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The Joy of Not Fishing

.... still shaking my head

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#1 Dugger

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:35 PM

So this week on the World Fishing Network an episode of The Joy of Fishing is all about the sturgeon.

 

The show opens with programme regulars and biologists tracking and capturing what i think they said were Green Sturgeon, a threatened species in the US and Canada.

 

Fine, great to see something different on a "fishing show" that actually talks about conservation. This "good feeling" didn't last long as what was about to unfold still has me shaking my head.

 

Ten minutes or so later the the show switches to a cooking segment where they are cooking STURGEON STEAKS!!!!!  I was flabbergasted and didn't know whether to laugh or cry!!! It was like a horrible punchline to a sick joke! I thought I was watching Family Guy or The Twilight Zone or looking at a The Far Side cartoon

 

"It's a real meaty fish, that's why I like sturgeon" they gloated, as they dip the thick fillets in hot oil.

 

They were White Sturgeon steaks ( I am praying to jesus), a species that is listed as endangered in some Oregon waters and whose general population in the western US is under intense pressure from overfishing, poaching, degraded spawning areas and dams, like those on the Columbia. Some areas do hold fishable populations but they too are under these same pressures.

 

They may as well as been frying up Dodo steaks or Passenger Pigeon breasts as far as I am concerned. This is why we have a thing called a Big Mac to eat so we don't have to go out an wreak havoc on a dwindling species for food.

 

In 15 or 20 years people will look back at this programme with a sense of horror the same way we do today watching whales getting harpooned.

 

The programme ended with a guy fighting a massive white sturgeon to the boat that I am sure took over an hour but they showed us the fight in 2 minutes of course. It was a disgusting dark comedy of errors as the Skipper and Gilligan wrestled with the gentle giant to the boat... again and again. The guy fighting the 6 foot behemoth had no clue how to hold a rod and it finally snapped.

 

Fish mortality rates have been a hot topic here at OFF of late and I am sure that this fish did not survive being treated like a bag of garbage.

 

I sent the show an email sharing my low opinion.

 

Just because it swims in "our" waters does not give us the right to put further stress and pressure on a great fish like these ancient giants that will one day be gone. This is the problem with "fishing shows", all flash, no redeeming qualities and in the end the fishery suffers as it sends out the wrong message.

 

The Joy of Fishing brings me no joy.

 

... and that, my friends, is my two cents worth.


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#2 RUSTY420

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:54 PM

I agree Dugger. They go from showing the conservation of an endangered species to frying one up the next!
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#3 iJay

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:11 PM

That sucks that a show like that would be on tv. I am sure them making sturgeon fishing all fun there will now be more pressure on fishing, if not some redneck is gonna wanna eat this "stergeon steak"

 

Really sucks.


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#4 DitchWizard

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:28 PM

Sad...

I belive that many of the past turditions of fishiing are still around and strong to this day. Things like keeping whatever comes out of the water, mishandling fish and grabbing fish like pike by the eyes (kills them slowly by pushing the optic nerve into the brain). People just don't realize the harm to a fishery caused by a bit of old fashioned fishing. Its the way they have always done it.


As a young angler I find myself stepping away from some of the old methods of the past and my fathers generation. I think that it's the responsibility of conservation minded anglers to spread the word. Its been proven time and time again in the past that overfishing leads to collapses in population numbers, it's simple math.

It seems to be some people instincts to just keep a fish they catch regardless of if they are going to eat it or enjoy it. I guess some people like to eat fish but like many I just like the fishing and if passing on some fish dinners enables me to continue fishing then I will be happy to comply. I don't drive hours to go stand by a river, sit on the ice or drive around in a boat for 12 hours for dinner. I would just go to work and buy some food :razz: . I sometimes suggest that people who want to eat some fish stop by the supermarket and pick up a sustainably raised fish instead of taking a natural one. 5 or 10 bucks for a fish certainly dwindles the big bucks some of us blow on equipment and gear.


I belive its up to the next generation fishing to teach others a sustainable way of fishing so we will all have fish in the future.


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#5 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:40 PM

Same reason I stopped watching the show dugger. It's all about the ads that sponsor the show and not really about the "right" way of fishing provided by the "experts" of the show. I've met a few friends in this hobby who have won countless of trophies and are just happy to fish, teach the technique and not earn a dime on their skills and most of them are catch and release unless it is unavoidable. And they remain under the radar and have a happy fishing life.


