Politics and fishing

So it seems like I am suffering from weather, politics, and budget.

My home rivers are heavily stocked, and because of the recent drought last year, most of the wild fish have gone…bye bye.

This is my third year fishing and the first year I noticed a quality issue in the distribution of fish. Normally the whole river has fish. Not so this year…in any of my rivers.

I was talking to a friend, and it seems like I am feeling the sting of politics.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

…had some cuts in budget. They decided to cut the guys who usually help distribute the fish in key areas along a river. Instead, they have the tank drivers distribute the fish where ever they want…which happens to be the easiest of access points. They just dump and run…so there is no distribution of fish. Those stockers pretty much stay put until the meat fisherman finish them off.

Such a bummer, but really speaks volumes on how artificial my fishery is and how much we depend on better management.

Anyone else notice this in their state?

Not here in Vermont. As far as I know, it’s nearly the same. You can actually check it out here if you want to see it. The list actually looks longer this year than last. There are many bait and spin fishermen that drive to neighboring states to fish because they don’t feel Vermont does enough stocking of trout. Then again, the state’s focus has been restoring and maintaining habitat for wild trout. The few people I have spoken with that don’t like that practice, either want a slab of fish or want to only catch “trophy” size fish. They aren’t concerned about wild fish populations.

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Awesome. Let them drive to other states to fish, :grinning:. That’s what I like to hear. I’ll be planning a trip to Vermont to for wild trout knowing the spin and bait guys won’t be on the water!


They have to stock trout in Texas during the winter. There’s no other way. The trout can’t live through the summer. In New Mexico, on the other hand, where I fish quite often, they stock but they also are in favor of maintaining habitat for wild trout populations as well. So I get the best of both worlds, so to speak.

No government involved with this observation. I don’t know the reason but the catching seems to be slower this spring than normal. Thus far I’ve only ventured out to fish places that take 30 minutes or so to reach couple of times. I didn’t catch much and I over heard others saying they were skunked too. A creek runs along the south edge of my property. When I want to fish a bit, but only have 30 minutes or less to devote to it I just fish this little stream. Mostly nothing big, but fish as large as the brook trout found in mountain streams. Not much catching going on there either. Seems extra strange after what was a very mild winter here.

Been toying around with heading out to the family vacation house this week. But mostly cool and rain predicted over the next four days, and its generally about 10 degrees cooler there than here because its about 2,500 feet higher in altitude, so that has dampened my enthusiasm for leaving before the weekend, when rain is supposed to lessen. Maybe the streams wont be at flood level, and the catching will be better there. There’s certainly more places to fish within a short radius.

Sorry to hear this happening to you. :angry:
This reminds me of a vacuum cleaner…it sucks.

Its not really a big deal other than burst bubble and the sad reality of the enviromental cuts.

Lets face facts…the fishery i have access to is a cheap substitute for a real ecosystem. Farm fish planted for my entertainment. Just a beat short of a trout park.

I am probably like a lot of anglers on the river. Secretly playing mind games that the section of river i am fishing is a special slice of nature. Imagining a remote wild stretch…when in reality i am in the shadow of new york city trying to forget that i am.

How long do you have to travel from the city to get to your stream?

Whilst Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) is not quite as large as NY City, we do have quite a lot of stocked waterways within close proximity to the metropolitan region. Most of these are for the sole purpose of that families can take kids to them and have a good chance of catching a fish.
These are usually within 1 hours drive of the metro region. However, they are plenty of creeks and streams within about 1-2hrs drive that are not stocked and have a healthy population of self sustaining fish. The good thing about these waters is that generally they are harder to find and access then the stocked waters. This means that only the dedicated fishos are the ones who target the streams.

We do not have any major (or minor) cities here, but the stocking done here is very similar. As you can see from the link I posted previously, a majority of what is stocked is lakes and ponds that are easy for families and older people to easily access (in particular, with some kind of boat). If you start searching, one will notice there are a few lakes or ponds on there that are quite remote and take effort to get to.

Of the rivers and brooks listed, probably half of them are easily accessible from many of the more well known inns and bed and breakfast places in the state. Not too shockingly, this is part of the tourist draw during the warmer months in Vermont.

If one is looking for wild trout only (my personal preference, though do not fish them exclusively) it generally takes much more effort. The drives are longer and the hike in to access the water is also longer and often more work.

Similar to what you say, it is really only those who are dedicated and excited about wild fish that are out there. In the past 8 years, I’ve only encountered two other people fishing in these areas. I’ve met plenty of hikers (the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail both cross through areas where many of these streams are located) who’ve been surprised I was fishing.

I like being out in the wild…that’s my primary goal. I also like to fish, but not at the expense of being in the wild. I have not completely given up on fishing stocked waters, but I’m fairly close to it. That said, I have loads of streams with wild fish within a 2 hour drive of my house, so I realize I’m very spoiled.

I definitely prefer seeing no other anglers when I’m fishing…even if I only catch a fish or two (or get skunked but have a nice walk in the woods).

I live 1.5 hours outside of NY city. There are some wild trout streams within 40 minutes of my home.

The majority of my note is that this year there has been a noticeable difference in distribution.

As a home owner and family man, i was enjoying decent fishing within a half hour of the house the last couple years. The kind of thing where I could be up pre dawn and be back at the house before the family is having breakfast. The party is over.

How much would the cost of licenses have to increase in order for fish & game agencies to be self-sustaining, rather than reliant on tax revenue?

I have no idea…but am doubtful that there ever would be a significant change in licensing fee. The people would not stand for it or just turn to poaching.

I really have no idea on the budget for the fishery or how its funded. A simple way to solve the trout issue is just make them all catch and release and increase inforcement.

As it is there is so much poaching going on its laughable.
Hmmmmm…some guys really like the pellet stuffed trout enough to poach them. Saw several folk bending limits on opening week. Some guys were bragging about their little tricks.

Well, I don’t travel from any city because I live in a rural area, about 5 miles from a small town.
On days when I don’t have time to drive to some place to fish, most of the time I can just fish the creek that runs along the south side of my yard. Usually not any big fish, or challenging fish, but often some creek chubs or similar, that are as big as small brook trout. Or some feisty Bluegill , Sunfish. However, currently there are some large fish migrating upstream to spawn. Redhorse. Big enough that the larger ones make quite a racket in the shallow places fighting to get up stream. But they are usually not interested in flies. But I can grab 20 or 30 minutes of fishing without driving anywhere. Good for a quick fishing fix. :wink:

Beyond that from home there are places to fish within 20 - 45 minutes. But local fishing is often poor, not the most exciting. It’s much better from the family vacation house that is about 4 hours away, 2,500 feet higher in altitude, and has more streams to choose from. Some 15 minutes away, and many more within 60 minutes. And more fun fish. So I spend most of the summer there. :wink: