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RE: Collecting with License

Hello Herb.  

I sure agree with your sentiment about inspiring kids and making it
easier for amateurs or novices to enjoy their natural resources and not
be encumbered by overly-restrictive regulations.   Easing fish
collecting regulations where appropriate is something I believe most of
are in favor of.

I respectfully disagree with your assessment that trained professionals
or educated folks are dime-a-dozen pawns to be used to support whatever
interest pays them enough, or that they are unethical paid "experts", or
control freaks, and the other things you said.  Most biologists are
passionate and ethical about what they do.  Most are so deeply
concerned, after all, that they made the decision to pursue a career in
the field, sometimes spending years learning about the biological,
physical and social aspects of  their chosen field.   Some are great
folks, others are arrogant or incompetent yahoos who have no business
where they are.   

But, we should call the bad ones bad, and not judge the ones we don't
know, and not label anyone as bad because they disagree with us.
There's always more to an issue than we think at first glance.  Complex
problems rarely have simple answers.   Fisheries agencies have delighted
the public for decades by stocking introduced gamefish.  Moral
biologists lose sleep over this stuff.  I feel for the trained
professional who realizes that this can be an ecological nightmare, and
then to be told by some potitician or administrator that there must be
pike in that lake or walleyes in that river-- do it or lose your job--
Ugh!.  It goes against what they believe, but they have to be responsive
to the public.  And it was politicians who were responsible for the
Tellico Dam, even though the dam was not necessary and was absolutely
going to destroy snail darters and their habitat.

And the comment about making things easier for the "common people"-- I
don't understand, but it sounds like you're implying there's some sort
of disparity between those with power and those without, and that those
in power are incompetent and interested only in their own agenda.
Personally I believe that this attitude is the wrong approach to take in
making positive changes in the way our natural resources are managed.
It's not an us against them thing.  It's just us-- all of us.

Friendly regards,


> Hi Jay,
> 	All gets down to this for me, the politicians eventually seek
> reelection, and are therefore somewhat responsive to the will of the
> people. That keeps them as honest as we are likely to see anyone given
> the power to say what we can or can't do concerning aquatic 
> life and the
> environment. I don't mean by that that I am somehow against the
> biologists, on the contrary, they have a great deal of input to
> contribute to the understanding of needed and reasonable approaches to
> the problems of the wildlife, but contributing is one thing, 
> controlling is quite another.
> 	That doesn't mean I expect or desire the politicians do 
> something just
> because its the popular thing at the time, cause that could mean
> anything. I mean provide wider paths to educate the common people to
> appreciate the aquatic life. Involvement of the common person is the
> only long term solution, human nature being what it is. If folks don't
> care about the problems, it becomes "somebody else's" problem, and not
> their concern. Guess where that leads? Apathy, indifference 
> to laws that
> would protect the aquatic environment, not nearly enough funding for
> worthy and NEEDED projects cause folks that hold the purse 
> strings just
> have no motivation to give money to a non popular, exclusive, or
> otherwise viewed as elitist type program, don't care how many 
> biologist send them email, they never even see it. Bet on it. The 
> biologist block
> vote is not a well known factor in modern politics. And experts are a
> dime fer two dozen, generally viewed as the guy trotted out to support
> whatever the opposition is proclaiming, whomever the opposition is!
> Everyone has a few in the back pocket, just in case they are 
> called for at a hearing somewhere. :)
> Want to really affect lasting changes for the positive?  Get those
> to the river or creek when ya can, fer sure, and look for ways to help
> open doors of opportunity for common people to appreciate 
> aquatic life.
> Less restrictive laws with greater involvement through collector's
> license and getting cheap, easy to care for native fish to 
> the homes of
> average folks without a lot of red tape is one sure ticket to include
> rather than exclude the voting public. This may in time even 
> help to pay
> the salaries of devoted biologists to come on many worthy 
> projects that
> are out of the question now, cause the money is not there, cause the
> people don't care to spend money to fix the problems, or find 
> solutions to potential problems before they spiral out of control.
> Herb