WDNR studies and their mindset WDNR studies and their mindset
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    WDNR studies and their mindset
from 1sg  
6/27/2012 11:15:21 AM


  Philosophical gulfs separate tournament anglers and other fishers. Those differences were paramount to the Natural Resources Board, which stated in its 1987 policy on tournament fishing: "Sport fishing should remain a true amateur sport which combines the pleasures and skills of angling with wildlife and scenic enjoyment, contemplation, and other subtle pleasures, not competition."

The Department of Natural Resources recognizes tournament fishing as a legitimate activity, but the "contemplation not competition" sentiment remains strong among many who enjoy recreation on Wisconsin's waters. The commercialization of natural resources and the notion of private gain from public resources is another common philosophical conflict between tournament anglers and other users. Such tension is not unique to the fishing tournament experience: The sheer variety of water recreation, from jet skis, ski boats and lake tours to on-shore festivals and events, means clashes are bound to occur between users. Alleviating on-water conflicts and balancing different types of water recreation are important goals in tournament planning and regulation.


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   Very interesting Jeff... from ButchT  6/27/2012 12:00:54 PM
I'd say that pretty well explains their intent which was pretty obvious from the beginning. Oh well,,,it is what it is. B.A.S.S. will know better next time.

   Sounds like Chattanooga................... from mwriggs #17945  6/27/2012 12:33:14 PM
I wouldnt go back, Id take my money elsewhere

   Interesting from Jeff Hahn  6/27/2012 12:42:02 PM
Interesting statement...and directly related to an important issue that I raised when I presented a paper at the American Fisheries Society Meeting in the early 1990's, and which the head of WI DNR heard, because he and I and several others (including Hobson Bryan, University of Alabama who has developed the most extensive theory of recreational specialization and was considered the foremost expert on resolving resource user conflicts) had dinner together afterwards. Apparently, he heard nothing I said in the paper, nor took to heart the same info that was later detailed when the paper was published. Based on Hobson's theory and research, my paper laid out the most effective means for resolving conflicts among various resource user groups.

And, their statement is now 25 years old...think it may be time to revise it??? Apparently, they are quite happy with the same philosophy that guided them for many years, as horrifically out of date as it is.

Jeff Hahn

   And, by the way from Jeff Hahn  6/27/2012 12:49:06 PM
And, by the way, the extent to which the head of WI DNR at the time HATED bass tournaments was readily apparent in everything he said. And, much to the credit of other fisheries folks, he was in the distinct minority and the other fisheries folks considered him a "nut" from everything I could gather.

Jeff Hahn

   What hog wash from Skipper  6/27/2012 1:07:37 PM
and I've been in that chair in Kentucky. I fully understand what's happening here.

Like it or not, tournament fishermen are a minority even in this state. That said, we do the majority of the fishing by far. I looked at a survey once of licensed anglers in Kentucky. By far the majority of anglers spent less than 10 days a year on the water. There was pretty much a big gap in the categories and then you got the tournament crowd and the numbers for in excess 35 days a year.

Generally, tournament fishermen just want to fish and they don't want to get involved in the politics of it. When it comes to hunting you have organizations representing everything. DU, NWTF, RMEF, Pheasants Forever, etc. You get the idea. In 6 or 7 years I never ever saw BASS at any KDFWR meeting, discussion, or anything of the sort. Never saw a club, state representative, nothing.

One year at a meeting a proposal was brought up to make parts of lakes in this state off limits during the spawning season. This came from Crappie guys at LBL (Kentucky and Barkley) It got a lot of traction and damn near went to the commission. I had to make an ass out of myself being the only bass fisherman there to put a stop to it. Had this had gone through it would have put off limits all bedding areas on a lake between Mid March and June in Kentucky. Of all things the Crappie people aren't catch and release, they are meat fishermen. Bass fisherman me with catch and release is trying to make a point in a meeting that Bass Fishing doesn't have this problem in this state. Wonder why that is?

There are bass fishermen that hunt but by far there are more hunters that just hunt and do not bass fish. Hard core hunters have no comprehension of catch and release and certainly no comprehension of fishing for the sport of fishing. There's no question in my mind that hunters had a lot of say in writing that statement and I'm not necessarily criticizing hunters. I am saying we need to get on the ball and get representation.

