Post By: crappie#1 Posted: 7/19/2012 10:20:34 PM Points: 165
hitting pueblo again this weekend .fishing for cats main objective but whatever bites is ok. last weekend i nailed a 20# plus blue kittie. the bigest fish iv.e ever caught. not to brag but hey it made my day and then some. i stopped at the north mar. to get a measurement & weight but the girls working that morning didnt have a clue where anything was at . ended up at the fish hatchery to get a weight .all is good but my point is that the marina should pay more attention to the fish that come and go in that lake.
Reply by: tunedin Posted: 7/20/2012 8:29:11 AM Points: 2
Caught a 19lb wiper 7yrs ago .... went to north and south marinas looking for a certified scale, neither even had a scale or could care less about the fish ...typical for pueblo, its about revenue at that lake.
Reply by: cmarbles Posted: 7/20/2012 9:52:55 AM Points: 3106
Well the fisherman don't care about the fish or the lake either...if you are a trophy hunter than you would already be prepared,and know there isn't a certified scale at plow..I just don't see the point in killing a 20# Cat that tastes like a mud pie,want catfish catch a few 5#ers....but hey "its not against the law so its ok" right? Lame in my opinion...same thing for any record fish..who cares! All these people claim to be about conservation but will kill a big fish for there own benefit make me laugh. A couple days of talk a newspaper article n then its over..but a huge fish is still dead. Wanna impress people consistantly catch big fish,during all times of the year,not just when there spawning.how many of the state records where caught by a child or someone's girlfriend who was half ass fishing?
Reply by: MathGeek Posted: 7/20/2012 10:38:08 AM Points: 351
"All these people claim to be about conservation but will kill a big fish for there own benefit make me laugh."
It simply is bad ecology to think that releasing a big fish is always better conservation than keeping it. Good fisheries management is about achieving balance between fish and their food sources. Certain species of fish can become overabundant relative to their food sources in a given lake, and when this happens, the best conservation is keeping rather than releasing the breeding adults. It is well known that lake trout have become over abundant in Blue Mesa and that Northern Pike are overly abundant in Spinney and Eleven Mile Reservoirs.
One way that fisheries scientists evaluate this is using the relative weight, which is the ratio of the actual weight of fish to their expected weight at a given length. When the average relative weight dips below 100%, then the fish are becoming overly abundant relative to their food sources and "thinning the herd" is good conservation practice, because it is necessary to conserve the food sources.
Over the past few years, the relative weight of channel catfish and other benthic species (bottom feeders) has been in decline at Pueblo, suggesting that there is not enough food available to maintain existing populations in good body condition. Conservation is about protecting habitat and food supply, and sometimes the best conservation is reducing the number of fish so that the population density is better aligned with the available habitat and food supply.
Reply by: cmarbles Posted: 7/20/2012 11:59:10 AM Points: 3106
So you are basically saying in some instances it better to keep the breeding adults,ok I hear you but there's also other instances where keeping breeding adults hurts the fisheries. So you are as much right as I am and also as much incorrect. Until one of us is in charge of managing pueblo reservoir its all opinions.
My point in this case is I think its lame to keep a 20# catfish(probably doesn't know how to tell a blue from a channel anyway) when a smaller catfish taste so much better. If you were targeting big cats then you should have a plan together and know there isn't a certified scale at the reservoir so these big cats don't have to die for bragging rights because they definitely aren't dying because they taste good.
If you think keeping a 20 lb fish is lame, then thank God that it is a free country and throw back all the 20 lb catfish you catch! But if it was bad management for any angler to keep a 20 lb catfish, then odds are there would be some kind of limit on the bigger ones. The fact that there is no special limit restricting keeping the bigger fish suggests that anglers choosing to keep them is not hurting the fishery. The fact that the relative weights of catfish in Pueblo have been below the expectations for the past few years shows that it is probably helping the fishery to "thin the herd."
