May 11, 2012
Better frozen, or “recycled” ?
It’s become time to ”Wake up and smell the budget”. In March 2012, RI was reported to be about $125 million dollars in debt. This filters down to every state agency, including DEM, and Fish & Wildlife.
For years these two agencies have applied a basic formula: catching and keeping fish will be the motivation for anglers to buy licenses and trout stamps. Certainly for a sizeable portion of anglers, this approach works, particularly on “opening day”. But is this the best, or only way to ensure long term fiscal solvency?
Lets consider a few additional facts.
The vast majority of all the trout caught in RI, are hatchery raised fish, purposefully put into our waters to be harvested. The state stocks approximately 85 fresh water locations, and as many as 180,000 trout annually. Of these 85 stocked locations, only one is designated for catch and release fishing. There are Spring stockings, and often one each in the Fall and or Winter, depending on which body of water. Trout Unlimited volunteers have also assisted the state to often additionally stock some select rivers, mainly the Wood-Pawcatuck.
It takes anywhere between 18 – 24 months to raise a trout from an egg in one of the state hatcheries. The average weight of a stocked trout is around 2lbs., and it costs the state between $5 – $7 per pound to raise and release that hatchery trout.
Rhode Island issues approximately 20,000 fresh water fishing licenses annually.
The cost for a RI resident fresh water license has been $18, plus $5.50 for a trout stamp. So for about $23.50, you could be eligible to catch up to five hatchery raised trout each day (10lbs @ $6 per pound !) and with no limit on your total seasonal harvest. This is a fundamentally flawed economic practice.
Responsible recreational anglers should recognize that the state’s present economic reality dictates adaptation .
C&R zones could not only motivate increased recreational angling, but it could accomplish this with less repeat fiscal loss to the state.
Catch and Release Fishing in effect supports “green” reusable recreation, and would also support increased eco-tourism into Rhode Island from out of state anglers.
December 8, 2009
Is Catch & Release another part of the “Going Green “ movement?
With folks conserving and recycling everything possible, why not conserve our natural resources as well ?
Every fish released alive can be later enjoyed by another angler, or yourself.
Lee Wulff wrote, “Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once”, and he made that claim decades ago.
If you support “going green”, include your favorite trout stream.
November 11, 2009
Throughout this blog there will appear to be critical review of the present state of RI trout fishing standards and regulations. These are policy issues. Please do not confuse this as criticism of the highly professional women and men that run our state wildlife facilities and agencies. We are deeply appreciative of the dedication to service that all RI DEM, and Fish&Wildlife, members bring to the quality of recreation that we enjoy. Particularly in these trying economic times, they are required to do more with less, to maintain our hunting and fishing heritage . We are indebted to their service.