In the hunting world, using resources for Tourism and Money has a much different meaning than it does in Bass Fishing. While involved with Kentucky's DNR system I dealt heavily with the issue of "Canned Hunting". There are 2 camps in the hunting world. Those who adhere to the North American Wildlife Management Model which states wildlife belong to the people to be used by the people in a responsible manner. And the camp which is seeking to turn hunting into more of a European style where the animals are fenced and owned by a farmer and sold to hunters for a price. For now, the canned hunting bunch is small in numbers but they have a pot load of money and a hell of a lot of influence in the government. 98% of the hunting public's stomac is turned by the idea of picking a deer from a brochure, paying a fee to kill that deer, and calling it hunting. That 2% however is a dangerous bunch because of their money and political pull.

When you start talking about bass tournaments to a lot of the purist hunters images of canned hunting come to mind and they tend to resist the idea of it. Then you have the anti crowd who will use something like that as a wedge and it turns into divide and conquer.

All that said, and there's some things we need to take from this.

1. We are a minority and we need to realize that.

2. In my hunters ed class there's a section on taking care of the sport by not offending others. Things like displaying a dead deer on your hood as you drive through town. We need to look at things we do in this sport that offend others and where possible minimize the impact. If that means cleaning dead fish and giving the meat to shelters, if it means forgoing stage type weigh ins and figuring out how to make the Championship fishing's C&R type tournament work at the Elite and FLW level.

3. We need an organization that does nothing but lobby for tournament bass fishing issues in every state. It's become apparent that BASS isn't going to do it. They are a for profit outfit and tournaments make money, lobbying DNR's and working public fish and wildlife forums doesn't. Us putting 50 bucks a year each into an organization would be a pittance if it did the job it needs to be on the local, state, and national level.

   Faulty rationalization from Jeff Hahn  6/27/2012 1:49:11 PM
I just reread the WI statement posted above and recalled an argument I had with an anti-tournament guy in the 1990's when I was active in the American fisheries Society. This guy was a fellow Sociologist. But, he was a fly fisherman. He accused bass fishermen, in general, and tournament fishermen, in particular, of using "unfair" means to catch fish. He coined the term "fair chance" "fair pursuit" or something similar (I;m at home and don't have access to his paper in my office right now). But, the idea was that for an fishing to be "sporting," the target species must have the opportunity to avoid capture. So, to him, depthfinders and other forms of modern technology negated the "fair pursuit" of fish. To him, fishing is more "mano a mano," with the accomplished angler learning over many years about the fish he targets, getting in their environment, and using his expert knowledge to trick a fish into biting...obviously a description of fly fishing. But, modern bass anglers substitute electronics and other innovations as a substitute for the years of first hand learning, thus making their pursuit of bass :less fair and less sporting." Compare a flipping rod and 50 pound braid with a 7 foot fly rod with a 4 pound tippet...to him, only the later equipment is "fair."

And, in an effort to tarnish those of use who use various forms of modern electronics, those types of folks speak of bass tournaments as "commercial" fishing...using public resources for personal profit...profit for the angler in terms of prize money and profit for the organization hosting the event. Obviously, by commercial fishing, we think of big nets being trolled by a big boat, catching fish to be kept for processing and for sale to the public. Knowing this negative image of commercial fishing, these jokers try to say tournament bass fishing is essentially the same thing. Of course, I argued that tournament organizations and anglers do not commercialize the fishery resource any more than tackle manufacturers do...hey they make a profit my providing even the most basic tackle, including fly tackle. But, these jokers don't call them "commercial" fishermen. And, I always said, if you really think that "mano a mano" fishing is the only "fair" form of angling, them put away your fly rod and go noodling!

The difference between bass fishermen and these folks who believe that "fair" pursuit means limiting the use of technology is that us bass anglers could care less if someone wants to go fishing with light tackle in order to give the fish a "fair" shot at escaping. GO! Do it! Have Fun! But, those other folks believe it is their duty to STOP the rest of us from enjoying our form of the sport, as they define it as "unfair" to the fish and that tournaments are a COMMERCIAL use of a natural resource for PROFIT.

Does this argument remind you of our current political climate...those who want to be left alone to live their life as they see fit vs those folks who believe that they know what is best for others and must use force in the form of government action to make the rest of us do the "right thing?"

Jeff Hahn

   I agree with the DNR from Fisherboy #10852 #10852  6/27/2012 1:51:22 PM

Specifically, "Sport fishing should remain a true amateur sport which combines the pleasures and skills of angling with wildlife and scenic enjoyment, contemplation, and other subtle pleasures, not competition."

