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Fisheries In Decline?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by fastvfr, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Hello, everybody;

    Sorry this is long, but it is urgent that I find out if the problem is nationwide or just messing up these two areas. Please take a moment to read my message...


    I live in Oregon now, but I came from the Midwest. Central Iowa, to be exact. For reference, I am 37 years old.

    Anyhow, back when I was four, my dad taught me to fish. He would go to the Des Moines river and cast 1/4 ounce white Malibu jigs and catch anything from walleyes to northern pike to channel cats to carp. It was unheard-of to get skunked, except maybe on the first or last outing of the year (you know...the ones with the ice floes drifting by!)

    I caught a 4# N. pike (my first gamefish) at age six with a small rubber bass worm in that river. Bass worm?! Yup.

    And not far upstream, a few years later, we discovered that using Blue Fox buzzbaits would elicit strikes from huge pike in a Humboldt city park.

    Back then. The last time I saw a game fish caught in an Iowa river was over ten years ago, and was a 6# walleye I caught at Dolliver Park, in a flooded creekmouth, on a Ratt'l'Trap.

    No longer will anything turn for a surface bait. Ever. In thousands of hours of trying, I saw nothing. I tried for years to get a strike, for lack of anything better to do.

    An even bigger problem is that I vacationed in my current AO each summer from my 12th to 16th year, and we ALWAYS caught fish in these clear Oregon streams and rivers in the summer.

    You couldn't toss out a worm without getting a hit from a bass, trout or catfish. And many of the gold dredgers carried spearguns to snipe the 5#-8# bass that lurked in every deep hole in every creek and river hereabouts.

    ALL that has completely changed now, and not for the better.

    In Iowa rivers, all that seem to exist now are carp, suckers, bullheads and lavericks. Just nasty.


    But far more disturbing than that is what I found recently.

    I went up to Cow Creek a few times recently (just got back into fishing) to toss jigs for bass. No dice. Rubber worms? Not a nibble...or even a follow! Plugs, spinnerbaits, flies-on-bubbles and Slug-Go's netted the same result. No live bait is permitted in the Cow; just lures. And I never saw even a tiny bass follow my lure in.

    So I tossed a fat nightcrawler into the deepest, darkest hole I could find on the South Umpqua. And waited...and waited.

    I finally caught a one-pound sucker that was so disgustingly slimy that words fail me. Fish should NOT come with a quarter-inch thick layer of snot all over them! That is just WRONG on so many different levels...

    At any rate, I decided that Cow Creek was clearer and cleaner, and thus more likely to have fewer trash fish. So I tried again and again to get a strike on my artificials there.

    Still nothing.

    So last night I went snorkeling in Cow Creek. And promtly noticed that this creek is utterly devoid of fish life.

    I spent over three hours swimming around and saw two crawdads and a bunch of waterbugs. Nothing with scales, though.

    Fifteen years ago this stream was a thriving fishery. Now it is barren until the fall salmonid migrations came with the rains.

    And the ponds, lakes and reservoirs around here are lousy for fishing, too; most have advisories that state you are not to eat more than 6 oz. of fish every two WEEKS, due to the mercury levels that are accumulated (the mercury is not from waste; it leaches from the rocks). And all those fish are stocked every few months!

    Does anyone have any idea what the hell has happened?

    I'm just freaked out about this. I have a feeling that this isn't confined to my AO's, either, though 250 miles north of my old AO, in SE Minnesota, good fishing can still be had occasionally in the backwaters of the Old Miss...but that's the only good fishing I have had in the last ten years, give or take.

    Is it pollution? Nitrates, maybe? Parasites? Too much CO2 in the atmosphere? Bad karma?!?

    Please let me know if you have noticed anything like this in your neck of the woods, okay? My email to the ODFW has gone ignored twice now...wonder why that is?

    Thanks for staying tuned, and thanks in advance for any help you can offer with this...

    Kindest regards,

    Eric the Fishless
     
  2. G36.45

    G36.45

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    fishing is great here....South Carolina and Georgia.
     

  3. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Glad to hear it! Wish I could say the same.

    Can anyone from the Midwest or the PNW share their observations?

    By the way, the people who have the best luck lakefishing hereabouts tell me that they use chemicals for baits exclusively...and catch lake trout on the crap.