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#6 Dugger

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 07:04 PM

... thanks guys for your comments. It is refreshing to see younger anglers with a great early base of ethics/fishing morals, not that those values are limited to a certain age group but how terrific to just hear it here, as I have seen on many other posts over the past year.

 

I am canceling the WFN channel tonight

 

I still can't believe how poorly that whole programme was presented with no hint, nada, of "you know, this may not be the right thing to do". And these guys were in their 50s. Pathetic.

 

Tight lines, Rusty, Rich, River and Jay!


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#7 fishing89

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:15 PM

that sturgeon was MASSIVE!!

 

Didnt they tag the earlier sturgeon for conservation?


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#8 Alfiegee

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:18 PM

... thanks guys for your comments. It is refreshing to see younger anglers with a great early base of ethics/fishing morals, not that those values are limited to a certain age group but how terrific to just hear it here, as I have seen on many other posts over the past year.

 

I am canceling the WFN channel tonight

 

I still can't believe how poorly that whole programme was presented with no hint, nada, of "you know, this may not be the right thing to do". And these guys were in their 50s. Pathetic.

 

Tight lines, Rusty, Rich, River and Jay!

Hey is that some prejudice I hear, guys in their 50s?

I am in my young 50s and am probably as conservation minded as anyone on this planet. I practice C&R, use barbless hooks and would never keep an endangered species, 30 seconds, photo and release.

Not trying to stir up any shitte, but there are many good and excellent anglers on this forum who are 50ish and have the same practices I do.

I don't go out to catch fish, they are a bonus. If I spend a day by the river and watch nature happen and catch nothing, that is fine.

As for the Sturgeon, let the gentle giants go.

 

Alfie.


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#9 Dugger

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:08 PM

Hey is that some prejudice I hear, guys in their 50s?

I am in my young 50s and am probably as conservation minded as anyone on this planet. I practice C&R, use barbless hooks and would never keep an endangered species, 30 seconds, photo and release.

Not trying to stir up any shitte, but there are many good and excellent anglers on this forum who are 50ish and have the same practices I do.

I don't go out to catch fish, they are a bonus. If I spend a day by the river and watch nature happen and catch nothing, that is fine.

As for the Sturgeon, let the gentle giants go.

 

Alfie.

 

You are reading too much into my comments my friend. Maybe I expected too much of guys in their 50s who you would think would have more ethics/foresight/vision having multiple decades of experience under their collective belts.

 

And to host a "fishing show" where they have such power to educate and yet dropped the ball in my opinion... sad

 

I salute how you approach fishing, Alfie. Maybe I should not assume that other anglers with years of experience, like you and I, share our values.

 

Cheers!


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#10 Dugger

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:18 PM

that sturgeon was MASSIVE!!

 

Didnt they tag the earlier sturgeon for conservation?

 

Yes, they tagged the Green Sturgeons caught earlier in the programme (which was quite remarkable to see how docile they were and cooperative) because they are threatened/endangered, they ate the White Sturgeon, which will basically be in the same trouble as the Greens in a few decades or less.

 

Talk about foresight on conservation.

 

Bon apetite!


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#11 Knuguy

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:42 PM

What's the status of white sturgeon? Presumably if it was endangered it would be illegal to catch and eat? Presuming again, would they be filming the cooking if it was illegal? I understand that keeping sturgeon is legal in some parts of Ontario. I am not suggesting that just because it's legal it's also ethical, or "OK". I just like to be a bit more enlightened than I am now, if any of you could shed a bit more light on this subject.

 

BTW, I guess they didn't really like the taste of sturgeon too much or they wouldn't have thrown all that other goop in the frying pan with it!!     :???:


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#12 Dugger

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 12:08 AM

Some White Sturgeon populations on the US west coast are listed as "endangered" ie: local populations on some tributaries of the Columbia. Strict season, quotas etc. are in place to try to keep the White available, the fishery sustainable, to anglers who care to fish for these suffering giants.

 

According to the government of British Columbia....

 

"In 1990, the white sturgeon was classified by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as a Species of Special Concern, but this national designation is overdue for review. The BC Conservation Data Centre (CDC) has subsequently reviewed the status of white sturgeon in British Columbia and has provincially listed it as imperiled (the second highest 'at-risk' rating), putting it on BC's red list. Three populations (Nechako, upper Columbia and Kootenay) were given the highest possible ranking of critically imperiled. The Kootenay population, which is a trans-boundary population shared with Idaho and Montana, has been listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act (1994)."

