Nope. I spelled it correctly. I wasn't referring to the well known Latin phrase but rather my own loose interpretation of Latin for 'argument of the day'. Admittedly, I just wanted an eye catching title to gain interest. Sue me.
Here in Pacific NW like other regions, there has been a growing number of
of fellow carp fisherman over the last decade, my self included. To wit, a claim supported by this seemingly obscure web forum, in contrast to the numerous other forums of those who pursue finned quarry.
I've fished in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington most of my life. Until of recent, I only ever had a vague awareness of carp(as game) aside from my brother's pragmatic objective. We used to operate a small commercial crayfish operation that started in Western Oregon and ultimately found our way to The Snake River in the eastern part of the state. It was there he began using a bow and arrow to harvest them as bait for our traps which we found to be superior to everything else we had experimented with. I am most curious why fishing for them has been so slow to gain interest with the general population here and began to suspect that finacial interests had influence, as it does in many conundrums. Here in the northwest, when one hears "fishing" it's salmon, steelhead, or trout that comes to mind. Unsurprisingly, our local fish and wildlife agencies invest a corresponding amount of their funds to support those interests. Are those decisions merely following public demand? I'm suspiciously wondering if more is at play.
Bass fishing here has been relatively slow to develop in contrast to the rest of the nation. This year our state agency made an unprecedented decision to plant a sizable number of smallmouth bass in the lakes of western washington and possibly elswhere in the state. I was surprised by this because I hadn't been aware of any deficiencies in the bass population and was curious why the agency spent millions on the project and promotion. They even went so far as tagging over a thousand of them. The tag of which may be redeemed for small prize from local sporting goods vendors.
Casual observation reveals the relatively new practice of private marketing found within many federal agency publications and state fish and wildlife regulation publications are no exception. Advertising more often comes with obvious and sometimes not so obvious bias and perhaps hidden agendas.
Am I reading to far to this? Perhaps, but even so a little research reveals some astonishing facts about the game fishing industry that may support my speculation.
Many are probably aware of these statistics but I'm certain there are at last a few that will share my surprise. I discovered some interesting figures with regard to the annual revenues earned from the sports and recreation industry. I'll summarize an article by James Hall published in the online publication of Bassmaster and reference he made to a study performed by Southwick Associates. Below are are some annual revenue figures quoted in that article:
NFL- $13 billion
MLB- $9.5 billion
NBA- $5.2 billion ... drum roll please...
BASS Fishing- $16 billion ?!!!
Mind you, that figure does not correspond to all game fishing, just Bass Fishing revenue most of which(77%) are from artificial lures purchased for fishing Bass! I myself spent at least $20 on lures for bass this year and I only made about 5 casts before hearing the commotion from rod behind me, my first carp. Staggering is it not? The figures that is, not the fact I was multitasking.
Here is the link to that article in addition to another that may be of pertinent interest:
Upon learning more about this, an observation plaguing thought entered my mind. Our state fish and wildlife agency, associated publications, and regulations revealed some interesting findings. The publication for fishing regulations has all but buried information related to carp fishing. The word "carp" appears only 3 times, which I estimate is less than one half of a percent in contrast to all other species combined. Of particular interest to me was the fact that Common Carp are THE only species that are completely unregulated in the state. That is, there is no limit to the amount an individual may catch, residents, and non-residents alike are NOT even required to obtain a fishing license for them. I take that back. There is but one regulation that I found in the publication- Common Carp retained, must be dead prior to leaving the riparian area. Why is this? They are not considered an invasive species by the agency and can be found in almost every lake and river in the nation. A little more digging(I mean digging) on the agency's website found "We encourage fishing for them." I hardly see an effort there. Why is their 'encouragement' so profoundly obscure? Several residents and sporting goods retailers were amazed at my findings. They questioned my claim regarding the unnecessary fishing license, catch limits, etc. A typical reaction from my reply to "What are you fishing for?" ranges between surprise and disgust, usually more in direction of the latter. This is typically followed by the common comments and misperceptions that I too once shared.
My questions for members are these:
What are your own local regulations regarding the Common Carp in particular? As we probably know that species was purposely introduced as a food source to serve an ever growing population, circa 1877 I believe.
What share of encouragement do your local agencies publicize regarding fishing for carp? And of pertinence, what amount if any do your local agencies publish advertising for private interests related to Bass fishing?
What other incongruous observations have you made related to local wildlife agency regulations, spending, programs, promotions, and public awareness campaigns?
What are local opinions regarding the Common Carp?
Finally, what are your own findings, insights, and opinions regarding these issues.
Please pardon any errors, oversights, or transgressions made herein. I shall humbly make corrections and edit this post where necessary.
Disclaimer- I know this may appear to be the rantings of another conspiracy theorist. Still one cant deny the correlations are of interest or at least moderately perplexing. Besides its been said that paranoia is not always an irrational fear. Just saying... 😉