Originally Posted by guthook
And my point is that the concept of "Liberty" which we all espouse as Americans (I hope) is the idea that we are free from arbitrary rules, etc. What Shawn wants to do is fine for Shawn, however if I want to do things differently I'm well within my rights. In some cases even the game laws we have are rather poor. For instance, the 20 inch limit on smallmouth in the Pigeon River system is the most arbitrary thing I've ever seen. The people that live along the river sure didn't push for that. Guides pushed for it selfishly. I frankly believe that people that want to fish for and keep a limit of 10-15 iinch smallmouth should be able to do it as they've always done.
It's foolish to try to push our ideas on others. If you can change someone's mind that's fine, but if you can't, let it go.
Gotta take issue with you on this one.
When the Pigeon got the new regs there was no guiding going on the river other than whitewater stuff. The regs came about for two reasons, one the dioxin levels in the fish made them unsafe for consumption, and TWRA wanted to experiment with the regs that have been so successful in Virginia.
Many years later almost all of our smallmouth rivers have similar regs, and they are warranted. These fisheries are somewhat fragile and the growth rates of smallmouth in rivers is extremely slow. Floods can knock entire age classes out of a smallmouth river, and heavy fishing pressure can easily lead to a depleted resource. Compare Little River to one of the managed streams for example.
The move by TWRA was awesome and a rare case of them doing something right. 15 years ago when it went in place there were very few of us fishing it, and until the last couple of years has stayed that way. Now it is eve more important to have aggressive management to let the fishery reach it's full potential.
If folks made a habit of eating fish out of the Pigeon it explains a lot about Newport and Cocke county as well.
Just because someone has "always done it" doesn't make it wise. Where would the turkey population be if they let folks continue to use bait trenches? Where would the bass populations in the reservoirs be if slot limits weren't implemented?
The "always done it" view is twisted logic and is rarely if ever applicable in managing anything. Everything around us is in a constant state of change, and rules must change for the best outcomes.