04-21-2009, 09:53 PM
You have to read this
I am making a post regarding a thread in the Fly Fishing News section of these forums. In the past I have made some posts that demonstrate my sometimes self righteous opinions but in this instance I hope to find some common ground with the people here. The following is a quote from the forum. You can find this thread and from there read the article about this contest in its entirety.
After the quote is my response that I intend to edit and deliver by registered mail to the Director of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.
[QUOTE=Fish Bones;57450]BY KEVIN WOODRUFF Wyoming County Press Examiner A local fly fisherman has achieved his dream of participating in the National Fly Fishing Championship. Wesley Congdon, 19, of Dundaff, will compete with the best fly fisherman in the United States when he takes to the waters in State College from Oct. 31-Nov. 1. He found out this past Friday and said that he was ecstatic. "It was pretty cool to ...
I read the article regarding the upcoming fishing championship to be held I presume on Spring Creek in State Collage Pennsylvania with less than pleasurable thoughts. I was born in Williamsport Pa. and fished Spring Creek at least 50 or more full days per year from 1980 until I moved permanently to Alaska in 2004. During those sixteen years I fell in love with the Creek as would any outdoorsman & naturalist who spent that many days of his or her life intertwined with a particular environment. Understanding the fragile nature of spring creeks in general I am shocked to learn of this upcoming event. I must warn readers that I am not a fan of the concept of turning trout fishing into a competitive sport.
Two things alarm me when I think about the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission allowing tournament style fishing to occur within this irreplaceable habitat.
[First] The dates chosen (Oct. 31 – Nov. 1st) fall during the Peak of the spawning season for the wild brown trout that are the most prolific species in Spring Creek. This is what the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission deems as Heritage Trout Water and with good reason. In Pennsylvania Heritage Waters receive no stockings of fish and rely on natural propagation in order to maintain the population of those waters. These are No Kill fisheries. Spring Creek is the crown jewel of Pennsylvania as far as fish per acre. Why in the name of God not have the competition in June during the Sulfur Hatch!
[Secondly] I would humbly submit that to bring an inordinate level of media attention to the fact that large numbers of fish and especially ‘large’ fish can be caught at a time of year when most people have hung up their rods and are spending weekends watching football could have a damaging ramification for the creek and the spawning fish.
Not that I would be suggesting that anyone would fish the redds for brown trout of proportions unheard of to most people who are not familiar with this fishery. Although if I were to suggest that this would be the result of this folly, the stress placed on the fish at this crucial point in their annual life cycle will no doubt affect the future of the fishery. Of course we all know that no one would be unscrupulous enough to snag fish off a spawning bed just to get a photo op with a trophy brown trout.
I am not meaning to infer that a 48 hour tournament will forever affect the creek but that drawing what I have referred to as an inordinate level of attention to Spring Creek at this time of year is both uncalled for and unacceptable. I will put forth that I believe that the dates were chosen because of the availability of large fish that tend to migrate throughout the stream channel at this particular time of year and therefore are more vulnerable. In closing I will say this to the organizers of this circus and to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission; Shame On You Both for your seemingly wanton disregard for this magnificent fishery for the want of publicity. As for my assertion that anyone would actually snag fish; I live by the simple premise that I expect the worst and anything better is truly a blessing from God!