Published 8:53 pm Wednesday, March 5, 2014
To the Editor:
Why are fisheries managers playing games with our speckled-trout fishery? It’s no secret North Carolina is behind the times in fisheries management, but many people don’t realize just how far behind. My concerns are for our public-trust speckled trout fishery that belongs to all the people in North Carolina.
I am a fisherman with a little common sense. Know that man’s trout regulations cannot change Mother Nature. I also know Mother Nature and her subfreezing temperatures, and her big snow can kill millions of trout overnight. And now we know fishing regulations cannot protect our trout because they cannot control water temperatures where the fish live. At one time, our public could pick up all dead and dying trout from inland and coastal waters with no negative impact on our trout population. Over the years, our state made millions of dollars in revenue from people that were willing to go out in subfreezing temperatures to pick up all these dead and dying trout before they could spoil.
Today North Carolina wildlife regulations have stopped the public from harvesting dead trout that were killed by Mother Nature in inland waters. Because they are called a game fish, a fisherman with a game fish in his possession, he’s got to be able to catch it on a hook and line. Our veterans who are unable to go fishing have lost their right to eat fish from inland waters because of this game fish law. In 2010, Mother Nature killed millions more of our speckled trout, and fisheries managers blame it on fishing and reducing our creek limits from 10 trout to four trout and increasing the size limits from 12 inches t 14 inches to give these trout opportunity to spawn and stop overfishing. All these new regulations did was to create a bigger trout kill in 2014. More fishing regulations cannot stop it because Mother Nature controls 100 percent of our speckled trout population in North Carolina waters. Our fisheries managers need to understand that because Mother Nature is the boss.
Our fisheries managers are willing to change these new regulations to eliminate the waste they have created with our trout fishery. By allowing the public to harvest all dead trout from our inland and coastal waters, the can reduce waste in our trout fishery by going back to our old regulations we had in 2009. If they are unwilling to change these unnecessary and wasteful speckled trout regulations, they shouldn’t be allowed to manage our public-trust coastal fisheries resources in North Carolina waters. If they are not willing, there’s only one way to stop them — you must be registered to vote and let your voice be heard by contacting your representatives so they can put a stop to this waste. I hope I’m not the only fisherman in North Carolina who is upset with our fisheries managers.