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A Question of Ethics?

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6 hours ago, Quillback said:

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.

from what I hear the "rough fish" are getting smaller....you have X numbers of lets say Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), pounds per Hectare, you can have four or five... 20 pound granny carp....or 12-15 five pound teenage carp...which.... I have a study somewhere.....

shows more small carp can release more nutrients than fewer older large carp, the spawning success of numerous smaller common carp vs fewer old Large Carp is well documented.

Our highland reservoirs (think Beaver/ Table Rock & Bull Shoals) don't have the silt/ nitrates/phosphorus pump...that can cause algae blooms in some eutrophic lakes (think Montrose Lake) or the weed issues for waterfowl that wetland/shallow natural lakes experience in Minnesota, Iowa or Wisconsin....Common carp migrate to the shallow wetlands to spawn, and if a bad winter kills all the baby carp eaters, the recruitment goes through the roof, and down stream back in the main lake gets overpopulated....exacerbated by over harvest of baby carp eaters, or worse pre-teenage carp eaters

Carp being broadcast spawners have large egg production, "Fecundity" millions of eggs produced get eaten, young of the year feed walleyes-bass-crappie-catfish-white bass, sunfish eat billions of highly nutritious carp eggs, in some waters predator growth rates and recruitment crash when common carp where removed, lake booms with the initial renovation, but crashes because recruitment is poor, unless supported with supplemental stockings, in some states the carp removal..renovate...cycle is great job security for the renovation depts, with little motivation to fix the root causes.

so how do we fix?  greatly reduce harvest of the largest fish be it common carp or huge gamefish...this gives anglers more trophies and preserves/maintains better genetics....limit forms of harvest that makes it easy to poach or harvest the largest fish from a watershed.......

so should studies be done? yep....will they? nope...at least till the strange reduction of fish sizes and numbers gets someones attention.......

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I saw and read that on Facebook yesterday.  My biggest I guess shocker in reading it was that on a single patrol down one river he was able to make that many cases for spearfishing.  Granted it is probably the prime time of the year for it, but it does show that it is a problem.  Sadly I suspect that like those who routinely poach deer, catching them, and punishing them doesn't seem to stop them.  However those who are not die hard violators might take notice.

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The whole elk river drainage needs protection, its always been poachable, headlight bow fishing has taken out many a big smallmouth there, been fishing at night seen it, even told them I had their license plate and if I ever saw them even drowning a worm I'd turn them in.....the Neosho Strain smallmouth should be zero harvest for the next 5 years..IMHO....the influx of the newly american in that area has put a tremendous strain on the fish stocks there.....I would pay 4 times the License fees to hire more CO's to inforce regs

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My opinion is i dont mind bowfishing  I prefer shooting gar because they are great table fare, maybe there could be length limits but since its Nongame fish i reasoning y there isnt

 

I for one arent against regulation but i also feel that if more are applied the less enjoyable the sport could be.

I honestly think enforcement should be up but at what cost, but it all goes back to the judges that slap the wrist of violators compared to the COs doing there jobs trying to enforce the laws.

 

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I suspect 'gator gar once was in the white river,  I don't find any reports on why they went extinct in most of Missouri, I am sure many people would love to see them back.....the 20 fish limit in total that has worked in Missouri gets violated every night, shot tossed back etc.....the images of dumpsters full of fish that could be used as food kills us vs the peta crowd, gar though hard to clean, have some excellent eating meat, where I grew up (Mobile AL) huge gator gar where common, google mobile bay and see just how big that is, and once people had a market for gator gar meat it was shot up like  a saddam hussein convoy during Gulf-war I....An Alabama Conservation employee noticed he wasn't seeing the big gar Surfacing in the Blakely Rivers, that made biologists take a look at the whole dynamic.....its still a huge issue.....

https://www.fws.gov/natchitoches/alligator_gar.html

https://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/conservation-department-continues-alligator-gar-restoration

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While I personally hate the thought of killing gamefish,( no cpr with a spear in ya) If these guys buy their license and follow the law, they can enjoy their sport too. I don't hunt, and shooting an animal (no cpr there either) is not my thing but I certainly have no problem with those that do it. Yea I wish the spear fisherman would stick to rough fish, the law may not agree. JMO

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It takes a long time to grow a huge fish like these, but stabbing one takes it out of the system forever, perhaps the huge jump in Bighead and silver (carp) would never have happened had the gar and big cat populations had not been fished down.....I had a chat with a fisheries person recently, said the Hypophthalmichthys had been in the big river systems earlier  than the great floods of 93, what kept them in check?  stabbing sports on fish are not like hunting, most fish are considered "undesirable" are legal, with the shrinking outdoor disposable income, bow-fishing equipment providers boats, bows, etc have a vested interest to have liberalized limits on Gar, buff, commons....no-one wants a fellow outdoorsman's sport taken away..at least till their sport takes away your sport.....limits come into play..I'd give my eye teeth to have bow fishermen pound a lake for commons under 33" it would make fishing for big fish better in some lakes say Montrose, but in waters like that (stained) its not as easy as the clear waters of the Ozarks, the places that have the large populations of the jumping (carp) don't seem to be very clear....IDK what the answer are

bowfishing-alligator-gar-1.jpg

bowfishing huge gar(2).jpg

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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. 

Yeah, I think they almost seem like they take it for granted that regardless of what species of "rough fish", that people don't hit them hard enough to deplete their population. I'm not too sure if that's really the case though.

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5 hours ago, Haris122 said:

Yeah, I think they almost seem like they take it for granted that regardless of what species of "rough fish", that people don't hit them hard enough to deplete their population. I'm not too sure if that's really the case though.

It was anecdotal evidence that started the gator gar examination, also there are those on this forum that pointed out that in some lakes the Buff are noticeably less .....same thing that happened to gator gar.......

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The lower White River was once perhaps the best fishery in the world for huge alligator gar, but the White River dams put an end to that.  Even in the lower river, the lowered temperatures from Bull Shoals and Table Rock made the river marginal habitat for the gar, and the population declined greatly.  So I suspect that the upper river also had some alligator gar.  Probably the lower ends of most of the Ozark streams flowing southward into the Mississippi delta had them...such as lower Black River, Eleven Point, and Spring River, as well as the lower St. Francis.  Perhaps even the lower Meramec had a few, since they were in the Mississippi up to St. Louis.

I hear anglers say that they caught them in various Ozark streams, but I highly doubt it.  Longnose gar get up to 5 feet long, and I suspect that for some, any gar that big is just presumed to be an alligator gar.  My dad and his buddies believed that they were in Wappapello Lake, and they could have been in the first couple of decades after the lake was impounded, but when I fished it with my dad in the 1960s, I don't think we ever saw one.

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