Protecting Big Cats

Discussion in 'Ohio River Fishing Reports' started by C J Hughes, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. I agree, but it still wouldn't stop them idiots that take hundreds of pounds of fish home.

  2. kyjake

    kyjake Still learning

    I like to fish for catfish for meat and pleasure but don't feel that I harm the population as all over 3 lb. go back in the water unharmed so I play these rules now.Tournaments and people taking them for trophy/pictures do the most harm.
  3. Just about every catfish tourney I have ever fished has been strictly Catch and release??? How do tourny's effect the fishery? Just curious.....
  4. Carpn


    The crazy thing is even BEFORE these regulations they had way more big cats than Ohio could ever hope to have....Its really gonna be good down there when the regs have time to make a difference.
  5. Doctor

    Doctor CJ Cat Attack Pack

    Just waiting on a response to this one before I put in my 2 cents.........Doc
  6. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    OK Doc. I'll go first. I don't think a properly ran catfish tournament is harming catfish populations
    NEOCATS is strictly catch and release. Of course not all fish will survive, but with the precautions taken to keep fish healthy, we have very, very few ever die. Most of us in the sport do fish for trophies, but then again, most of us in the sport also take care of our fish and release them healthy.

    There is no official program that I know of, but unofficially, an ONDR district biologist has "signed off" on our fish handling techniques at our weigh-ins. Our weigh-in are open to the public so people can see what we catch and also verify that we release healthy fish.

    We are doing nothing to harm the catfish population. More over, we take an active part in discussions with the ODNR on catfish regulations to make the fishery better.
  7. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I mean no disrespect, but someone who think Catfish tournaments hurts the population needs to go to a weight in and watch. The fish are released to the water unharmed. Most tourneys have rules where you can not weight in a dead fish or at the very least have penalties for dead fish.

    Most of us who fish tourneys take great pride in the care we show the fish. Most of also, put hundreds of dollars into aeration systems and live wells to make sure the fish are kept in the best possible conditions.
  8. I think that Ohio's regulations on catfish are pretty good. You can only keep one fish over a certain size and channels are either limited to 6 on smaller lakes or unlimited on other lakes. The reason they are unlimited is that the channel populations in those lakes are not hurting. The state stocks channels in a lot of lakes as well.

    People that fish for big catfish know what they are doing. I take every step to make sure that if I catch a trophy the fish is not hurt in anyway and released. I do keep channels to eat, they are quite tastey, but anything over 5 pounds is too big for me and they go back in the water, and I only keep enough for the meal that I need.

    Tournament fishing is the same way, there are rules that all fish are catch and release or all flatheads and blues are C&R and you are allowed to keep channels. There are rules/dis-qualifications for dead fish, so the angler does everything in his power to keep the fish healthy and alive. Like Mellon said we put a lot of money into aerators and livewells to keep our fish health and lively.
  9. Tall cool one

