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Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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I don't know how carefully you read the Pa. A&B, but in the Jan-Feb, '03 issue on p. 27 is a bar graph that depicts the results of creel censuses done on stocked trout waters since the trout creel limit reduction from 8 to 5 went into effect. You'll see that although there was projected a slight, but insignificant, reduction in total harvest when the creel limit dropped from 8 to 5, it turned out that there was no reduction in total harvest. What had projected to be a slight change turned out to be no change, which is as insignificant as you can get. Under both creel limits the harvest was 138 trout per 100 anglers. Perhaps there was a redistribution of the catch, but I doubt that it was significant. The better anglers probably continued to catch and harvest most of the fish. The 3 fish creel limit was also evaluated using waters where that limit is in effect and the harvest under a 3 fish creel limit fell to 114 trout per 100 anglers, a reduction of 17 percent. So now we have the answer to the creel limit reduction issue; just as was stated beforehand by the PFBC biologists there was no biological basis for the 8 to 5 reduction.


Posted on: 2013/9/5 12:07


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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How big was the sample size and what day(s) of the year was this study done?

Posted on: 2013/9/5 12:52
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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I agree that 3 would be better.

But 2 would be better still. At the Trout Summit, back in the 1990s, Dick Snyder said you'd have to drop the limit to 2 per day to have a substantial effect. That is probably correct.

In MD the limit on wild trout (unstocked) waters is 2 per day.

So, is that where the PFBC is going with this study? A limit of 2 or 3 per day?

If not, then where is it headed? What was the intent?

Posted on: 2013/9/5 13:39


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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I wouldn't have a problem with lowering creel limits on unstocked streams to 3, but it likely would have little to no effect on harvest of wild trout on those streams because most people who fish those streams predominantly C&R. Surveys have already shown this. I don't really see much of a point in doing so, but wouldn't have a problem with it. But I would not support a statewide year round moratorium of trout harvesting on all unstocked streams. There is nothing wrong with anyone harvesting an occasional meal rather than buy mush trout from the grocery store.

I see no point in lowering the creel limit on stocked streams to a level lower than what what have now. All it would do is drive down license sales even more.

The rub is that the F&B refuses to have different creel limits on the two types of trout streams (approved and not approved) even though they already do have different creel limits for the rest of the year.

Posted on: 2013/9/5 14:15
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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Quote:

Mike wrote:
...You'll see that although there was projected a slight, but insignificant, reduction in total harvest when the creel limit dropped from 8 to 5, it turned out that there was no reduction in total harvest. What had projected to be a slight change turned out to be no change, which is as insignificant as you can get. Under both creel limits the harvest was 138 trout per 100 anglers. Perhaps there was a redistribution of the catch, but I doubt that it was significant. The better anglers probably continued to catch and harvest most of the fish...


I'm guessing that the numbers of fish harvested didn't change much because most license holders typically don't catch more than 5, let alone 8, trout in a day. The change only affected the small portion who regularly catch more.


Posted on: 2013/9/5 17:28


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect
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8/day is too many, no matter how you fry them.

Posted on: 2013/9/5 17:39
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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Mike
appreciate all the work you and your team do and the contributions to rational fact-based discussions on this board

Not sure if this is already your interpretation, or an extension of it, but i would think a reduction from 8 to 5 is not affecting the total harvest much (in the noise) because not that many anglers keep more than 5... but I suspect there would be a rather significant impact once you start limiting what certain anglers would otherwise creel... I imagine the survey data shows that a limit of 2 or 3 would reduce the harvest measurably.

is that born out by the data?


Posted on: 2013/9/5 19:32


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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Any reason for the statement of a 10 year old article? Cant help but wonder if we're looking at dropping the limit, or putting it back to 8.

Posted on: 2013/9/6 5:38
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect
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Well Dan touched on it. I think what Mike is saying is that it don't matter what the creel limit is the same number of fish get harvested. Something to ponder...
- the study if done in 2002 co-incided with a 20% reduction trout stocking across the stare. So thats less available trout to harvest yet still the numbers remained the same.

I am pretty sure Mike is just making an observation...not telegraphing policy changes. Of course his supposition is that we are all FOS and reducing the creel limit was not necessary. But stats can be whatever you want them to be as in..the total trout stocked was reduced and there was no decease in harvest...meaning the trouts were utilized more effectively. Furthermore. Closing hatcheries and eliminating second stockings and removing streams from the stocking list has very little to do with havest rates.

