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Unnatural Selection causing fish to get smaller

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Genetics are becoming more and more a brick wall to produce larger fish, we need to preserve the genetics of those special fish with the traits we want......this paper hits home on that issue..I would implore any fisheries people that the clock is ticking to locate and save special individual fish much like the share a lunker program for Largemouth bass in Texas...Smallmouth bass here could use that sort of boost..I know through my contacts that they are trying to get a baseline on the Neosho strain......SW Missouri ...NW Arkansas NE Oklahoma SE Kansas area Smallmouth bass, historical accounts before people sought state records..Flats heads over 100#.......150# blue cats..... 8# elk river smallmouths, hyperbole? possibly but we have a great deal of data that suggests our fishes are getting smaller....I remember as a kid in the 70's reading magazines showing stringers of 8-10 pound bass from bull shoals...Table Rock..Sam Rayburn...Eufaula....the early years of the B.A.S.S...Bill Dance, Virgil Ward, Billy Westmorland,(if you can find it them ol brown fish is a great read) Charle Campbell.......amazing fishing in those early years....its time to take the next step in the ozarks, who wouldn't want more 5 pound smallmouths? or have a crack at the huge walleyes that once swam in our rivers???...food for thought

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219730/

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I've always said that limits should be set to a maximum size to keep. Say no keeper small mouth over 15" or whatever. The keeping of the biggest fish hurts in a couple ways. We are removing both the eligible brood stock and the genetics required to grow that big.

Keeping only small fish removes the runt genes and utilizes fish that would normally be eaten by the lunkers that some one now has mounted on a wall, releasing small fish only increases the probability that the small fish genes will be passed on.

Once was a 4 1/4# brown in my little creek that over a three year time I caught and released over fifty times, one day I watched as a fellow caught her and and kept her on a stringer in hot sunshine where she was looking unfit to eat by the time he left the area a few hours later. The same group threw back several of those 11 1/2" fish that will never get any bigger than 11 1/2"  due to genetics. All according to law, but she will never spawn again.

My thoughts are that trophy fishermen deserve to ruin our fisheries, they spend the big bucks to so, and that the agencies involved in setting size limits want smaller fish.

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Sorry Slappy...them critters get WAY WAY bigger, if we have not lost the genetics, Mark Twain would have called our blues "nice but just fiddlers"

 

 

"Records of huge blue catfish date back to the Lewis and Clark exploration of the Missouri River. They described large whitecatfish, undoubtedly blue catfish, reaching nearly 1.5 m in length. Heckman (1950), in his Steamboating Sixty-Five Years on Missouri’ s Rivers, provides the following account: Of interest to fishermen is the fact that the largest known fish ever caught in the Missouri River was taken just below Portland, Missouri. This fish, caught in 1866, was a blue channel cat and weighed 315 lb. It provided the biggest sensation of those days all through Chamois and Morrison Bottoms. Another fish sensationwas brought in about 1868 when two men, Sholten and New, brought into Hermann, Missouri, a blue channel cat that tipped the scales at 242 lb.Heckman provides other evidence that it was common to catch catfish weighing 125200 lb from the Missouri River during the mid 1800s. Even Mark Twain, talked about seeing a Mississippi catfish that was more than six feet long(Coues 1965)

 

http://fisheries.org/docs/pub_sympsample.pdf

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"In November 1879, the U.S. National Museum received a blue catfish weighing 150 lb from the Mississippi River near St. Louis. The fish was sent by Dr. J. G. W. Steedman, chairman of the Missouri Fish Commission, who purchased it in the St. Louis fish market. The following quote from a letter from Dr. Steedman to Professor Spencer F. Baird, U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, suggests that catfish of this size were not uncommon. “Your letter requesting shipment to you of a large Mississippi catfish was received this morning. Upon visiting our market this afternoon, I luckily found two, one of 144 lbs, the other 150 lbs. The latter I shipped to you by express.”

 

 

NEXT?

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1 minute ago, snagged in outlet 3 said:

Full of yourself aren't ya?:lol:

LOL ..I am funnier in person

 

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See, they kept turning the little ones loose and ate (or mounted) all the big gene pool. It's easy to see why all we got now is fiddlers, that is all our predecessors let go. Blame Mark Twain and his buddies for all the small fish left nowadays. Never read about the guy guy that caught 100# plus fish and turned it loose to reproduce, nope they mounted all them genetics.

 

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