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River Rage and how to prevent it.

Discussion in 'Steelhead Talk' started by saintmathew, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. The last thread seemed to take a turn for the worse. This is a subject we all need to discuss. You do not have to discuss anything. I am simply starting this thread to wipe the slate clean and begin a discussion on a topic that has affected the Central Basin Steelheading Community for years. I am going to offer very little. I want to begin a discussion without a long-winded post. Keep in mind, I like to talk and offer my opinion, but we need to hear your voice.

    The topics we are discussing is what causes "River Rage", it affects, and how to prevent it. Keep in mind, I am talking specifically about the Ohio Steelheading community. I totally respect other forms of fishing, but I am making an attempt to to begin a new and healthy discussion to preserve the sport for generations to come. What can we do to make that happen? Please, include experiences you may have had streamside and anything else you may want to add.

    If you read the old thread you will see how out of control it got and no one will tolerate the OGF Terms of Service being violated. So, please post with respect and include things that lead somewhere productive. No one has to agree with anyone, but we all need to respect. I am including some articles to your reference so you know what we are discusssing here. Thank you so much!


    Combat Fishing:

    Stream Rage:

    Stream Etiquette:

    The Ideal Steelheader:
  2. Saint, this is what the power of the internet was designed for, to have open minded discusssions and forums for all to express there feelings.

    Anyway, I think a great law would be a 50 Ft minimum between people unless your invited closer or belong to the same group, Problem is, Ohio has way too little "Public" water so that would never happen, perhaps on "Public" waters that law would be void but on all other waters, the 50 ft law could be imployed.

    Several other states are battling with these types of laws as we speak, I dont think anyone wants to do this but states are being backed into a corner by strong proponants.

    Of course the new Concealed Carry law could help things a bit, just let it be know that if someone comes into your combat zone, youll send the first shot over there heads, but the 2nd one will be much closer to home.

    On a serious note, this issue is really a serious issue and my groups up there have had several near fisticuff incidents, it wasnt pretty but all were started when we were fishing both sides of a run, 2 on each side and when someone sees you catch one, its all over, here they come, most of our incidents involved serious spin guys with spawn bags but that may have been a coincidence. they walk right over the bank, get right in the middle of the two of us and start drifting, they wont say a word and ignore all casual mentions of intruding. they know what there doing and they also know they can get a fish or two in 5 minutes with spawn and then they move on before they get shot, it seems they know exactly how long to stay before the boiling point, so I know there Professional River Ragers.

    Just my .02


  3. 50ft is nothing and would not solve the problem in my eyes...
    Something else needs to be done or a wider zone then 50ft employed...
    More patrols would help with the occasional ticket wrote and signs posted with stream etiquette rules listed and the fines you could be liable to pay and possible loss of license down the road... SOMETHING
    I have not fished for steelies in years and it was not a problem back when I did...
    I am thinking hard about taking it back up again and am thinking of hitting the rodmakers shop brfore the week is out...
  4. The easiest cure would be to quit grossly overstocking non-native non-reproducing fish into polluted urban waterways. 99% of the rude people,etc. have little or no respect for the fish or the waterways or other fisherman because of these issues. Without "easy" pickins you would have very few slobs.
    I chuckle everytime I hear that steelhead "alley" has some of the best fishing in the world....lets be realistic. I'd rather catch one native steelhead in a month from a native river in uncrowded wild conditions than count how many "hookups" I had at ford on a sewage discharge. Yes they are fun to catch, etc. but the basic structure of the "fishery" will never permit it to approach the real steelhead fisheries. For me personally, all of the other factors (aesthetics,etc.) are more important than actually catching the fish. My fishing partner feels that if we even see another human when trout fishing the day is spoiled. Ohio has catered the program to those who think that the fish is the most important part - even if it comes out of a sewer pit and you should'nt feed the fish to your family.
  5. Whaler

    Whaler Whaler

    I'm sorry to say Master Angler you aren't going to find the fishing areas around here that you describe in your letter. We live in a highly populated area which is heavily industrialized and we all like to fish and enjoy the opportunity to catch these wonderful fighting fish. Your letter gives one the impression that you think we should not be allowed to have this opportunity. It's not our fault that our rivers aren't the pristine waters that you describe. Why don't you move out West to Montana or a like state that has such streams to fish and let us poor urbanites suffer while cathcing Steelhead here in our polluted streams?
  6. My point is that some people are hoping for something that can never happen. If most people actually cared about the other elements of fishing (besides the fish) they would lobby for less stocking and having the money put into stream restoration and water quality. Each of these would greatly improve the experience. I can easily find what I described when I target other species - even in "crowded" NE OH. Ask yourself what you would rather have - more steelhead or cleaner rivers with nice runs of native fish (smallies, suckers, walleyes, sturgeon). People are being sold a bill of goods and they don't even know it.