Meaning: if we remove all the class b streams from the stocking lists there will be no significant changes to the number of fish hanging from a stringer of those wishing to harvest.

In other words it don't matter how many fish are put in or where they put them the proficiency of gut hookers has peaked. Thats how I read it.

Posted on: 2013/9/6 18:46
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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I think Mo is spot on with his assesment.

Posted on: 2013/9/6 20:18


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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mike wrote: "just as was stated beforehand by the PFBC biologists there was no biological basis for the 8 to 5 reduction."

I appreciate it when mike gives a biologists' perspective on things like harvest limits and whether there are few big PA freestone brookies due to cropping (whole WBTEP story). I like user generated content as much as the next guy, but we get plenty of fisherman perspectives here. imho, we as fishermen simply don't have the info to understand regulation effects in comparison to experienced biologists - how could we?. So when mike's biologist view doesn't line up with anglers' view, I listen to the biologist :)

MY all-time favorite paff post was from mike -- on the reason for creating WBTEP (few years back): "It wasn't biologists who "perceived" that there was a harvest problem; it was a subset of anglers."

Nothing wrong with seeking to restore brook trout, mountain lion, and hemlock biomass back to their levels before euro settlement, tho :)






Posted on: 2013/9/7 6:57


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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So why has this come up? Does PFBC anticipate reducing the limt yet again? I don't see any reason to reduce limits on stocked streams any further then they have been on stocked water.

Certainly a person or biologist could argue that reducing the limits on wild streams would increase the number of wild fish, and as reported at the "Summit" it did, Mike also presented that information.

The highest impact was on the brook populations. And removing brookie streams from the stocking list really improved the biomass of those streams.

Posted on: 2013/9/7 7:24
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect
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Quote:

Chaz wrote:
So why has this come up? Does PFBC anticipate reducing the limt yet again? I don't see any reason to reduce limits on stocked streams any further then they have been on stocked water.

Certainly a person or biologist could argue that reducing the limits on wild streams would increase the number of wild fish, and as reported at the "Summit" it did, Mike also presented that information.

The highest impact was on the brook populations. And removing brookie streams from the stocking list really improved the biomass of those streams.


Chaz, IIRC the results were that when harvest was halted on like 13 streams, pops wen up on 6 down on 5 and stayed the same on two so it was valued at no statistical significance. You know throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Again, I think the point of Mikes post it to stick it to the anglers who believe harvest makes a difference. Its his MO.

Posted on: 2013/9/7 8:11
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Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect

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Quote:

Maurice wrote:
Quote:

Chaz wrote:
So why has this come up? Does PFBC anticipate reducing the limt yet again? I don't see any reason to reduce limits on stocked streams any further then they have been on stocked water.

Certainly a person or biologist could argue that reducing the limits on wild streams would increase the number of wild fish, and as reported at the "Summit" it did, Mike also presented that information.

The highest impact was on the brook populations. And removing brookie streams from the stocking list really improved the biomass of those streams.


Chaz, IIRC the results were that when harvest was halted on like 13 streams, pops wen up on 6 down on 5 and stayed the same on two so it was valued at no statistical significance. You know throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Again, I think the point of Mikes post it to stick it to the anglers who believe harvest makes a difference. Its his MO.


I've re-thought what I said earlier, it wasn't the lower limit thing, it was reductions in stockings that increased wild trout pops.

As for stocked streams, I really don't care what the limit is, they could make it limitless for all I care, get the stockies out of the streams, they are by definition marginal trout water, but if they did that then I'd want them to not sotck any wild trout water, no matter what the "Class" is.

Posted on: 2013/9/7 10:08


Re: Creel limit changes: typically not the effect that you might expect
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Let's just ask what is reasonable. The answer is 5 or less. If you want to take 8 trout as an individual angler, then you should take a couple weeks off. Stop the greed. The rest of us have to worry about harvest effects so others paying the same for their license can take 60 trout per season. That's BS. 5 is enough. I have spoken.

What ever happened to "limit your harvest, don't harvest your limit?" It is a social ethic, not a biological management technique. Does that make it bad?

Posted on: 2013/9/7 10:20
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