If tournaments were eliminated, 75 percent of the A$$holes on the water would be eliminated. The remaining 25 percent of the A$$holes would be jet skiers and drunks.

   Fisherboy from Jeff Hahn  6/27/2012 2:04:16 PM
Yeah, let's all go back to 1950. You can't be serious, so I assume that you're just stirring the pot.

Jeff Hhan

   Skipper, I raised that very question here, a few years back. from Spinny  6/27/2012 2:36:05 PM
Why isn't BASS more like DU and others (heck the NRA for that matter), as in a political activism?

Man! Did I get a flogging.

   Nope, not kidding from Fisherboy #10852 #10852  6/27/2012 2:43:53 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-tournament. But let's face facts, the majority of A-holes on the water are tournament fishermen -- whether it's tournament day or just practice.

I've never had a walleye boat, kayaker or jon boat cut me off or be an a$$ because I was sitting in "their" spot and they were fishing a tournament and I should move my a$$.

Fishing is not a sport, it's a recreational activity that has been turned into a commericalized business through clever marketing as a sport.

Along with that comes the wannabees (no offense Wannabe), who thinks they will be the next KVD. Combine that with high payouts and now you have greedy wannabees, which aren't exactly very personable people.

Now you have a greedy wannabe on the water in midst of a competition. Competition can bring out the best and worst in people. In tournament fishing, it sadly brings out the worst in "most" people.

The only reason this topic has come up is because of a limited fishing area. You still have the same number of boaters and at the end of the tournament, the guy who optimizes his opportunity will win. Aren't tournaments about testing one's skills against others with the best (that weekend) rising above the rest? No, it's about generating revenue, selling products and satisfying sponsors at the expense of a resource.

Go back and look at the two huge fish kills in 2005 and 2006. You can argue the testing methods and holding pens all you want, but a chitload of fish were killed.

I'm not a tree-hugging fish lover either. I won't hesitate to fillet a bass. I usually don't, but I have and probably will in the future.

PS: I actually read that post above ... tournament fishing is a commercial buisness and it uses a natural resource to produce a profit. Why in the hell you think catch and release was started? It wasn't for concern over the fish, it was a concern over fishing yourself out of a business.

The day a mine opens up, they are slowing working themselves out of a job. The only difference with fishing, is that you can put them back and mine them another weekend.

   Jeff I kinda agree with Fisherboy from ZX-Bama #14918 #14918  6/27/2012 2:45:13 PM
I don't know much about the Green Bay situation, but I do have this opinion. I know that B.A.S.S. and the elites do all things possible to protect the bass catches. However, I do not think they give a lot of consideration to the fisheries they are using. The "AllStar" tournaments from the past two years were held on Lake Jordan and the Alabama River, not far from my house. These waters already have too many tournaments and I really think they should be limited. B.A.S.S. has admitted the type of exposure they give to a particular area means money and MORE fisherman. Our waters are already overcrowded. I guess I am a bit of a hypocrite, because I enjoyed going to the weighins while they were here. However, I am not sad that they decided to leave our area for awhile

   My experiences are different from Jeff Hahn  6/27/2012 2:59:30 PM
I guess our experiences depend on where we fish. I have will certainly concede that there are a lot of idiots on the water and too many of them run bass boats. That does not necessarily mean they are tournament fisherman, but many are. 99% of the idiots that I run into are either pleasure boaters or pleasure fishermen. For example, tonight I am subing in a Wednesday night tournament on a series of natural lakes on the south side of Akron. The land owners think they own the lake and every one of them has a pontoon. They will not think twice about running over your line. In fact, it's the norm for them to go between a fisherman and the bank. Then, there are the jet skiers...on any lake. They repeatedly violate all no wake regulations. Last Sunday I had a ski boat run within 10 feet of me while I was hung in a laydown tree and dang near washed me on the bank and did slam my trolling motor into the log. No only was this rude, but dangerous...and he was violating a lake rule of all areas within 150 of the bank being No Wake. I routinely have pleasure fishermen run between me and the bank or walleye trollers troll right over the hump I am fishing and have even had them snag my marker. Then, there's the issue to tying up the boat ramp...no group of people can get in and out of a ramp faster than bass fishermen. Everyone else ties up the ramp, ties to the docks so they block a lane of the boat ramp...do I need to continue?