    Note I have not said they are not fun to catch or that they should completely eliminate stocking. Stocking the V was a huge mistake IMO.
  7. Lewis


    Good points M.A..
    Dont take this the wrong way guys but,I think there will always be conflict among the crowds.
    Limited access and too many people.
    The Steelhead are far too overstocked for the amount of public access points that are available to the Northeast Ohio rivers.
    It started out as a nice program,but the rivers are way overcrowded,and the Steelhead can be called a nuisance by a lot of Lake Erie Walleye fishermen.
    To each his own,I guess,but thats just not my style of fishing.

    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    M.A. is right on the money.

  9. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

    seems to me that the root of the problem first brought up here and in the other thread is simply a reflection of people's human nature as expressed out on the water.

    no "solution" will ever come about. people are not perfect angels. every negative trait humans have will eventually be exposed on the water as it is in all of our daily experiences.

    just make the best of it that you can. theres always going to be story chasing, rude, crowding types of fishermen....and some of us are still learning but i think we all can respect the mistakes beginners make as we've all been there once....

    the only thing i could think of is to make a mandatory etiquette course to get your license. but how they could ever enforce etiquette i do not know.

    i couldnt get the first 2 articles to come up (404) but the 2nd two were good reading, just makes sense....but what can you do about someone who isnt like that or doesnt agree.... i think its an excersize in futility to try to get everyone to think and act the same way. there are no "morality" wardens out there.

    with respect.
  10. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    I think that MA has summed it up pretty well.

    You need to accept that the steelhead fishery in Ohio is always going to be a crowded, less than ideal experience. Take the good with the bad, if you ELECT to fish it, and just accept it for what it is, you will not change it.

    It is much like the walleye fishery in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers each spring. Alot of fish, a small area, and bunches of people that all have equal rights to the access and the fish.

    It also sounds very similar to deer hunting on Public grounds, or duck or pheasant hunting on public property. Anywhere there is limited access and resource for all of the taxpayers that have equal rights to enjoy them.

  11. I also agree with most of what Master Angler said. I don't think we need more laws, but it would be nice if the state could buy up some of the private property along the rivers. The problem with that and water quality restoration is where's the money going to come from.
  12. ...its not just the steelhead fishery... ever hit the walleye or perch good on the big lake and watch the boats crowd around you or buzz through the area and shut the fishing down? How about when the bass,crappie or what have you schooled up and your crowded in by others?
    I think the steelhead fishing is great and a money maker for the state as they try to attract and keep non-residents fishermen... To say there are too many is a non issue really...

    BTW... I'd love to see the state eat up some river bank access for the anglers but that may never hap'n unless they charge a fee for fishing for steelhead or a river stamp per say... Still may not generate enough money...
  13. Steelie Junkie

    Steelie Junkie Banned

    If you fish near easy access, you're more than likely to run into stupid people. Personally, I'm not going to start being the river cop and lecture people on what right and wrong conduct. That's for them to learn and unfortunately several will never get it, because they don't care. During weekends, I do a lot of walking and fish farther east. I took the time and effort to walk and find these spots. It's not rocket science, do the walking and you'll be surprised. Most of the whining you see are people that fish near a parking lot. There are plenty of tribs in this state that get some run of steelhead. Last weekend, I didn't run into one person. I rarely see any people when I'm fishing.

