About one-hundred years ago people fished and hunted to their hearts content, there were no limits on your catch, and no fishing or hunting license to be purchased. Then the population began to increase in North America and the wildlife stores didn’t seem so limitless any more. The population almost doubled after the 1880’s and within thirty years, the United States went from 50 million people to 92 million.
No one realized the value of wildlife management yet
Wildlife abundance was deteriorating in the early 20th century. Thanks to President Roosevelt and some persistent conservationists people began to realize the affects that people were having on the numbers of fish in the waters. The early conservationists are the ones who made up fishing’s first laws. The “pay to fish” law restricted unregulated fishing and commercial fishing restricted taking all you wanted.
People were mad then, they didn’t like the new laws, but most people understood the need for the system to ensure fish would be around for future generations, just like we talk about these days.
Commercial slaughter when hunting turned around the seemingly devastating down turn in wildlife numbers, and kept people like ‘Wild Bill’ from slaughtering and exploiting whole herds of animals needlessly, and for poaching.
The next half century was spent returning wildlife to its natural habitat, and protecting the land and waters for their habitat
In the sixties environmental awareness was gaining speed and people didn’t realize how important the sportsmen and women were and all the work done on conservation by lobbying for taxes on sporting equipment to provide money for state conservation agencies which are now the models for wildlife conservation organizations that exist now. Not to mention National Fishing and Hunting Day, every fourth Saturday in September, which came about in 1971 by President Nixon, to honor the sportsmen and women for using the natural resources wisely. The bill was passed in both houses unanimously.
Fishing and boating go together, and boat engines can be deadly to the shallow areas by:
- chopping up vegetation that marine life uses for food and shelter,
- stirring up sediment and,
- reducing the amount of sunshine the plants in general may receive.
- Boat wakes (high) erode the coast and shore areas.
- Stop dragging anchors which can tear up the water bottom and marine life that depend on food and water bottom stability for habitat.
- Don’t throw away lures, fishing line, or old fishing gear in the waters or on the shores.
- Don’t use lead, it’s toxic to eat a fish that has lead poisoning and it’s toxic in the water.
- Try to retrieve anything you drop or lose, or get tangled.
This goes for plants and marine life, and your bait.
- Know and follow the rules for bait and lures wherever you fish.
- Always rinse off your boat and any gear and shoes and waders when you are finished fishing, or before you enter another water.
- A lot of the waters in the US are infested with invasive bait fish and deadly largemouth bass virus or some other fish virus.
- Don’t just dump your left over bait in the water when you are finished, it can also spread virus.
If you can think of anything else to add, please add your comments.
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