Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
uiubassmaster

Environmental Impacts of Fishing-please read and give input!

Recommended Posts

O.K. so here's the deal, I'm a conservation management and environmental science major at upper iowa university and for my senior project topic I chose "environmental impacts of fishing".  In my quest to find information I thought to myself "what better place to get core information that from the fishermen themselves".  

It's a fairly broad topic meaning I could discuss a variety of things (dis-guarded line, chemicals or toxins present in lures, artificial plastics, or scents as they biodegrade etc) I will also be doing a couple of experiments comparing lead and tungsten weights as well as berkley gulp! (100% biodegradable) compared to conventional plastic lures.

Any and all responses are greatly appreciated as I feel is going to be hard to research Internet sources since the majority of the information is localized around environmental impacts of ocean fishing.

Also if you could put up any links u know of that would also be great.

Thank you and happy fishing!

  Jacob Bruess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't just focus on potential negatives. PETA is pretting good at that. Include the positives of fishing, one of which is to help with the overall health of the fish by reducing the population so they won't decline due to lack of food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't just focus on potential negatives. PETA is pretting good at that. Include the positives of fishing, one of which is to help with the overall health of the fish by reducing the population so they won't decline due to lack of food.

I agree with Wayne. PETA is great at pointing out our flaws . Just go fish! If you are really environmentally conscious use the tungsten and biodegradable baits. I personally use tungsten but, not so much for environmental reasons

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O trust me I am a strong supporter of recreational and sport fishing as both a management tool as well as a recreational activity (not to mention the money it makes to support the organizations involved in sustaining our natural resources), but I am already aware of many of the positives, I would just like some input on possible negatives as I feel that's going to be much harder to research and put into words.

For example: One topic I plan to cover is the controversy over bed-fishing bass..... I'm just kind of looking for some ideas to get me going because I have 16 weeks to fully complete the project but I would much rather do most of my research early on so I don't push any of the time-consuming stuff off until the last second...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your subject matter needs to be narrowed. Pick one topic and center your study on that. For example, pages can be written on the impact of lead on the eviornment and ecology of an inland lake, caused by its usage by the fishing community. Further you would have extensive studies already done, with pages of documentation from many sources at your fingertips for such a project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point. I guess I can discuss that with my professor advisor.  The thing is I picked the topic and it's titled "environmental impacts of fishing" in which we are to write a paper, give a presentation, and do something "hands-on".  I planned on researching several different factors and compiling them into my paper/presentation.  

The "hands on" portion would come from the lab tests done on the lead weights as well as the conventional plastics.

I appreciate the input so far and will talk to my professor to see what we can work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no scientist and didn't even graduate college but I study the sport.

According to every study I've read and first hand information as well, fish populations are the best and healthiest in decades. This is all due to fisheries management which is made possible by the tax dollars we as sportsmen spend. "Tree Huggers" have their place, but not in sportfishing. If it wasn't for sportfishing, habitat destruction would go unchecked, pollution would run rampant etc., etc. Do fish feel pain?

I haven't heard one scream yet! ;)

A good topic would be environmental impact on fishing and fish populations due to habitat encroachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would talk to different manufacturers about the findings on their test results.  Ask the hard questions like how long does it take their hard plastics to break down in the water or in a bass' belly?  What toxins are in Scents?  You could probably cover all the topics lightly and maybe 1 in depth.  There is now a new mono that biodegrades in 5 years.  Others take hundreds of years they claim.

Maybe the good part of your research could be the future of bassin and making better choices based on environmental conservation.

Manufacturers are doing research to better our fisheries (hopefully), and making products that are environmentally friendly.  So we need to support them.  Too bad lead is cheaper than tungsten.  Keep us posted for more specific ideas as your research progresses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about the dangers of fertilizer and pesticide run-offs into our lakes and canals.  This by far is more damaging than a lead sinker.  Yes, lead weights are bad and can be substituted but focus your attention away from the fisherman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about looking into the effects from discarded fishing line.  Im certain you can find a ton of photos online.  Through the years Ive seen more wildlife, in particular birds, either dead, flying around, or trapped by discarded fishing line.  Think about what happens when you throw fishing line in the trash can.  It goes to the dump.  Wildlife love visiting dumps.  I always cut all my discarded fishing line into little pieces prior to throwing away.  You can even look into how long it takes that stuff to break down.

Heres a story.  I was fishing the other night and got hung up in some fishing line on the bottom in 22 feet of water.  I finally just pulled as hard as I could and the line I was stuck on broke.  A few seconds later I saw something float to the surface.  I investigated and found a dead western grebe wrapped in fishing line.  Theres no telling how many diving water birds meet their end because of broken off fishing line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about the dangers of fertilizer and pesticide run-offs into our lakes and canals.

Great suggestion!

8-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As well as chemicals that change PH and dissolved O2 levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a UCONN Master Gardener I can also tell you that the word 'Organic ' is deceiving in fertilizers.

Excess nitrogen and phosphorous leach into our water making algae blooms and growing weeds at an alarming rate.

Organic has to do with its origin not its affect on the environment.

Organic ferts still have Nitrogen and phosphorous.  Its the same components as Scotts and others.  

Also leaching and runoff of fertilizers is due to heavy rains carrying chemicals to places they are not meant to be.  There are 3 ways to save money and save the environment.

1.  Cut the recommended application rate in half and fert twice. once each month. Grass and plants are not able to absorb the fert. at that rate.

2.  Water fert in gently after application.  Heavy or prolonged rains wash fert. past the root zone so plants miss most of it.

3.  The most important season to fert. is the fall.  Thats when most root growth occurs.   It would be ok to skip the other seasons. If you feel you must fert, see rule 1.

You don't have to live next to water to have your fert carried into waterways.  Thats why they have catchbasins and drainage ditches.  It all ends up in the lakes. oceans and rivers anyway.

Remember Scotts (and others) is a marketing company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as someone else said fisherman and pleasure boaters are the eyes and ears of the waterways.   States now have emergency phone numbers to report suspicious activities and illegal activity on the water.

Many bodies have been found by fisherman in rivers.

Lots of fishing groups have come together to pick up trash on the banks and many fisherman do it every time they go out and see litter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing with the fishing line though, it is littering. Whether it is fishing line, a milk jug, plastic dishwashing detergent bottle or a sofa (all if which I have seen in Lake Wylie), it is people eing craeless and throwing their junk into the wild instead of into a trashcan. IMO, It is not really, fishing.

Another thought, boats. Boat engines dump a lot of garbage into the water. Granted you do not need one to fish but a lot of us do use them. How many of us have ever started the boat and seen that small slick behind the motor?

Take a look at trout stream fishing, I do that a TON. You wade in streams, on some heavily used streams (like Little River near Jefferson, NC) the fisherman have tramped the shore like a herd of wildabeast.

The worst impacts though are usually from irresponsible folks who do not take any respect or responsibility for the environment they fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
as someone else said fisherman and pleasure boaters are the eyes and ears of the waterways. States now have emergency phone numbers to report suspicious activities and illegal activity on the water.

Many bodies have been found by fisherman in rivers.

Lots of fishing groups have come together to pick up trash on the banks and many fisherman do it every time they go out and see litter.

To fishizzles point, I now when I went trout fishing I would pick up golf balls and other small human items like that, even discarded fishing line, and put it in pockets on my vest. The cool thing about the golf balls was I would get enough after a day to do the the driving range and beat them up a bit. There were always TONS of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres something I never understood.  A six pack is significantly heavier prior to drinking.  So how come somebody can tote a six pack to a fishing spot but not tote out the emptys even though they only weigh a fraction of what they did on the way in?

