Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Greenfish Movement

Back in February , I wrote an article that was inspired by an Outdoor Blogger Network writing prompt sponsored by Greenfish. I had fun doing it , regardless of the serious subject matter , but I feel like I didn't do enough to get the word out about the Greenfish Movement. The individuals involved with this project have chosen a noble cause to support : sustainable fishing , and I stand behind them 100%

The future of fishing is something many anglers never think about and I'm guilty of this also. It's hard to think about the "what ifs" when you're out enjoying yourself on the water. In 2003 , I learned a hard lesson about the horrible things that can happen to a great fishery in a short period of time.

Here on my home water (Smith Mountain Lake) , we had an excellent Striped Bass fishery with numerous catches in the 10-15 lb range and a very real possibility of a 40 lb. class fish on every trip. In 2001 , one of my friends caught a 48 lb. Striper out of the lake , many anglers caught citations and a few even set records. All this would change in a little over six months , beginning in the fall of 2002. During this period , a parasitic copepod (Achtheres) began to infest the Striped Bass population here at the lake. The problem was exacerbated by an unusually cold winter that resulted in a winterkill of Shad estimated to have eliminated up to 60% of the baitfish population. Spring of 2003 ushered in a two month long Striper kill , with almost all fish over 10 lbs. dead or dying. The area near the dam was covered with dead fish , some of them huge. It was truly a sad sight to behold. Water that once held thousands of thriving trophy fish was now literally covered with their decaying remains.

While this calamity wasn't caused by irresponsible fishing practices , the recovery of our Striped Bass fishery can be directly attributed to the types of fishing practices supported by the Greenfish Movement. Slot limits were implemented and anglers were urged to quit fishing for Stripers during the summer when their mortality is high. In 2011 , the fishery has rebounded significantly with a steady increase in the number of citations every year since 2007. It's nowhere near what it was before the die off , but it gives me hope for the future.

Hope for the future..... that's what the Greenfish Movement means to me. By their continued support of non-profits and other groups that advocate for sustainable fishing and sensible laws and regulations , Greenfish is making a commitment to the future of the sport we all love - fishing.

In my opinion , Greenfish is a top notch organization. Unlike many corporate entities that claim to donate a certain percentage of their sales to unnamed charities , Greenfish lets you chose your favorite at checkout and donates an impressive 5% of your order to the non profit of your choice. You can see some of the non profits they support HERE. Very cool!

They have a great looking line of gear that any angler should be proud to wear , so I urge you to buy a hat or a hoodie for yourself or your favorite fisherman. I know I'll be sporting a new hat soon!

Disclaimer : Greenfish did not compensate me in any way for writing this. I truly stand behind their mission to support sustainable fishing practices and I urge you to do the same. We need more companies like this in the outdoor community.

Have a great week!

2 comments:

  1. I have been actively fishing for almost(40)years now and I have seen a lot of the good and much of the bad that comes with trying to maintain quality fisheries. We must all work actively to support groups like Greenfish in their efforts to sustain fisheries. My grandkids deserve to have the opportunity I have add. Great post!

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  2. Thanks Mel! It's been interesting watching the recovery here on my home water. In 2005 they started stocking between 350 and 500,000 fingerlings a year. They were able to back off on the numbers last year. For a while we were catching the fingerlings while fishing for crappie , so we had to be very careful with them. I've also had a chance to talk with the biologist in charge of the program a few times and peek at his reports for SML.

    It's a process , but without any further setbacks I think the fishery here is on it's way to recovery.

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