Anglers should also be mindful of a significant contingent of animal rights "activists" that seek to end fishing altogether, but seek to move toward this eventual goal by imposing gradual restrictions. They are targeting many fisheries nationally to move toward catch and release only sport angling by 2020. Preaching "catch and release" when it is not supported by sound fisheries science is playing into the hands of this extremist agenda.
First of all there's nothing wrong with having a discussion as long as both sides are civil.
Ok back to the issue at hand, so sense there isn't a special reg on keeping 20# catfish its not hurting the fishery!?
There's not a special reg on keeping 8# lmb either but do you think it will hurt a fishery to do so?I have had a few conversations with biologist from Dow (who I'm sure want to remain nameless)and they don't always agree with the regulations set forth at fisheries they manage. So my point is not all regulations are put in place because they are what's best for a specific species,its up to us to help protect our fisheries.
Oh and btw I preech selective harvest,that's why I suggested keep a few smaller cats
The Op didn't break the law..but still doesn't change the fact I FEEL what he did was "lame" to say the least
The trouble with preaching selective harvest is that any given angler can only decide whether to keep the fish he just caught, without knowing for sure whether he's going to soon catch the fish he might rather bring home instead.
So, it's sort of an elitist message with an implicit suggestion that if another angler isn't good enough to go and catch the preferred fish that would be a better "selective harvest" then he isn't good enough to be sharing the resource. An angler can only really choose to whether or not to harvest or throw back a fish he has just caught, he can't really decide to keep fish he hasn't caught yet.
I would not say that all legal harvest or release choices are optimal management. However, the data indicates that keeping a 20 lb catfish from Pueblo is probably better than releasing it to ease pressure on the food sources and to allow the available forage to be put toward increasing the biomass of the smaller catfish which many anglers find more palatable. After all, that 20 lb catfish was never going to taste any better than when it was harvested, and the feed conversion efficiency is also much lower than for the smaller catfish.
I don't mind 20 lb catfish on the table, and the angler who harvested it probably doesn't either.
A final point on the big catfish. Once they are over about 5 lbs, catfish are pretty efficient predators on bass, bluegill, perch, and walleyes. The size of their prey is really only limited by what they can fit in their mouths. I've caught big catfish using 12" yellow perch for bait. Harvesting the big catfish is a great move if one wants to protect the smaller specimens of preferred game species.
"However, the data indicates that keeping a 20 lb catfish from Pueblo is >>>>>>>PROBABLY<<<<<< better than releasing it to ease pressure on the food sources and to allow the available forage to be put toward increasing the biomass of the smaller catfish which many anglers find more palatable."
I would like to see the data that suggest this,I was also curious are you qaulified to decipher raw scientific data?,and then apply it to a mangement strategy(suggestion in this case)? or are we talking opinions again?Because we all have opinions,but i just want it to be clear to the forum if your suggestions are backed by a degree or background in fisheries management because you didnt make that clear ,as i did about my point of view bieng an opinion.
A lot of my fisheries management resources are in my office, which I won't have access to for several days. But if I have time, once I have access to my books and papers, it won't be too hard for me to establish the following scientific facts:
1. Smaller catfish (< 5 lbs) are more efficient at turning available food into tasty fillets.
2. Larger fish require a great deal of forage just to sustain their body mass, so growth rates are very slow. Creating a 50 lb predator usually requires 500 lbs of prey.
3. Catfish in Pueblo have been below the expected weight (for a given length) the past few years, and below their historical weights for a given length.
4. Thin fish suggest an overabundance of the species relative to their available food.
If you don't mind me asking what general area/location on the lake have you been doing the best? I've heard on the inlet side of the lake where the free area is, produces cats. But I have heard that that area is closed at night? Would like to target cats more so any tips would be a huge help.
I think you are right on, Rangler. Big old Channel! Fun debate! It is cool to be a third party and get to see how competing values and agendas (e.g., appropriate method of wildlife management) play out in discursive clash.
Mathgeek and Cmarbles, it is clear that you are both steeped in the intellectual Jedi style of argument. You are both using the Force! Many sides to this debate... Many truths and competing paradigms for "management."