I hate bank fishermen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst impacts though are usually from irresponsible folks who do not take any respect or responsibility for the environment they fish.

Couldn't agree with you more!

I've gone shore fishing countless times and walked back to my car at days end with pockets overflowing with lure wrappers, used line, broken bobbers, chip bags, and not to mention empty pop/beer cans and bait containers.

Makes a guy glad to be associated with so many other fine ethical anglers on a great site like this tho!  ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate all the help guys, after considering a few different options and talking to my professor, we finally got it narrowed down...... i think......

Im planning on doing my research on the difference between berkley gulp! plastics and conventional plastics.  I was able to find a couple threads on here as well as some internet information that should help get me started before i move into an in-depth study.

We are planning on performing lab tests on both types to see how they react to prolonged water exposure (bloating, shrinking, deteriorating etc...) as well as some other experiments.

Once again thanx for the suggestions and happy fishing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will first state that I haven't read all of the resonses so this may be redundant; but there are a few things in your original post that I would like to respond to.  Before I became disabled I was in the Coast Guard, contact an area Marine Safety Office and they can provide you with a lot of raw data that you can use. You would be amazed as to what is legal to be dumped in the water.  In the late 80's it was still legal for a tanker to dump the bilge straight into the ocean, it was perfectly legal to dump 100's of gallons of dirty oil in the ocean!    

Additionally in better days I was an avid upland bird hunter, and of course most upland bird shot is 100% lead.  I personally think lead is so over rated as a potential environmental hazard.  I think of states like ND and SD where pheasant hunting is a multi-million dollar industry, the ground in those states probably have a higher lead count than any other state in the union, with no threat to humans or the wildlife population.  As evidenced by the explosion in population of these regal game birds.   Sportsmen fund almost 100% of all conservation efforts in this country.  The current population of pheasants are a direct result of the CRP and Pheasants Forever.  There has been such an explosion of birds that the population is higher now than anyother time, all of that in the presence of filling the field with lead.

If you consider the amount of lead that would have to be present in the water for the fish to somehow become contaminated the ppm would be astronomical.  The problem with lead and ducks was that the ducks being bottom feeders would ingest the lead, that and the "tree huggers" were screaming for something to be done, end result is steel shot for waterfowl.  The recovery of waterfowl is more due to the CRP and organizations like DU and Delta Waterfowl than non-toxic shot.  Studies have since been conducted that show that lead doesn't hurt the reproductity of the bird.  There is also a study being conducted now on California Condors, where the main focus is to try to trace the birds decline to lead shot in unrecovered game.  Anyone who has hunted knows that the amount of lead in game that is killed is almost non-existent as most passes through, but that is another source of lead info.  Bottom line is that lead in the water from fisherman is so miniscule as to be non-existant, and hard to determine whether is directly related to the fisherman, run off, or a natural source.  

Personally I believe the only negative environmental impact that people have with regards to fishing, are the slobs who leave their discarded line laying around, the wrappers from their snacks, styrofoam containers worms came in, boxes from crankbaits, etc.  Everytime I fish from the bank for cats, or stocked trout I always take a plastic bag and fill it up with trash from these slobs.  Makes me sick.   I am firmly convinced that recreational fishing has more positive impact on the fisheries than negative.  Sportsman today are more educated in general about their potential impact on the fishery.  Not to mention sportsmen are better stewards of the environment than any segment of society, after all we have a huge stake in keeping the waters full of fish.  To think that sportsmen would damage the environment is about as ridiculous as saying a golfer would intentionally dig up the golf course, we have to much at stake to hurt the thing that we get most enjoyment from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Biodiversity and the stocking of non-native species. Indigenous assemblages of fish have been altered enormously.

I know there is some material out there on stocking of LMB in Mexican (and I believe African) lakes that resulted in the destruction of native fishes, and the traditional fisheries that supported local communities.

Use of lead sinkers -lots out there on that -esp from the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×