    Tall cool one strictly flyfishing

    What bugs me is when folks take a boga grip or grab a big cat by the jaw and hoist them into the air for the grip and grin shot. When you do that to ANY big fish it tears the peritoneum(what holds the guts together inside their body) and while you might watch them swim away it often does irreparable and fatal harm. Hold them horizontally w/ two hands,more from your buddy if it's a big fish or across your knees as you sit or squat,support that belly. When you see their bellys bulging out like that of a 300lb beer drinking champ as you suspend them by the jaw you are doing damage.
    I see a lot of guys who do this to steelhead and bass too and it's the same for them as well.TC1
  10. I agree that you should support the body of the fish when holding it up ecspecially if you plan to release the fish. Less stress on the fish, your right when you say it goes for any fish, catfish, bass, muskie, pike, etc...
  11. H20 i beg to differ. Ive been to a few. Especially the ones held in Chester and i ll never enter that one again. I just dont like how guys catch a good fish then string it up to the side of the boat and then proceed to drag it around with them all night. By morning the fish is half dead and at said weigh in they do have to be alive(which isnt saying much after seeing the condition of some of the fish). After weigh in they just toss the fish into the river and they just lay there all together some belly up and i guarantee alot of them die. Ive seen this happen at tournaments more than once. Im sure there are good tournaments out there that emphasize the welfare of the catch, but i sure havent seen any.
  12. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    They did pass regulations in Ohio a few years ago, most people don't read them or abide by them anyhow. The really big catfish are in the Ohio river for the most part.... Okay, sure there are huge ones in some lakes, so those are covered by the new regs.
    Anyhow, my point is that the Ohio River has Ky commercial fishermen taking fish with nets. Mostly they are after paddlefish for their roe-caviar (which is not supposed to be eaten anyhow, but I think it gets shipped overseas) but a big flathead or blue has value. Some of the suppliers to paylakes fish for them, but most of them were after the paddlefish because the eggs were going so high.
    As far as tournaments hurting fish, I know precautions are taken, but anyone who's fished in them knows some go belly up. As was stated, dead fish aren't weighed in, they are tossed back before you get back. Not everyone has huge boats & huge state of the art livewells. Summer is worse with the heat. I'd like to see the sponsors provide a big tank pumping fresh water in to hold the fish before & during the weigh-ins. Maybe hire a fish hauler to bring a truck to hold them.
    It's always going to be controversial, having the tourneys support the fishery by bringing awareness to fish conservation & regulations. Without the sportsmen, there would be no regulations and the fish might be decimated. As more money and sponsors come into it there's more awareness of habitat preservation & water quality & also abuses are reported.
    Some fish are not going to make it, but with proper care and precautions, it's kept to a minimum.
  13. I know at least 4 touny groups that i fish in all do NOT allow stringered fish, they must be in a tub or tank and unless they are too big for tub or tank, must be brought to weigh in, kept in water. ALL the tournys I am familiar with take as good of or better care of the fish then the bass guys, I have seen a few of the local tourny circuits weigh ins and some were fine, others were a joke, I do suppose there are some Meathunter tourneys out there but catfishing is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors of tourny fishing and these guys are serious about there sport and protecting the fish!

    FWIW, if folks are within the regs and are keeping fish for dinner, fine, i dont have a problem with that but the massive amounts of wild fish raping going on with commercial fishing is out of control, its like Rawanda/Darfur in the fish world.
    Few regulations, no enforcement and not a care from the mast majority of these guys who are taking what you and me are paying for with our tax dollars. Sorry, meant for another rant......
  14. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I don't think I've ever fished a tourney in Ohio that allows stringers, hence the reason the tourney cat guys invest so much into good livewells and aeration systems.

    I've never hat a cat die (I know what some of you are think.... he doesn't catch any :) ) during a tourney maybe it's because I go above and beyond to try and keep them as healthy as possible.
  15. I agree with Carpn , with the new regs the catfishing should be great . Which is what I think regs such as those would do for the Ohio .
  16. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    the new regs are great, but there is no means to enforce them....Catfishermen must police themselfs...most here do, but there are alot that dont.
  17. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Saw 2 gill nets set up on the Kentucky side of the river, just south of Meldahl Dam a few weeks ago. Any idea what in the hell commerical fisherman are fishing for if they're using gill nets, which plain and simply have the highest mortality rate of any net out there.

    I'm happy to report both of the nets we're loaded with trees and other debris so I'm pretty sure they were a complete loss.
  18. Carpn



    Probably spoonbills? Regardless of what they are set for I agree, those gill nets are not selective at all.
  19. kyjake

    kyjake Still learning

    Guess I had better back up a little before I get hit in the head with a fish head or something.I have never witnessed a cat tournament or the weigh in of one.
    Have fished tournaments for other fish which I will not name who have nice rules about weighing in live fish and releasing that the next day in the area a lot of fish floating.For the experience may enter and fish a cheap cat tournament and find out for myself.
    The most disturbing thing brought out in this thread was the gill nets.Have done some research on this and found they are mostly after paddlefish and the bycatch is 80% or more.Didn't this was allowed in this state but will mention the fact to my Representative and another Rep. from another area who is a friend to try to get this stopped.