definitely help our native smallmouth bass fisheries by removing competition for forage, suitable habitat and spawning sites. Based on my observations, spotted bass continue to be more numerous on the lower reaches of streams in the basin including Big River below Washington State Park, Meramec River below Meramec State Park and Bourbeuse River below Noser’s Mill. Not saying that you won’t catch any spots upstream of these locations – because you will – but any “non-smallmouth” bass will much more likely be of the largemouth variety rather than a spot the farther you move upstream. Thankfully, invasive spotted bass remain relatively rare on major tributaries including Huzzah and Courtois Creeks as well as the Mineral Fork other than near their respective confluences with the main stem rivers.
  4. I've not seen anyone reply yet with regards to the MDC regulations with respect to spotted bass in the Meramec basin. Regs for spotted bass in the Meramec, Big, Bourbeuse, Huzzah, Courtois and Mineral Fork creeks and there tributaries include: No Minimum Length Limit A daily/possession limit of 12 black bass no more than 6 of which may be a combination of largemouth and smallmouth bass -- so you could keep up to 12 spotted bass if you did not keep any largemouth or smallmouth In Smallmouth Bass Special Management Areas (essentially all of Big River, Meramec from Hwy 8 bridge to Birds Nest, Mineral Fork from Hwy F to Big River) within the Meramec Basin -- the smallmouth regs are a 15" MLL and 1 SMB daily/possession limit Closed Season (C&R only) on all black bass from March 1 to Friday before 4th Saturday in May These liberalized MLL and creel limit regs are spotted bass were adopted by the MDC around 2000 (I cannot recall the specific year enacted) following significant input from anglers, members of the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance including Mr. Al Agnew. I have not seen much actual data from the MDC on how many spotted bass are actually being kept by anglers since the reg change. However, it appears that the change has done little to curb their numbers within the majority of the Meramec Basin having suitable spot habitat as discussed throughout this thread. Good input from the group on the spotted bass issue -- particularly enjoyed reading Al's history lesson.
  5. Saluki -- is there room in your canoe for a Missouri angler interested in Hoosier smallies? I have your fishing pliers from Castor Clean Up last spring (pre-flood). If you take me fishing in Indy next summer, I'll be sure to bring them with me. Great to see you're acclimating well to your new home waters.
  6. I think most all of us are sick of 'fighting city hall' on this topic. I personally like the dedicated MDC fisheries professionals I've been in contact with over the years. I believe they made an honest effort to move Missouri's stream smallmouth bass program forward in this last go round. Many anglers are not entirely pleased with the regs changes they enacted --particularly canning the 18/1 limit on Jacks and Gasconade -- but on balance the regulations regime is better than where it was previously. Could things be better? Certainly. Is it likely that MDC is going to do a lot more work in this area on more widespread and innovative smallmouth bass management on our streams? Highly doubtful. That's not a jab at them. It's just the reality that I and many anglers I know foresee. They spent a bunch of staff time, money and effort in doing the research, tagging study, angler survey, public meetings, etc. We cannot fault them for that. All don't necessarily agree with the conclusions reached. But you cannot say they didn't make the effort. Tournament interests -- I get it -- don't want to restrict their activities by enacting regs that might improve the overall fishery. Understand their position particularly since their ranks are voluntary C&R guys as well. As far as poaching/illegal gigging of sportfish -- the MDC will do what it can education-wise and end up busting a violator here and there. Are they going to do a comprehensive experimental study as suggested -- don't hold your breath. Too hot to handle politically as you end up throwing the good apples in with the bad ones. We as anglers need to continue to spread the message of restricted harvest, voluntary C&R, slow growth rates of stream smallies and preservation/protection of the environments these bronze bass call home. Wish I could say that I'll miss these far-ranging online discussions on the management of our favorite fish . . . but I doubt it. I agree with Joe D on this one. Let's just enjoy what we've got with respect to our Ozark streams, smallmouth fisheries, etc. Let's spend less time griping online and more time on the water doing what we love.
