March 25, 2010 at 11:49pm
I was poised to renew the CCA memberships for my family (six of us) when I read the distressing news that CCA has opted to support legislation to outlaw the sport of bow fishing for red fish. Sad to say, you've lost another six members.
Jimmy Jenkins' recent 'Letter To The Editor' posted in the Baton Rouge Advocate made me groan out loud in response to the misinformation and/or lies, that spilled forth from his pen (or keyboard). It was painfully obvious that Mr. Jenkins knows virtually nothing about bow fishing for red fish. Red drum and other fish DO NOT "freeze" when hit with a light at night. Never have. Never will. Au contraire', they quickly swim away. The evidence is posted all over U-Tube for anyone who wants to do a minuscule amount of research to find the truth. Mr. Jenkins should be embarrassed. Apparently CCA has become a puppet for folks like Mr. Jenkins. I don't support puppets.
CCA, to their credit, was smart enough not to repeat Jenkins' misinformation when they posted their support of the politically motivated legislation that seeks to outlaw bow fishing for red drum. Instead, CCA seems to focus on the word "game fish" when making their anemic argument in favor of banning the practice.
Let's make a quick examination of their "game fish" fixation. Red drum, various species of bass, crappie and bream enjoy game fish status in Louisiana. (Side note: spotted sea trout, aka: speckled trout DO NOT enjoy game fish status in Louisiana.) Of the "game fish" in Louisiana, only red drum and bass could, in my humble opinion, be reasonably taken by a bow fisherman. The various bass species, can only reasonably be taken seasonally when they're guarding their beds/eggs in the spring time. Disallowing the take of bedded bass makes perfect biological sense. No such situation exists with red drum and no marine biologist has ever come forth with any smidgen of biological data that indicates bow fishing harms the populations of red drum. Their argument holds water as well as a busted water balloon.
It saddened me to see obvious misinformation posted on CCA's website. I don't know who was quoted here: "We feel Sen. Claitor’s legislation is a solid conservation measure, which will benefit the species.” but he (or she) is misspeaking the truth. "Solid conservation" measures are backed by biological data. This isn't a solid conservation measure, it's political prostitution. I don't support prostitutes either.
Perhaps the next method of fishing to meet CCA's not-so-rigorous "solid conservation" status and subsequent chopping block might be fishing for trout under "blinding lights" at night. Many people have wonderful success fishing for trout under lights at night. Any method of fishing that makes success so simple must be contrary to good conservation, right?
CCA has been bought by undereducated fat cats. I'm out.
For the record... I've bow fishing less than ten times in the past decade. No one exceeded a limit and no one shot a single undersized red fish. Not one. It's not my sport of choice but right is right and CCA is, in my opinion, WRONG on this issue. I'll vote with my dollars. My dollars won't go to political prostitutes who bow down to under-educated fat cats.