By all accounts, this whole coronavirus thing has done is put more people on the water. There is no doubt we have more folks fishing this year. That is a good thing, and you know I have touted that time spent fishing is good for health, good for the soul. You can grab a rod, get outside, socially distance, and get away from all the lunacy. A lot of families that had their summer sports seasons canceled have discovered they can go fishing together! All of that is good, very good.
Fishing permit sales are up, and that is good too. The stewardship of our water and fisheries resources cannot happen without funding.
But, I gotta say there are several things that concern me. . . .
Remember, I am a pointy-headed fisheries biologist and I am always going to come down on the side of the fish. From what I hear, and I answer a lot of questions, there are a lot of new folks fishing. Or, at least, folks that have not fished for a long time have been back on the water this year. Again, that is a great thing, but what concerns me is an apparent lack of any clue about fishing regulations or fish identification.
Nope, I do not expect everyone to know their rules and fish ID like a fisheries biologist, and I am glad to help those with honest questions. But, at least take a second to review this:
And, this is not perfect by any means, but at least spend some time looking at the pictures, Fish Identification.
Another thing that bothers me. . . .Without a doubt, I am also hearing more complaints about littering than ever before.
I wish I had a solution. All I can tell you is that the lack of respect for our resources and lack of respect for other users infuriates me.
I wonder sometimes if we do not charge enough for fishing permits?
Do not people take better care of things they value more? Why are our public resources treated so poorly?
As far as I am concerned, you litter, you should never be allowed on any public resource ever again.
I do not have a solution. Try to lead by example, pick up trash and dispose of it properly, try to influence others to do the same.
I also worry what impacts we are going to see to our fish populations after a year like this? We will see what our fish population sampling looks like this fall. Hope for the best, just like we have been since all of this started.