  7. To clarify, it was the MDC itself who was proposing these new/extended special management areas based upon results of past studies that showed more and larger average sized fish in existing special regs areas as well as their more recent reward tagging/exploitation study that strongly indicated that the selected section of Current River's angling quality for SMB would improve markedly under a 15/1 regs regime. And in all cases studied by the MDC in the tagging study their own modeling indicated that both numbers of adult smallmouth bass and average sizes would improve in any of the areas surveyed if implemented. However, since only one of the six areas studied (Current River from Two Rivers to Van Buren) had the right combination of mortality rates (high angler and low natural) would such a change in the regs also increase "yield" or the poundage of smallmouth bass fillets that anglers would be legally able to harvest. That factor -- ensuring equal or greater yield -- seems to have at least equal weighting with the other objective of improving overall angling quality in terms of larger average sized fish, higher angler catch rates, etc. This is the main problem many folks have with the MDC's overall management philosophy with respect to smallmouth bass. Changing the statewide limit to 15"/3 fish would NOT have a negative biological impact on our fisheries. The MDC's vast amount of data collected over the years strongly indicate that reduced harvest and higher minimum length limits result in higher fish populations, higher average sizes and higher angler catch rates. However, if the MDC is committed to a maximum sustained yield approach afforded by the current 12/6 regs regime across most of the state, they lack the will power to make any such changes. That is why they did not even consider doing such a thing in this round of proposals and public comment periods. They want to take the incremental special regs waters approach but seemingly aren't fully committed to making widespread change across the Ozarks. Even with the regs changes that will likely be implemented later this month at Commissioners meeting, the vast majority of our smallmouth streams will continue to be managed under the same structure as they have been since the late 1960s/early 1970s. This is hardly a progressive approach. Rather than rely on the STL 7 -- whoever they are -- why don't you talk with trained biologists intimately familiar with both how the MDC operates and its management program for stream fisheries -- say, someone like retired MDC biologist Spence Turner. He'll set you straight. The MDC knows what regs will work to improve our fisheries but lack the will power to lead on this issue to make meaningful changes. Angler attitudes and practices have changed markedly since 1970s. The public comments published by the MDC bear that out.
  8. Appreciate Gavin, Al's and Spoon's posts on topic. It may or may not be helpful to write the four Commissioners at this point. I'd say that the MDC's mind is likely pretty set on these proposed regs at this stage of the game. But feel free to express your opinion. As others have pointed out, the once-proposed regs on Current River are conspicuous by their absence. 15/1 regs were proposed for Current from Two Rivers to Van Buren but are not being moved forward apparently. We know that the Current River Smallmouth Association was adamantly opposed to these regs on that section of Current River as it would have effectively eliminated their club tournaments held out of Van Buren -- and to a much lesser extent -- Doniphan during the summer months. Now I understand that by and large they are a conservation-minded fishing club that release all fish post weigh-in, but nevertheless the more restrictive regs would have required them to drastically change how they run their club tourneys which they clearly did not want to do. MDC report notes a special public comment meeting held in Van Buren at request of their group back in the spring. Over 60 folks were in attendance there presumably in a last ditch effort to keep any regs changes from being made on "their river." While the public comments coming from that meeting are not spelled out in the MDC report, they must have been pretty persuasive at that meeting for the MDC to do the about face on their proposal. It seems that folks who are against a particular rule or regulation change get listened to much more closely that those that may be for such a change. It was quite surprising to me that the MDC would abandon their science-based approach to fisheries management to assuage public opinion of a relatively small group. This is particularly troubling in that the particular section selected for the proposed regs was the only one of the six studied in the tagging/exploitation project that would achieve -- based on MDC modeling -- the dual objective of improving angling quality (avg sizes/catch rates) and yield defined as the pounds of SMB harvested by implementation of a 15/1 limit. Admittedly this is a tall order given growth and mortality rates (both angler and natural). So I figured the MDC was dead set on implementing this change. The MDC did clarify in an e-mail to me that extended Jacks Fork reg will run all the way down to Two Rivers access on Current River. Not sure how an agent would handle those found with more than 1 smallie under 15" in that short stretch of Current below confluence but I guess the MDC doesn't think that will be much of an enforcement problem. I know, I know because no agent is going to be there to enforce the rules anyway. Not surprised that MDC went away from 18/1 trophy regs to the 15/1 regime on Jacks and Gasconade. Seemed to value conformity and simplicity over trophy regs. Pleased they extended the area on Big Piney and Jacks Fork as well as Big and upper Meramec -- but we all know they could do much more if they had the will power to really improve our stream fisheries. But if maximum sustained yield remains your overriding management objective, it's hard to come around to more progressive thinking in management of sportfish such as smallmouth bass. The MDC's work really wasn't to determine if they should change the statewide regs or not. They merely wanted to know anglers' thoughts on the new proposed regulations changes. If they been interested in considering a statewide regs change, the vast majority of public comments were in favor of more restrictive regs from what I read in their report. Perhaps we wanted to much from the MDC, I'm not sure. It did not seem like the MDC wanted to provide me with much additional insight into how they changed their mind on Current River or whether they are considering moving the proposed special regs stretch farther upstream on Current River away from the tournament anglers primary competitive water. They'd need to study that section from Round to Two Rivers more intensively -- which will take another 5 years in all likelihood -- and only if it met the dual litmus test of quality fishing and yield enhancement would they move forward with any new special regs. I won't hold my breath on that one.
  9. Great message to release slow-growing sportfish such as river smallmouth bass. Nice fish to boot!
  10. Not sure what a gheenoe is exactly. I just put in canoes at that ballpark access and it is a short carry in type of deal. No real way to back a trailer but a short slide/carry down to the bank there.