    The fish will not take live shrimp but are instead being caught on Play-Doh-like Power Bait.

    What is up with THAT?!? Poisoned fish only take laboratory-made baits, apparently.
     
  4. A_Swede_17_1911

    A_Swede_17_1911

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    Were are you fishing on the Umpqua? Are you down towards Canyonville? The North West has plenty of great fishing. Remember that most of the waters in Oregon can be fairly chilly, so slow down the retrive and the prestentaion, that will help with strikes.

    Also one of my favorites is to use a Little Cleo spoon, with a single hook, and bounce it along the bottom to pick up trout, steelhead, and the once in a while Smallmouth bass. Also get yourself some Dry flies in a Caddis, and Mayfly patterns, and some like a Royal Wolffe Pattern as well with a casting bubble with a 4 leader and you will catch more trout, when they are selectively feeding on insects on the surface.

    Also if you going to fish night cralwers drift them along the bottom, and you can use a wedding ring rig as well.
     
  5. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

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    Planted trout from the hatchery love Berkley Power Bait "play dough" baits. The flavor mimicks the pellets they are fed back at the hatchery. They don't bite off the top much, because they're raised grazing pellets off the bottom.

    Too bad about your area, at least you know you can quit trying now.
     
  6. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Oh, crap. I didn't even consider that the poor fish don't know what real food is!

    That explains it. Cripes.

    Thanks for your insight.

    Best regards,

    Eric

    PS. At least there are salmonids to cast for in the fall and winter.
     
  7. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Hi Swede~

    Yes, I am down around Myrtle Creek. I would fish Galesville reservoir except for the fish warnings...only six ounces in two weeks for a healthy person?!

    Sounds like the PowerBait would be more healthy than eating the fish... :puke:

    But, yeah, I tossed a Ratt-L-Trap on the S. Umpqua near Dillard two days ago and had a big smallmouth follow it in once.

    No strikes, bites or nibbles...but at least I know where one eating-sized fish resides.

    I feel that using a 9' rod, 10lb line, a mid-sized long-shank bait hook and a fat juicy nightcrawler, fished with no weight, might tempt him into a strike. Just cast it out there into the depths, let it settle for ten minutes, and repeat.

    That, or I'll clean out a few suckers from the hole. Either way...
     
  8. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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  9. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Ya don't say...

    I would hope so, but it doesn't change the fact that all this wonderful fishing is gone forever.

    >>Eric heaves an extremely heavy sigh<<

    But, somehow, we CAN afford to incarcerate millions of our own people and kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians on the flimsiest of grounds, even for outright lies and corporate greed.
     
  10. Nakkie

    Nakkie CLM

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    Where'd all the salmon go? I'm pretty sure the orcas didn't clean them out.....

    Ling Cod, halibut....?
     
  11. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    The cod and halibut are off the coast--you have to charter a yacht to go fishing for them.

    The salmon/steelhead come upstream in the rainy season. I have tried for five years running and haven't had any luck with fish eggs or spoons/spinners for anadromous fish.

    But for ten months of the year it looks like fishing is nonexistant here. What a drag.

    Oh well. Maybe I'll take up the guitar or something.... :cool:
     
  12. Nakkie

    Nakkie CLM

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    Huh? Didja consider hooking up with a buddy who will show you how to get the wily salmon when it comes upriver?

    All fisheries out here in NW in general decline due to overfishing, environmental impacts, toxic wastes, runoff, poor management and hydroelectric dams....
     
  13. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Yes indeed I have.

    I have bugged a total of four otherwise-sucessful salmon fishermen into taking me along, but I didn't catch anything, they didn't catch anything, and no one else we saw caught anything.

    Except snags.

    I have contributed over $24 worth of pencil weights, eggs and hooks, not to mention line, to the local river bottoms and have never even seen anyone get a strike.

    I have fished on about 100 wet, cold, rainy fall/winter days when the salmon were 'running'....but apparently they were too busy running to do any biting. To date, I have never even seen one of them out of the water that wasn't in a store's cooler or in a picture!

    Maybe someday. I just got a 8'6" Ugly Stik Steelhead rod, and I'd sure like to use it on its intended species!!!

    Thanks for your reply,

    Eric