 

Dams that raise water levels and destroy spawning beds, overfishing, poaching are taking their toll on all sturgeon. In most areas they simply are not "replacing themselves", in other words, low reproduction and low young survival.

 

"Without conservation action these populations will likely go extinct," states BC's Ministry of the Environment.

 

Green Sturgeon overall are having an even harder time. The Southern population in California is listed as "Threatened", the Northern population in Oregon, where The Joy of Fishing was filmed, and Washington is listed as a "Species of Concern". Apparently there is limited information on this fish to know exactly if it should be listed in the US Endangered Species Act.

 

In Ontario, Lake Sturgeon have special designations depending on where they are found in the province. Two populations here are listed as "Endangered", Two more are listed as "Special Concern" and one population is listed as "Threatened".

 

Despite this, and ongoing projects to try to help these fish survive, many northern lodges, fish camps, promote Lake Sturgeon fishing to American clients even though on their very own websites they acknowledge that the fish are endangered or extinct in many parts of the world.

 

Amazing. They may as well as say "Come north to our lodge and hunt Dodo birds, sure they may be toast everywhere else but hey, we have some still!"

 

I guess the "message" is that this ancient species is doomed. Leave it the heck alone. I don't think the "message" from the sturgeon is "hey, we may be doomed but why not come get your licks in while you can? Afterall, we are here for your pleasure."


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#13 driftman

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:26 AM

Hey is that some prejudice I hear, guys in their 50s?

I am in my young 50s and am probably as conservation minded as anyone on this planet. I practice C&R, use barbless hooks and would never keep an endangered species, 30 seconds, photo and release.

Not trying to stir up any shitte, but there are many good and excellent anglers on this forum who are 50ish and have the same practices I do.

I don't go out to catch fish, they are a bonus. If I spend a day by the river and watch nature happen and catch nothing, that is fine.

As for the Sturgeon, let the gentle giants go.

 

Alfie.

 

I'll assume that you wouldn't intentionally go out for Sturgeon so if you had one on it would be an incidental catch therefore your your gear would be very light for sturgeon, would you still fight the long fight, knowing it was a sturgeon, bring it in, snap a picture and release it? This question isn't only directed at Alfie, it's open to everybody, just curious about the different views on this subject, try to be honest, don't just say the "right thing". Keep in mind you'll probably never hook into another one


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#14 guest

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:44 AM

I think I would allow curiosity to get the better of me for a bit--if I could atleast make a visual I would prob be happy--then release--also u kind of want to remove the hook out if you can IMO..


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#15 Knuguy

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:56 AM

Dugger,

 

I watched it on the web and there was a space at the bottom to add comments. If you haven't done so already I'm sure you will! Go for it!! Maybe others on here can do the same.


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#16 driftman

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:05 AM

I think I would allow curiosity to get the better of me for a bit--if I could atleast make a visual I would prob be happy--then release--also u kind of want to remove the hook out if you can IMO..

 

it's a catch of a lifetime, I hate to admit it but I think I would need a hero shot B). I know it's wrong but..... :(


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#17 Alfiegee

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

You are reading too much into my comments my friend. Maybe I expected too much of guys in their 50s who you would think would have more ethics/foresight/vision having multiple decades of experience under their collective belts.

 

And to host a "fishing show" where they have such power to educate and yet dropped the ball in my opinion... sad

 

I salute how you approach fishing, Alfie. Maybe I should not assume that other anglers with years of experience, like you and I, share our values.

 

Cheers!

Hey Dugger, my comment was added with a little bit of sarcasm included. I do know lots of 50 somethings and also 20 somethings that do not share our values. Working in the Kawarthas a couple weeks ago one of these 20 somethings caught a Smallie about 1 lb. The guys wanted to keep it for the table. I said no, release it and told them I have MNR-TIPS saved on my phone and that I use it (not that I would have called on the guys I have worked with for a few years.) They started making comments like I was a rat etc. I explained about why Bass are closed at this time of year due to their spawning and habit of protecting their young. I also told them that if everyone kept oos Bass there would be none for their children to catch. They relented and willingly let the small Bass go.

