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Old 04-01-16, 09:08 AM   #1
Captmikestarrett
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Default VA survey I got via email.

It seems that VA is looking to get input about snakehead and the possible creel limit to be set. Filled the survey out and it had lots of questions about real vs perceived damage the Northern Snakehead has done.

ID charts help you understand the difference between a bowfin and a NSH..

At the end it asks for your comments and I added that a limit needs to be imposed so they are not sold back door for profit. That will kill the black market NSH meat market.

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Old 04-01-16, 10:58 AM   #2
bassboogieman
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It seems eradication is virtually impossible now. That said, I find that going from kill 'em all and no live heads returned to the water to now thinking about creel limits a bit odd. I think it is comparable to what MD is doing to their new bass regulations, in that the management people often react in panic rather than doing some in depth research on the (perceived?) problem. I think it fits as a "knee jerk reaction".

When the NSH was first discovered in the Potomac panic erupted (both MD & VA) and posters went up at every launch site that NSH were to be killed and returning them alive to the water or live posession was illegal. The thought being that the snakehead would expand throughout the Chesapeake watershed and eat everything else that lives there.

Well the NSH has certainly proliferated throughout the Potomac and there are reports of its having found its way into other waterways in the region. But it has become a target of anglers and because of that, contributing to the fishing generated economy of the area. So now the NSH is bringing anglers in, talk of tournaments, growth of bow fishing on the creeks, all bringing in additional money through the sport of fishing.

It seems the gloom & doom, rabid at the time of the first NHS was caught, has not been as bad as predicted. It has become established now and eradication is impossible so now why not make money from it, and "protect" it with limits on posession. Hey, it taste good, people like catching them (me included) and it atteacts anglers to the river. Maybe the NSH isn't so bad after all. And if you can't beat it at least make some money off it. And I got no problem with that.

I don't think introduction of invasive species is a good thing and intentional introduction is to be avoided. But nature is nearly impossible to supress and species take every advantage to survive and expand their range whenever possible. Some have provide some benifits upon becoming established in new areas (albeit with problems also). Like zebra mussels clearing up Lake Erie while clogging up intakes at water & power plants. Also in the Great Lakes the goby has become a main food item for smallmouth bass and the average size of smallmouth has grown making anglers happy in the process. I still haven't found any good from Asian carp getting into the Mississippi, other than some funny You Tube videos. But the NSH has not been as bad as originally predicted, so we move forward and adjust.

Is the survey available on line? I would like to see it and probably fill one out.

Last edited by bassboogieman; 04-01-16 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 04-01-16, 06:41 PM   #3
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Not available on line as it was a targeted survey. It was sent to sampling of VA license holders. I have VA MD NC LA FL and SC license right now.. My inbox is overwhelmed with state updates.

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Old 04-04-16, 06:40 AM   #4
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Long term effects aren't known yet. 16 years or so is not sufficient to realize just how much the Snake Head will impact the native fauna. With 40,000 to 100,000 eggs and well protected offspring each time, they could still decimate other game fish.
How will the sport fishing income be if they are the ONLY freshwater target species in your area?

If they have become prolific enough to be easily found and sought in only 15 years or so ... then they are still invading and increasing in numbers. I think you should still be harvesting as many as you catch. Don't under estimate them.
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Old 04-04-16, 05:14 PM   #5
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I have seen a school of white perch darn near wipe out a cloud of NSH fry.. everything eats them..a very good food source for fish and birds.

Also a sustainable fish for anglers who want to eat what they catch..

In Japan 20 years ago they stocked LGMouth in the lakes to control the snakehead..it worked.

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Old 04-05-16, 06:56 AM   #6
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I've no doubt they'll "find their niche" Capt.
I just think it's too early in the invasion sequence to start conservation efforts.
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Old 04-15-16, 02:24 AM   #7
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The worst thing you can do is let your government know you like them. There will be immediate creel limits and fees associated with their "sustainable fishery". They'll have you paying to sustain something they can't even kill.
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Old 04-15-16, 08:28 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=nofearengineer;417680]They'll have you paying to sustain something they can't even kill.[/QUOTE.]

Heck we don't have to like things for the government to do that... take people who murder other humans as a for instance.
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Old 04-16-16, 08:07 PM   #9
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Saw a presentation on Thurs and the snakehead population on the river hit a peak 5 years ago and is decreasing annually. And actual science was used to show this not like what MD is doing. This information matches my results lately. Don't catch the numbers but when I do catch them they are good size.
Oh and the presenter explained that yes the bass numbers have been down too but look for a good number of 12-15" fish this year and better next year.
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