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The Essential Balance

August 27th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Adirondack Life

Life in the Adirondacks and North Country is finding the right balance.
Conservation vs. Economic DevelopmentA good example of this are the many Lake Champlain fishing tournaments.

This incredible piece of information was mentioned this morning in an article about the FLW Series Eastern Division tournament on Lake Champlain:

Overall, there were 687 bass weighing 1,839 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 146 pros Thursday. The catch included 127 five-bass limits.

I’m not a fisherman, nor do I know how many bass are in Lake Champlain, but this seems like kind of a big impact for a few days of fishing. Were any other fish-species caught in the process?

Of course, we weren’t surprised by the Economic Impact of Fishing Study earlier this year:

The recently released economic-impact study of the 2009 pro tournament season on Lake Champlain reported:

  • $4,722,459 generated annually for the region.
  • $8,419,831 generated with the inclusion of ancillary visits.
  • 4,355 room nights.
  • 42.5 regional jobs created.
  • 2,852-percent return on investment on host fees.

Does the study mention negative externalities? Probably not. Why raise uncomfortable issues.

“I counted 91 bass washed up on shore between Rocky Point Beach and the State Park beach…They were all fresh kills, and they were all trophy-sized bass.”

Mel Frechette said it best, “Bass tourneys denuding lake of fish“:

We cannot simply pull out 8,000 bass in two weekends, as quoted in your recent article, without severely devastating the population. We are literally killing the golden goose with so many of these tournaments. Can’t anyone else see this?

Whatever. That “dead fish” thing is so last year. Let’s Go Fishing!

When we announce Lake Champlain on the schedule, it always brings a smile to people’s faces.

Oh no, not again:

Anyone else seeing dead bass floating around ? I have a bunch of them washing up around my place…all in the 3 lb range from the looks of them, nothing smaller than that. And bass only, nothing else. Wondering if it was lakewide or just a local thing.

Perhaps someone could classify Bass as an invasive species, then it would be a win-win situation for everyone.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Commenter

    With the mandates for equipment and handling of the fish, this is probably one of the most controlled fishing tournaments of the season. Still there is mortality.

    What about the cumulative impact of the 30+ other tournaments approved at New York state boat launches on Lake Champlain each year? This does not include Vermont’s nor those operated from private locations.

    What about the equipment and handling methods used by these other organizations? These are often small, volunteer based organizations with minimal expertise, equipment or fish handling knowledge.

    What about the lack of state oversight? These organizations operate with minimal, if any state supervision. A manpower problem that is exacerbated by the attitude of some in the upper bureaucracy that this is not a significant impact. There is no effort to collect or track any data from these tournaments that may help quantify and better understand the cumulative impact.

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