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Al Agnew

Smallmouth Issues/msa Meeting

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I haven't found the study itself, but from a list of all studies, I believe this is it: 1975 F0067 The effect of a "Fish-For-Fun" regulation on black bass upon the standing crop of fish in Courtois Creek. Fajen, Otto F.

Catch-and-release is not a new idea to either fishermen or the MDC. Like I said, it was a long time ago, and it was way before I thought I could tell the MDC how to manage fisheries, so I just accepted their findings and moved on.

If you're interested in all the studies conducted between 1953 and 2001, you can find them here http://mdc4.mdc.mo.g...uments/2271.pdf

These guys act like real "scientists."

Was that another slam against the MDC?

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Guess I need to be much more simple about the way I put things. I was being facetious. Just check out some of these studies on the link I provided. These guys are real scientists. Did you also take "and it was way before I thought I could tell the MDC how to manage fisheries" literally as well?

Sorry for the confusion.

Be serious, Ron.. There are lives at stake!

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Guess I need to be much more simple about the way I put things. I was being facetious. Just check out some of these studies on the link I provided. These guys are real scientists. Did you also take "and it was way before I thought I could tell the MDC how to manage fisheries" literally as well?

Sorry for the confusion.

With crawfish burrowed in and hibernating out of sight, no insects, no lizards, no worms, no terrestrials, etc., the menu may be narrowed to minnows, so this may be the key to the migrations.

I’ve known for decades that smallmouth migrate to deeper pools during the winter, and I always suspected that because of a slower metabolism, many of them probably hide under rocks and ledges in a prolonged stupor, but I now suspect that, at least on this river, they migrate for many miles, and it is possible that they not only are looking for deeper holes, but following the food sources.

Let me make sure I am following you now. Crawdads hibernate and minnows migrate. Thus the smallmouth are just following the minnows. So it should be that the crappie, LM and Spotted bass, goggle eye, catfish, gar and a number of other speices of fish that inhabit the creeks and rivers that feed on minnows should also be following the minnow migration in what would rival wildebeest crossing the Serengeti plains of Africa.

Not sure it is a matter of being simple about the way you put things but, maybe one of displaying the knowledge you should have aquired during your 300 days of fishing and guiding for the last 30 years.

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Government agencies in general tend to forget sometimes they are paid to serve and not annointed to govern. In the case of the MDC, I feel they are generally good guys with a desire to really make things better. They just never work fast enough for me. (except for didymo). I know they have dozens of groups with their own agendas to deal with and probably have to walk the tightrope and can't make any waves.

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The two stream stretches that are 1 fish 18 inch limit right now are vastly different situations. The Gasconade stretch is big enough for a LOT of jetboat use, and gets a LOT of fishing pressure. I haven't fished it all that much, but find it to be better fishing than stretches immediately above and below it, and as good or better than a lot of similar waters elsewhere. The upper Jacks Fork, on the other hand, is too small for jetboats, gets too low to float by mid-summer, and so gets much less fishing pressure. The fishing on it is very good, but is that because of the lack of pressure or the (often ignored) regulations?

Of the stretches with a 1 fish, 15 inch limit that I fish, I think the fishing is better on them than on stretches immediately upstream or downstream on the same river.

Guys, I'm going to say something almost sacrilegious here. We continually hear the mantra about habitat being so very important. Good habitat equals good populations of fish. We need to improve habitat before we start talking about regulations.

Well, it has been my experience that the biggest key to good versus mediocre fishing is pressure. I fish several smallish streams with what could only be considered poor habitat. Long stretches of shallow water. Lots of graveled in pools. But they get little fishing pressure (often partly because they ARE poor habitat). And, they are excellent fishing in the warm weather months, with some big fish in them. I've written here before about them. A very small wading creek, very little water over about 3 feet deep, lots of pools two feet deep or less--and it produces excellent numbers of smallies up to 18 inches, with the occasional 19 incher. A marginally floatable creek with few pools over 3 feet deep, not even a lot of cover, but it was chock full of 17-19 inch fish last summer. Another marginally floatable creek, good habitat in upper sections but deteriorating as you go downstream until it is miles between the occasional deep pools, but the fishing is just about as good in that poor habitat as in the good stuff. And my home river, which is not only very shallow because of mine waste filling it in, but also suffers from a lot of the ills of urbanization--but I can still catch plenty of fish from it.

Habitat improvement is a long, difficult process, but it should be attempted. However, I think we could have decent fishing even in very poor habitat if the fish were given more protection.

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