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A Question of Ethics?

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As Mitch alluded to, the difference between these methods and hook and line fishing is that, with limited exceptions, the bowfisher of spearfisher can specifically target the largest fish in the waters, AND, once the fish is shot, you can't release it.  It's the same problem I have with illegal gigging of gamefish, compared to illegal hook and line fishing--it selectively kills big fish.  The hook and line poacher, if really good or really lucky, might kill one or two really big fish among dozens of smaller ones, but the illegal gigger or shooter selectively removes more big fish from the population.  So it depends upon what the goal of management is.  If it's simply to insure there are sustainable populations of game fish, then fine, the shooters are having no more effect on the population overall than the hook and line anglers observing the same limits.  But if part of the goal of management is to maximize the numbers of larger fish within the overall population, then allowing this is absolutely counterproductive.

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The problem as I see it, Big fish genes get removed, the big river run walleyes that get world record sizes can and do get spearfished in Arkansas....anyone who's fished bull shoals for walleyes can tell you sizes age down..why?...back in the day you could go to almost any mom n pop bait shop and a walleye of 15# plus, I caught and released a 17#er at powersight in the early 2000's, I think stabbing methods should be limited on big fish, with the exception of the filter feeding bighead and silvers, In Texas the lake in Austin has a one Carp over 33" per day unlimited under that...to maintain the trophy carp fishery there......the huge buffs that where once common in LOZ are less so, what impact long term will that be? or will they have to spawn them in Hatcheries like Gator gar now?  

I get an arguments on impacts of "rough fish" on waters, you can take every bottom feeding fish from a lake with silt intrusion issues and it only is a band aid, and the cycle gets repeated, great job security for lake renovation people, Fisheries ecosystems are complex and can be unique to each water,...but this I know..genes matter, I have found tons of videos, where everything from huge smallmouth bass, walleyes and muskies are stabbed and removed from the waters...NO-ONE could rationally say stabbing methods are easier to harvest BIG fish VS Angling....with no-option to re-use that fish for another anglers joy.......

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5 minutes ago, Al Agnew said:

As Mitch alluded to, the difference between these methods and hook and line fishing is that, with limited exceptions, the bowfisher of spearfisher can specifically target the largest fish in the waters, AND, once the fish is shot, you can't release it.  It's the same problem I have with illegal gigging of gamefish, compared to illegal hook and line fishing--it selectively kills big fish.  The hook and line poacher, if really good or really lucky, might kill one or two really big fish among dozens of smaller ones, but the illegal gigger or shooter selectively removes more big fish from the population.  So it depends upon what the goal of management is.  If it's simply to insure there are sustainable populations of game fish, then fine, the shooters are having no more effect on the population overall than the hook and line anglers observing the same limits.  But if part of the goal of management is to maximize the numbers of larger fish within the overall population, then allowing this is absolutely counterproductive.

I agree, we are at a point where "Trophy Areas" are managing for large fish, while allowing a fish dinner, we still have a lot of old school meat fisherman that load the freezer with well over legal amounts..... Crappie and Walleye are typical, if the COs busted more peoples freezers it might help...but I never heard of anyone getting busted for that.

I also know ethical fisherman that whoopsed fish gigging and bow-fishing...it happens, I have heard of big floater browns in Taney or floater Muskies in Pomme....Even a 12 pound LM Bass in Lake fork......The temptation in a few seconds to thwack a 40" brown or 50" Muskie...or 83 pound flathead is a big temptation...I don't want any reasonable hunting /fishing to be banned outright, but limits should come into play...what happens in spring when bright lights go down a spawning bank? does it have an impact? no -one can say.....

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As much as I fish, I don't think I have ever seen divers out there spear fishing.  I am sure there are some out there doing it and they can harvest some big fish, but I would think the effect is negligible on fish populations. 

It would be interesting to see what the impact of bow fishing is on a lake like Table Rock as far as the gar and carp populations.  I know they shoot a bunch at that annual tournament.  My opinion is that MDC should do a study to see what impact there is.  Hard to set management goals if you don't know what you're managing.  And maybe they know, I don't want to make assumptions.

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1 hour ago, Chief Grey Bear said:

Another solid score for our lazy, do nothing MDC! 

 

Great job MDC!!!!....they went after a clown once in Crawford County after we called them and notified them about the poaching with spear guns.

I would venture to say that happens on streams close to the Arkansas border more often than we may think.

I thought there is a fair chase clause built into the game code in Missouri???

Sorry but, selectively going through a group of fish and cropping off the biggest with a spear does not fall under that IMO. I think the MDC is ahead of the curve in regards to our game code compared to some states. The problem is we have too many clowns around who just don't give a f@ck and are only on a river or impoundment to stroke their ego and show off some meat.

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