Posted by finfan on November 16, 2002 at 10:07:27:
In Reply to: Re: sardines/squid posted by Steve on November 16, 2002 at 07:57:49:
I agree somewhat with your logic and really could not answer your question "is it just excess forage" or even the question if left uncheck could the massive forage created with no take upset some other balance leaving us the same or worse off. No argument,possibly if left uncheck.
But, I've seen the fisheries that have developed in freshwater lakes when the shad population does not have the pressure from a striper fishery. The bass tend to thrive. Now that being said, I'm using the stripers as a "take" method comparable to commercial fishing (they probably aren't good comparisons, but it is the closest relationship I could compare to). Also, I have no idea how likely results between fresh and salt water environments can compare so I am also making an assumption that fresh and salt water environments react similar to one another.
Lake Havasu is an example - the bass population was healthy and abundant before stripers were introduced. Let's call that "BS". stripers are introduced and the striper fishery grows. Even the stripers get bigger each year. Then the stripers growth rates decline and the bass population goes from wonderful to almost non-existent. I think most would tell you that the stripers once they depleted the shad moved directly to the next food source, young bass.
AZ DFG changed take regs on the stripers and more importantly began a program of habitat replentishment and now even with stripers the lake produces some of the best catches of largemouth in the west.
Forage fish (shad) returned both because of less stripers, but even more so because of habitat replenishment.
I don't think reserves by themselves or the stopping of commercial fishing by itself or the reduction of the sardine/anchovie take by itself will solve our problem. I have also seen bass stunted because of the over population of bass. Whether through nature or by man "take" actually occurs and is required for a healthy fishery to exist. Healthly environments are balanced.
I see the answer as more of a combination of some good things (and not extremes). Just for giggles I call it a marine fishery management plan. It's different from CA DFG definition in that it doesn't begin and end with "closing anything indefinitely"
It has the following elements:
1) Rotating reserve areas (a mix with complete avoidance and even some with reduced take limits within the reserves)
2) Drastic reductions in commercial fishing (but enough left open so some can still make their living in that work). I'm not sure how anyone can justify us destroying what's left of that significant piece of this country's heritage.
3) Habitat improvement/enhancement (kelp replenishment, artificial reefs. I see that as one valid point behind the reserve, but just closing an area won't be enough, we have to supplement.
4) Breeding stock programs (improve the hatchery survival rate - you are right on point with that piece of your argument)Personally I think that piece if forage fish are abundant will create the fastest impact towards improvement.
5) Significant improvements in our local pollution reg's - the habitat won't improve if we continue to dump what currently is being washed into the ocean off this coast.
6) I'm probably missing some other critical element, but I think you can see where I am going with my solution.
My issue is about DFG mis-management. It isn't about the reserves, the photo's impact or the fishermen. We spend a lot of dollars in the DFG each year and quite frankly we don't get the return we expect and deserve. If you really want improvement in the fishery start with improving the department that is responsible for overseeing the fishery. Damn this soap box is getting tall!
The screwed up the ab fishery and shut it down. Have they done anything to improve it or supplement it's recovery?? I think not! Have we seen results, sure, but to any large extent??
If you are not ready to wait another few decades and want to see some short-term results then we as a collective whole need to focus our efforts on forcing DFG to really manage and not just spend hundreds of thousand of dollars annually for nothing.
Does that make any sense?
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