Maybe my experiences are because our lakes are so small and lots of different kinds of people use them. But, I seldom have an issue with another bass fishermen, particularly a tournament guy. But, many of the other lake uses have no clue, nor do they seem to have any common courtesy or common sense.

Jeff Hahn

   Welp from Fisherboy #10852 #10852  6/27/2012 3:11:40 PM

Everyone should experience a little combat fishing at least once in their lives. Come on down.

   Tournaments from ZX-Bama #14918 #14918  6/27/2012 3:20:24 PM
I just think more should be done in our state to limit the number of tournaments. I am not totally against tournaments as I used to fish in them myself. It is just that now there are too many. On any given Saturday there is at least one tournament out of each ramp on Lake Jordan. The lake is only around 5000 acres on the Coosa river system. You can hardly find a place to park, when you arrive at the lake. There also will be a tournament boat on just about every spot you try to fish. I sometime will take a day off during the week so I can fish the lake. It is getting out of hand. I don't think B.A.S.S. holding their tournaments on the lake helped matters.

   Fishlessboy makes some valid points, now I am going to get my popcorn...... from Jmac #10965 #10965  6/27/2012 3:52:51 PM
and watch the arrows fly.

   I have been working and fishing in Wi for 14 yrs from Tim #10364 #10364  6/27/2012 4:16:58 PM
And I have to say most of you (Tx anglers) do have an over blown idea of your importance to fishing. I workwith a lot of guys here in SE WI. scores of them fish and like to fish. They know I like bass fishing. I am a rare bird up here. Idon't know anyone or have met anyone up here who gives a hoot about tx bass fishing.

I rented a house on a major fishing lake for 9 mos. The main bait shop sponsored a bass Tx on Tues nights. they struggled to get 10 boats.

All the fisherman up here like to fish for perch or other sun fish, northerns. Muskie is king from mid-state morth.
Those crowds that attended the BASS weigh in were locals and more than normal family of anglers that came for summer vaction in the "cooler weather".

Hoot was correct in that impact of a BASS Tx or FLW Tx on tourism up here is negligble. It may be king in south GA and AL, but up here it is a blip.

   Finesse fishing from Fisherboy #10852 #10852  6/27/2012 4:32:35 PM

If you want to learn how to finesse fish, those norfers can show you. I thought I was a good finesse fisherman until I went saugeye (spelling?) with a guy from Minnesota. It was eye openning ... and deadly on bass when properly applied.

   And we understand now why Tim... from ButchT  6/27/2012 5:10:45 PM
It's a "blip" in Wisconsin as you say. But as my son said before, "It is what it is and we just have to deal with it and move on."

And he reemphasized again last night how great the Wisconsin fans have been the past two weeks. So apparently there is some interest up there.

"This too shall pass"....and we'll find something else to discuss...what it's all about. But I still find it totally disgusting and regretful in the way it was handled by the Wisconsin DNR.

   Thanks Jeff.... from ButchT  6/27/2012 5:32:53 PM
Enjoyed reading your comments from past experience from someone who has been there. Seems there is a long history of this so called "philosophy" which we understand to be "liberalism" in this day in time. Going to the extreme to force people to do as I say, not as I do.

I seriously doubt there are many in the Wisconsin DNR that actually support this issue. I'm sure there are a lot of good folks with modern ideas that have to sit on their hands.

But politics run deep up there from what I hear.

   Philosophy differences. from TroyJ/Angling Alabama   6/27/2012 8:02:50 PM
Equating the issue to a matter of philosophy is understating the reality. Hating bass fishing is a matter of religion engrained in the culture up there. I felt like a leper when I wanted to shoot bass fishing footage up there last year. I learned that you just don't tell them when you want to shoot bass fishing. You go out, shoot your stuff by yourself when no one is looking and then don't put your name on it after you've produced it.

Changing the mindset up there would be like telling the cheese heads that they have to root for another team this season.

JTodd is dead on. It is what it is. Accept the circumstances of the game, deal with the task at hand and move on. That is the nature of a winner. Drama simply interferes with performance.

Great comments by Jeff H.

In the political arena, perhaps it's simply the unbreakable and diversified attitudes of bass anglers that prevent the hope of a unified voice or lobby. I've wondered for years why every attempt at that seems to fail.

   There's a reason why from Skipper  6/27/2012 11:31:35 PM
There's 7 or 8 tournaments on every lake around here every Saturday. We can't get along with ourselves let alone the perch jerkers.



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