    On another note, steelhead in Ohio are not overstocked. Out of the 400,000 smolts stocked, I'll bet that more than 70% don't make through the summer. If you want to point the finger, point it at Pennsylvania.
  14. catking

    catking Banned

    Excellent post Steelie Junkie !! Sometimes ya have to do a little walkin if ya want some privacy . That holds true in all types of fishing. Effort. CATKING
  15. Unfortunitaly if you do not own the property you are fishing, hunting, etc. it is the nature of the beast. I do not like to admit it but there are rude people in every crowd. but there are some very good points in this thread and I enjoy reading everyones reply and I hope to run into some of you out there at some point. It is nice to see people with the same feelings out there.
  16. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    This situation is hardly unique to Ohio.

    I stood elbow to elbow with fishermen in Alaska years ago during the peak of the coho run. Put a lot of fish in an area that is accessable by lots of fisherman ANYWHERE and tempers are going to flare up. I don't know how many times during that trip I had to back away because my blood was boiling.

    Find somewhere else to fish is my advice. You can't change people.
  17. Thats says it all captnoger ;)
  18. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    GUys, what I find here in SW OHio (Dayton & Surronding Areas) is the River Rage from non-fishermen. A couple years ago I had to basically stop fishign the GMR due to conflicts w/ non fishign people. Theifs, Thugs and just plain scary people. The spots where I used to do all my Chanell Cat fishing at had a guy killed there. He was jumped and beaten to death by some teenagers w/ a golf club. (The Villa Area near Huber Heights) I ahve also had run ins w/ punks there more than once. In fact we had a group of them try & start trouble w/ Catwiskers & I. Things would have gotten real out of hand if we hadnt had our two small kids w/ us. I've had problems at day & night. I must say though I got questioned by 1 ODNR guy last year, he made sure I was fishign & was legal also got stopped by two Dayton Police Officers at night. I am glad they were there, mde me feel safer. I even had a Beretta .25 auto in my pocket when I was stopped by the ODN guy, thats before I had my CCW. He understood why I had it and didnt mention it again. You know its bad when they look the other way on something liek that.

    All of our problems can be fixed if everyone did one thing: Treat Others as You Would Want To Be Treated. It's as simple as that, but in order for that to work, everyone must do it.
  19. Dingo


    It isn't unique to steelhead fishing within Ohio as well. I've seen the same type of issues in south-west Ohio spillways for winter saugeye, bridges in certain MWCD reservoirs for saugeye in the fall during drawdown, western Ohio rivers for spring walleye, lake Erie piers for fall/spring walleye. I'm sure that there are others that I am unaware of. The difference is that the steelhead fishery is the "hot topic" at this point, and most others (with the exception of the spring river walleye run) are used by mostly in-state folks. The trout fishery is attacting more from out of state each year, making the crowding even worse. Us guys that live 10 minutes from the river don't feel bad if we don't catch a trout during a trip. Those that invested a long trip may become a bit more desperate to get a (some) trout in any way possible (even if it offends others).

    Those of us who have been fishing for steelhead since the beginning (or even before) the state's formal stocking program have been spoiled by having "our little secret" to ourselves. Most complaining about overcrowding are probably doing so since it "isn't like it used to be". Guys new to the river fishery or those who travel to other states where the overcrowding is already an issue (PA, NY) don't know what it's like to fish for a day and hardly see anyone else fishing for steelhead, unless they are out at the right time of week and do some walking.

    Keep in mind that it was much worse in the late-70s/early-80s, when you could legally snag salmon (and steelhead that got in the way). Instead of having a "bait fisherman" getting in your way, you would have a guy with a surf rod, 50lb test line, and a giant weighted snag hook throwing at your feet from over 100' away.

    I agree that too many steelhead are being stocked, which brings in the folks looking for any easy way to catch (and sometimes net) fish when they are spawning on the gravel. Those who have figured out that they are willing biters in other types of water often have these places without the competition from folks fishing the gravel. Therefore, it all works out in the end.

    I don't think that Ohio could set up stream improvement/access programs like some of the other states that have been more 'outdoors oriented' from the beginning, like Wisconsin. Therefore, they use their money to stock more fish instead. I wouldn't be against a trout stamp along with the license, with the proceeds funding the stocking and stream improvement programs where possible. I visit western Wisconsin for stream trout fishing each spring, and it is nice to see their funding going into providing more stream access and improving the habitat. Better habitat = more natural reproduction = less stocking requirements.
  20. Very nice read there Dingo and pretty much right on target in my eyes...
    THANKS for taking the time...