 

I'll assume that you wouldn't intentionally go out for Sturgeon so if you had one on it would be an incidental catch therefore your your gear would be very light for sturgeon, would you still fight the long fight, knowing it was a sturgeon, bring it in, snap a picture and release it? This question isn't only directed at Alfie, it's open to everybody, just curious about the different views on this subject, try to be honest, don't just say the "right thing". Keep in mind you'll probably never hook into another one

No I would not go after Sturgeon intentionally but I am not aware that Sturgeon in ON obtain the size that the west coast ones do. Fishing the Mississauga River (?) near Blind River a few years ago for Walleye, Pike, Bass or whatever would hit I did incidentally hook into my 1 and only Sturgeon on my regular spinning outfit with 8 lb line. The area was well posted that Sturgeon were C&R only. I landed mine after a bit of a tussle, it was about 10 lbs. 2 pics and back it went.

I think I am about to say the "right thing," but it is really what I would do. Assuming I did hook a 100 lb Sturgeon on 8 lb line I would not go for "the hero shot," but would also not just cut my line. (One of my pet peeves is the miles of discarded fishing line I find while out fishing, (which I pick up and bring home for my garbage.) Discarded line can be a fish or animal trap and kill. It can also cause unsuspecting people to have a trip and fall.) That said I would try and horse my 100 lb Sturgeon in knowing my line will break at the knot (the weakest point) and not leave many ft or yds of line in the water.

 

While I'm at it, and don't take me wrong, but any beer drinkers (like me) don't leave your 6 pack rings from cans laying about either, another death-trap for fish and wildlife. Better yet, leave your fishing spot cleaner than you found it.

 

Alfie.


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#18 driftman

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

Hey Dugger, my comment was added with a little bit of sarcasm included. I do know lots of 50 somethings and also 20 somethings that do not share our values. Working in the Kawarthas a couple weeks ago one of these 20 somethings caught a Smallie about 1 lb. The guys wanted to keep it for the table. I said no, release it and told them I have MNR-TIPS saved on my phone and that I use it (not that I would have called on the guys I have worked with for a few years.) They started making comments like I was a rat etc. I explained about why Bass are closed at this time of year due to their spawning and habit of protecting their young. I also told them that if everyone kept oos Bass there would be none for their children to catch. They relented and willingly let the small Bass go.

 

No I would not go after Sturgeon intentionally but I am not aware that Sturgeon in ON obtain the size that the west coast ones do. Fishing the Mississauga River (?) near Blind River a few years ago for Walleye, Pike, Bass or whatever would hit I did incidentally hook into my 1 and only Sturgeon on my regular spinning outfit with 8 lb line. The area was well posted that Sturgeon were C&R only. I landed mine after a bit of a tussle, it was about 10 lbs. 2 pics and back it went.

I think I am about to say the "right thing," but it is really what I would do. Assuming I did hook a 100 lb Sturgeon on 8 lb line I would not go for "the hero shot," but would also not just cut my line. (One of my pet peeves is the miles of discarded fishing line I find while out fishing, (which I pick up and bring home for my garbage.) Discarded line can be a fish or animal trap and kill. It can also cause unsuspecting people to have a trip and fall.) That said I would try and horse my 100 lb Sturgeon in knowing my line will break at the knot (the weakest point) and not leave many ft or yds of line in the water.

 

While I'm at it, and don't take me wrong, but any beer drinkers (like me) don't leave your 6 pack rings from cans laying about either, another death-trap for fish and wildlife. Better yet, leave your fishing spot cleaner than you found it.

 

Alfie.

 

Great response, thanks for being straight up


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#19 Dugger

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:33 PM

....thanks for your input everyone, I am now an official non-WFN subscriber, sent my thoughts to the Joy of Fishing (not heard a word) via their website.

 

The Ontario regs declare a total ban on Lake Sturgeon fishing in Southern Ontario and southern Northern Ontario as the species is deemed Threatened or Endangered and yet, in Northern Ontario where it is a Species of Concern you are allowed to target them. I would have assumed that northern lodges who promote sturgeon fishing would have had the insight and foresight to see what a horrible marketing ploy this is. Fishing for a Species of Concern, in this country, is basically targeting a creature on the cusp of Threatened, then Endangered status.

 

The sick punchline to all this has to be a White Sturgeon fishing article in the latest Outdoor Canada 2013 fishing extravaganza. Patrick Walsh's article is titled "A Fish Out of Time" with all the "hero shots" one could ask for.

 

The sturgeon is indeed a Fish Out of Time... literally, the clock is ticking.

 

Thanks for everyone's input!


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#20 Alfiegee

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:40 PM

Great response, thanks for being straight up

Np driftman. I'm a straight up type of guy.

Even tho I am in my 50's and not sure how much longer I will last, I try to do the best I can for future generations.

 

 

Alfie.


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