It’s a fine line for sure and like you, I’ve come to appreciate and respect people’s livelihoods in my latter years. I used to rant about the commercial guys but they have been doing it as long as we have. It’s not all on them. The commercial guys will argue the fish are there but we just can’t catch them. I’ve recently agreed in the past that there is a lot truth to that imo as I mentioned the fish are changing there habits. It’s hard for us to change habits/tactics, presentations ect. when we have been limiting out in a few hrs or less on shiners and spreaders forever and a day. It still happens occasionally but not like in the past for sure. Those days have been over for some time now. But the reasons mentioned in the article puts a whole new perspective on it now and something has to be done about it. Unfortunately it’s in the hands of our legislators and you know how that goes. I would even be good with maybe a 4-5 year ban or at least a slot limit on all Erie perch fishing just to give them time to help study and figure it out and what can be done to improve it. Once Mother Nature gets involved with changes it’s hard to beat her without drastic measures.And I feel for the commercial fisherman who make a living off of it. I’d hate to see them suffer hardship from loosing their way of life. I just don’t see how it can continue though.
Opps, sorry about that. The link was reposted in Facebook. Here's the link to the direct article.I don’t have facebook
Check this article out. They are stating that the shiners are sparse and that perch diets have switch to invertebrates, which means they are spread out through the water column and the traditional method of bumping minnows on the bottom won't result in catches since the fish aren't schooled there.
TheThey definitely been changing their forage. Evolution in the making. It’s been this way for some years now. If they are estimating that population is low due to mild winters and and current moving the perch larvae giving no available plankton to feed on then man has no control over that. What will be interesting to see now is if they lower the quotas allowed by the commercial outfits if not deciding to outlawing it for some years. Because that’s about the only area they do have control over. Have they posted numbers on harvested lbs by the commercial fleets for 2019 yet? That would be interesting to compare with previous years too. I’m sure there isn’t much of a change.
Well we have some here occasionally. Just a year ago they put a 3 yr ban on commercial fishing out of Fairport Harbor including an area known as the “hump” where many fish have been harvested for years by both commercial and sport fishermen. It’s actually a total of 140sq mile area that was banned. The problem is they just run up East to Geneva and Ashtabula and set their nets now. But it’s an agreement that was met and a start. Commercial harvest numbers remained the same since by the way.The Canadian Commercial Fisherman limit their take of perch with catch rates set to limit poundage takes, area takes and market prices. They export most of their catch to the USA for public consumption. Sport fishing share groups here have no influence over their rules.