Taking a "stand"
by: David Coulson 4/18/2012
In a recent thread the following question was asked, “Why does the site never take a stand on these types of topics? Matt and the rest of the field editors have a wealth of knowledge on these topics. I know that the editors have spent a lot for time with other professionals in the field. There are many that view the site and respect your views on these topics.”
From the “About Us” section here is an excerpt that gives a partial answer.
“We are ordinary fishermen that enjoy picking up on any given day and heading out for some time on the water. We have spent several thousands of hours developing the tools and features, researching information, talking with officials, organizing our network of Field Editors and Skippers, and otherwise creating this labor of love that will hopefully help you become a more informed angler.
This has developed into a powerful information tool that I hope inspires everyone to find what is common between us. Whether you toss hardware or flies, whether you keep a few or release them all, it's all about fun and respecting our fisheries. Please have fun out there and keep in mind that we all have an impact on the waters we fish. “
I recognize that is not a “stand,” but Fish Explorer has never been about taking a stand, rather we’re about being a platform for sharing information, including differing views. I have visited with every editor and blogger on the Colorado side and many on the other state side and in nearly every conversation we have exchanged views on fishing and our fisheries. Rest assured those views are as varied as those expressed on the forum by our membership.
The point being, while there is a common desire to protect and maintain our fisheries, how to do that is not something that any of us are going to agree on and often there is no "correct" answer.
As a simple example, consider the following. Select ten anglers (editors, blogger, and members) who have different preferences for what they fish for, say trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, white bass, perch, catfish, and carp. Then we’ll ask them how they think we should manage Boyd Reservoir, a fishery which has all the aforementioned species. I can assure you, there will be ten different answers, and most likely there will be conflicts as managing for one species could well have negative impacts on the others. The kokanee versus lake trout discussions are a perfect example of that.
I encourage our editors, bloggers, and members to express their views. However, that is a personal choice each individual has to make. I’ve been more vocal than many in expressing mine. For my efforts I get silence, accolades, and criticisms, all at the same time. And that’s the same for others who state their views. While I enjoy hard discussions and reading others views, I will admit that at times taking the flak that is dished out, especially when it’s personal, is not pleasurable. So I can fully appreciate folks not wishing to take a stand. Why do it if you’re going to have to take crap for your efforts. Many times it’s a lot like painting a target on your back and stepping onto a firing range.
Simply, the issues dealing with fish management are extremely complex. Even those managing the waters have differing opinions on the best path to take. As a result, there is not a general “stand” for any water that is “correct.” If you want others to share their views, then ask for them, and when you get a response be gracious enough to thank them for their opinions and do not take pot shots at them for sharing.
I’ll close with this (taken from above), which is in my view of what best describes Fish Explorer’s stand. “Whether you toss hardware or flies, whether you keep a few or release them all, it's all about fun and respecting our fisheries. Please have fun out there and keep in mind that we all have an impact on the waters we fish.”
Blog content © David Coulson
Catman1979, CO 4/18/2012 12:42:40 PM
Right on Dave!
bronc, CO 4/18/2012 1:13:04 PM
I would be more concerned if the site did take a firm stand on any side of a debatable legal issue. It seems to me sites like this are all about the free exchange of information and opinions.
bluecollarguy, CO 4/18/2012 1:37:13 PM
Well put article and I'd have to agree with bronc on this one-
Ajax5240, CO 4/18/2012 3:52:45 PM
Right On!! One thing we can agree on, is that we all like to fish. Opinions are like as... never mind.. GO fishing!
BCAT, CO 4/18/2012 4:32:09 PM
Very well said!
Coyute, CO 4/18/2012 4:35:16 PM
When I saw the blog title, I was expecting the typical form letter - but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Some of us say what we mean and mean what we say. Some go with the flavor of the day never taking a stand. When our opinions is asked we don't always put it eloquently - I seldom do. The homogenization of humans is something I abhor. If we all felt the same way about things and had the same opinions on issues, I would be even more prickly and likely a more miserable cuss. Thanks Dave for answering.
spinn3r, CO 4/18/2012 4:40:54 PM
Nice post, Dave.
JKaboom, CO 4/18/2012 5:25:16 PM
Great post!! I agree we all like fishing and we all have different methods, reasons for fishing, etc but we all agree on WE LOVE FISHING!!!
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 4/22/2012 6:39:35 AM
Well said! The right anwer to a question that has no one right answer. I have personally gone through many stages of fishing as my own personal choices have changed through the years. I can look back and easily remember when I killed every fish I caught, and ate them. Now...now I only keep a rare few to eat. How can I say I was wrong then? I can't, I was right then, as right then as I am right now. I can easily remember when I was a "bass fisherman" using only tackle and tehcniques for that one species. Was I wrong then? Not a chance as I had a blast. Now I fish differently and enjoy every species I catch. My only regret, if regret it can be called, is that there are not more species readily available in my home fishing waters. Each to his own enjoyment of the sport, in his own way, at his own time in life. That would be the bumper sticker I would choose.