Virginia used to have an 'opening day'....but they now have continuously open season. Best thing ever for trout fisherman. Now we have just a small amount of the usual crowd on the streams. Even on the stocked streams you will just see the occasional trout fisherman. No big circus waiting for the time to 'toss in' on an opening day. Trout fishing is now for the serious fisherman. Opening it year round took the carnival atmosphere out of it. And from the first of June till Oct 1st,,,even people without a trout stamp can trout fish. But,,they never do. Just real fishermen out there now. If you can stand the weather you can go any day of the year,,and really catch trout too. The 'circus' now goes to the lake to fish comfortably for pan-fish and are happy enough to do it. Trout fishermen have the streams back. Win win.
Felt sole debate is stupid. Raccoons, minks, beavers, muskrats, and birds esp.. traveling from one water source to the other,,carry the same invasive's as felt soles do,,,only a LOT more than fishermen carry with felt. Banning felt is like putting your finger in the hole in the dyke. Invasive's are a problem,,but banning felt will do exactly zero to address it.
We have "opening day" here in Ct
The big anticipation reminds people to buy fishing licenses that they might only use once or twice during the year.
It makes for a carnival for a couple of days and then it's back to normal.
The extra money that the state rakes in gets funded back to the DEP for use in programs like trout management.
As Martha would say... "It's a good thing"
I have no problem dealing with the yahoos for a weekend or two for the good that we get out of it
I suspect they still buy the license here,,they just don't come to the trout streams,,but instead they go to the lakes. Fish and Game,,instead of doing two stocking to support the streams now do 7 in each stream with the open all year deal...so they must not have lost money on it.
Taking a quick look just now on Google,,it appears that the 'open year round' is catching on in a lot of other states,,as some have recently opened more water,,or all public water,,to open all year seasons. Also checked our Virginia license fees,,they run about what other states run within a dollar or two.
What is IN decline is the number of hunters. Sad too. You couldn't fall dead here without landing on a deer. Hazardous driving,,,combat driving actually, is standard here now cause of the deer and bear. Pvt property owners are responsible in large part for this. There is no access to fields and broken property of any kind for people anymore. We are blessed with miles and miles of wilderness,,but there will only be so many deer culled out of the forest...any serious cull comes from the broken land and field areas,,aka,,,farms. I'm one lucky hunter in that I have a pvt dairy to hunt when it just comes down to filling the freezer. But mostly, pvt property farms aren't owned by 'neighbors' anymore. AND, they wont let you fish their streams either...many a mile of good small mouth and pan fish waters are not available to local fishermen anymore. But hey,,the outsider 'rich kids' own it,,,and I don't bother them..but still twinges me a bit about all the places I fished and hunted as a kid that I can't go anymore.