  11. try some of the lwb crossings upstream of hwy 19 for wade water also the bridge below 19 down to dry fork creek has some wading water in summer
  12. your best bet may be to call kings river outfitters near trigger gap at hwy 221 bridge an old map of his indicates access at 74 bridge then another spot to access river at 21 bridge at boatright creek about 7.5 miles down then it is the marble public landing 6 miles below that next public spot is marshall ford 11 miles below that then is about 15 miles down to rockhouse another private spot is about midway between the last 2 points i think it was called rimkus or similar call ernie killman at kings river for more info
  13. Glad you guys are enjoying Chuck's book. We only have a few boxes left from the generous donation Chuck's estate made to MSA following his passing a few years back. So, hurry up and get yours as the book is no longer in print. You might be able to find some on e-bay somewhere but it's yours FREE when you join MSA for your $20 membership. BTW - Brandon Butler of CFM gave a great presentation on his outstanding organization to the 40 or so folks in attendance the other night. Yes, we did look at lots of "fish porn" slides as well but his real task was to educate our membership on the role and mission of the Conservation Federation of Missouri and why it is important for concerned sportsmen to join their ranks to help protect Missouri's forest, fish and wildlife resources against those who do not participate and/or value these pursuits. The new CFM video he showed was very powerful in its message and imagery. As has been increasingly seen on the OA forum, over the past few years Conservation interests have been under attack by many folks in the MO state legislature. Numerous bills backing parochial interests and/or seeking to allow the legislature to control funding the for the Missouri Department of Conservation by sun setting or even abolishing the 1/8 cent Design for Conservation sales tax have been filed in the past few sessions seriously threaten our outdoor resources and the agency chartered to manage them. Thankfully, concerned citizens have helped thwart these previous attempts to dismantle the MDC by being more informed of the goings on in Jefferson City and then contacting their legislators to express their opposition. If folks want to easily and effectively express their views to their senators and representatives, CFM has a great resource on its website -- its Legislative Action Center -- found on its homepage. Here, you can find info on various proposed bills affecting Missouri wildlife issues, find you senator or rep by typing in your zip code and address, see how CFM feels about the proposed legislation, send an e-mail or form letter (or modify the form letter provided by CFM), and send it off to the appropriate party with a few clicks of your mouse. Or, you can pick up the phone and call the legislator's office at the number provided by CFM. Becoming informed and being able to take meaningful action using this tool is about as easy as it gets. Check out their website for more information at www.confedmo.org. CFM is a non-profit organization led by a dedicated staff and a committed group of board members.
  14. If you want to get out of the cabin and talk smallmouth tomorrow evening (Feb 16th), I invite both MSA members and those interested to attend our meeting tomorrow night from 7-9 pm. Conservation Federation of Missouri Executive Director Brandon Butler will be presenting. Brandon is a serious smallmouth bass angler, fine outdoor writer and is doing one heck of a job leading the CFM in Jefferson City. He will be speaking on the Conservation Federation, his love for smallmouth bass fishing and will let us know some of his favorite places to chase bronze across the Midwest. So, come on out for a few hours Tuesday night if you can make it. Missouri Smallmouth Alliance meetings are held at the Legion Hall in Brentwood just west of the Schnucks store at corner of Manchester and Brentwood Blvd in Brentwood. Address is American Legion Goff-Moll Post 101 located at 2721 Collier Ave, Brentwood, MO 63144. There is no charge for attending and you can get draft of bottled beer at the bar there. No charge for attending. BTW - we still have some copies of the late Chuck Tryon's fine book, 200 Missouri Smallmouth Adventures, available for any new members who sign up for MSA. Annual dues are still only $20.
  15. Once again, Al encapsulates the primary concern that conservation-minded, or even those anglers who choose to keep their LEGAL limit of river bass, should all share. Gigging of game fish such as bass is indeed a "problem" whenever and wherever adult bass are taken by these unscrupulous perpetrators illegally. It may not be a widespread problem affecting a stream's overall population of bass, but, with a gigger's ability to target larger adult fish in concentrated numbers as they are found in selected areas in the winter, it can sure put a smackdown on a sizeable stretch of water. Again, it is a major frustration of those who look to improve the resource, practice catch and release, educate the angling public on the slow growth of river smalliles, etc. that a handful of A-holes can undermine all of our best intentions in just one gigging season or Saturday night. No real solutions will likely be found here but pretending like this stuff doesn't happen with abundant evidence to the contrary is not productive either. We end up arguing with each other rather than coming up with any sort of coordinated effort to combat this issue. Report such situations on a timely basis to the MDC whenever you see them. At some point we will need to elevate this issue to a high enough priority with regulatory authorities to have it adequately addressed. The MDC has made many attempts to educate giggers with appropriate signage at river access points (I'll post some examples here when I get a chance) but more needs to be done.
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