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Al Agnew

Mdc's Smallmouth Management Area Selection

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Just a thought...maybe these 25 or so stream sections dont "qualify" for smallmouth special management status..Thats OK with me. But I'd still give that White paper an F because its just "yes" or "no" without much in the way of explanation.

Where are the recommendations for highest and best use for the sections they studied? The report implies that they"studied" these areas...I'd like a conclusion about highest and best use for each one of the sections they studied, and some recommendations about how we can get there....

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Perhaps MDC is caught in a no-win situation. Their angler surveys seem to consistently show that most serious stream bass anglers already release almost everything they catch, so they have a mindset that restrictive regulations don't really have much effect. But they also have a mindset that never seems to change much--that their job is to maximize smallmouth harvest on most streams, and the least restrictive regs are usually the ones they opt for. They've also got interest groups, including tournament anglers and locals who do want to catch fish to eat, that would kick and scream if some stream sections had much more restrictive regs.

I think you said it all in the first and second sentence. And on the flip side of that, those that don't have any regard for regulations, arent' going to follow them anyway.

One thing I would like to add, some of the streams that have been dropped from the list are also stocked with trout. I can't see trying to save a native species when non native species are been dumped in by the thousands. Just a thought.

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Al, is there a public comment period of any type related to this? If all the people in this thread would go to a meeting or write actual letters, it would move the ball at least a bit.

Ok, I'm in. But I'm going to pick an argument that I'm confident I can win, so I'm only going to (primarily) address the criteria in regards to Gravois cr.

And I plan to question their reasons for giving Big Buffalo the designation years ago, while denying other (larger/better creeks) in the same region.

When I get a reply I'll post it.

Wrench

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I suspect its because its not suppose to have any smallies. I'm not familiar with the upper end, although I've heard there are some in it, there were a few in the lower end before Truman flooded it. We used to pick up an occasional small one when White bass fishing the shoals above Fairfield.

My gripe about the White Paper, and the plan in general concerning stream smallies, is that they start at the wrong end. I believe they should give them all at least a 1 at 15" and a small limit, and then repeal it if it offers no benefits.

Not everyone is on the same page however. Several years ago I bitched and complained about people keeping smallies in lower Bennett during the winter. While I got sympathy, I could never get the agents to report a violation. I was also told after I made a suggestion, that a sign would be put up reminding people that C&R meant all species. I'm sure you've all seen the sign? :angry:

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Just a thought...maybe these 25 or so stream sections dont "qualify" for smallmouth special management status..Thats OK with me. But I'd still give that White paper an F because its just "yes" or "no" without much in the way of explanation.

Where are the recommendations for highest and best use for the sections they studied? The report implies that they"studied" these areas...I'd like a conclusion about highest and best use for each one of the sections they studied, and some recommendations about how we can get there....

Or better yet, I'd like to see a study and evaluation performed by some group that is not influenced by "politics." The fact that they even include "regulatory support" should disqualify MDC from making the decisions. That basically tells me that something, anything can and obviously does trump biological and ecological need.

I have a feeling that if the University of Missouri (any of them) biology department did the same survey of all the same streams, there would be not only drastically different evaluations, but drastically different recommendations for SMAs, since they would be based purely on scientific data and would not be influenced by other oppositional forces before the study even began.

The White Paper is simply DISHONEST, in my opinion.

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I've gotta say I'm in awe of the depth of knowledge some of you (like Al Agnew) have on this subject. One can only hope that MDC employees are so well informed.

The only thing I'll add is that I don't know why oftentimes when smallmouth management is brought up - that MO trout fishing/stocking is bashed? I just don't get that? Both are important and fill different niches. I enjoy both although I do spend more time chasing trout. But if trout stocking were suddenly stopped has it ever been considered what the consequences would be to our warmwater fisheries in terms of fishing pressure? I guarantee at least some of those thousands of anglers that frequent Taney and the trout parks would be spending time chasing smallmouth. I don't think it would be a good thing at all.

Greg

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Or better yet, I'd like to see a study and evaluation performed by some group that is not influenced by "politics.

I don't think the MDC is that political, in fact that's one of it strong points and has been back as far as I can remember. I think the problem is, as it pertains to this, the fact that not all biologist are that interested, especially in a new workload. The other is this tendency towards pushing some species that aren't really native or are semi native at the expense of some native species. I think a lot of this brought about from biologist who are imported from other areas of the country and who possess different experiences and motivations.

I think they also misread some of the demand for keeping fish, while there are some who want no regulations, many I think support some catch and release if its for the well being of the species.

Are streams haven't exactly received a lot of protection and they suffer for it. Its not just smallies, I haven't seen a 5 pound Redhorse in years, and I'll bet the giggers don't either. They stick 10" Hog Mollies now, 20 years ago the wouldn't have.

There are more people and they just keep coming while are streams stay the same, except with less water.

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