Angler Clean Water Story: No Brainer

19052267_25244661_Banditby_Lynda_RichardsonClean water is a no brainer when it comes to anything in life, including the ability to sustain life. Fishing or not, clean water is essential for everyone and everything . . . striped bass, bald eagles, osprey, otters, mayflies, and crayfish, just to name a few.

For those making a living on the water, clean water will ensure these professionals will be able to continue developing and producing recreational and educational programs for the public, who may be interested in buying fresh local fish, hiring fishing and ecotour guides, and traveling on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Yeah, the need for clean water is a no brainer.

Capt. Mike Ostrander, Richmond, Virginia 

As an avid angler, what does the Bay and its rivers and streams mean to you? Share your fishing clean water story or read others here!


Angler Clean Water Story: A Sorry Situation

George M - HeadshotIt really bugs me that the fish I catch from the Chesapeake are "toxic fish." Chesapeake rockfish and white perch are some of the best tasting fish to be found anywhere. Yet I am afraid to eat them! The Bay is so polluted that these fish have been declared unhealthy to eat because of the toxic chemicals contained in their flesh, such as mercury and PCBs. What a sorry situation . . . This has to change!

—George Maurer, Annapolis, MD

As an avid angler, what does the Bay and its rivers and streams mean to you? Share your fishing clean water story or read others here!


Angler Clean Water Story: Becoming More Aware

Capt-Bruno-&-the-Dotty-Vee0003_3-90Having fished the Chesapeake Bay in the greater Solomons area, including the lower portions of the Patuxent River for the past 35 years, it has become evident to me that certain portions of these waters have become less productive due to poor water quality. For example, around the Cove Point area, we used to be able to catch our limits of various species of fish including Rockfish, Bluefish, and Sea Trout. But over the last several years, there has been a noticeable reduction in the catch of these fish. Closer to the shorelines of both the Bay and within the Patuxent River, we would drift fish for Croakers, Spot, and Summer Flounder.

But then, we began to see a lot of dead fish floating on the surface at different times of the year. We also started to notice discolored water in the shallow flats and the tell-tail signs of oxygen depletion. All of these factors resulted in poorer catches of sport fish. The same could be said of the Cedar Point Rips, where there was always a good population of smaller Rockfish and Bluefish. Yet, on occasions, these areas failed to produce depending on several environmental factors. 

Having worked on various committees trying to protect and manage our resources in the Chesapeake Bay, I understand how difficult it is to impress on the local population the importance of clean water and how it adversely effects our natural resources. I hope that as we become more aware of what can be done to improve the water quality, our natural resources for the future should improve. And by doing so, the next generation [of watermen] will prosper.

Capt. Bruno, Lusby, MD 

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Angler Clean Water Story: Fishing for Happy Fish

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Photo by Krista Schlyer/iLCP.

I like to fish for "happy" fish. In the fall when the water is clear there are some areas in the Bay where you can see the bottom in ten feet of water. You can see fish on structure and they are obviously feeling frisky and "happy." In this type of environment they take your lure or fly with enthusiasm, they are simply "happy." If you release them they quickly scoot back to their temporary homes no worse for the experience.

However in the warmer months of the summer. You can see fish on your sonar huddled in the top five to fifteen feet water in holes more than 30 feet deep. They are there because it's the only depth where the dissolved oxygen is sufficient for them to survive. All depths below that are essentially "dead zones" due to nitrogen pollution. Even when fish are in the upper tier of the water column, it is obvious that they are stressed out by how slow they move and respond to various fishing tactics.

Fishing in or around polluted water is not a good experience in terms of visual enjoyment or quality of results. Wether you take out a new angler or someone who fishes a lot, they enjoy the "happy" fish experience much more than the stressed fish experience.

Ed Liccione, Queenstown, MD

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Angler Clean Water Story: Clean Water Is Simply a Must

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Sunset Fishing on the Rappahannock River. Photo courtesy of CBF.

 

I began fishing as a young boy in the ponds and creeks around my home for mainly bluegill or more often whatever would bite. Those early years instilled a love of the sport that I still have today.

I now do most of my fishing in the Bay and for different species. I have found that the health of the Bay and more specifically clean water has a tremendous impact on my success. I prefer low light, early and late, shallow water fishing for rockfish and trout. Recently with water clarity being impaired this method has become more and more challenging. Clean water is simply a must for increased and consistent catches from day to day. I seek out the water that appears to be the cleanest and clearest to fish and often it works for me.

A cleaner Bay would provide all of us and those to come, better fishing opportunities and hopefully create sportsmen and women for years to come.

Bart, Crofton, MD

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Angler Clean Water Story: First and Foremost an Environmentalist

ShawnkimbrofishingIt's passed time for fishermen to take an active role in ensuring we have cleaner water in the Chesapeake Bay. We can no longer stand on the bank and watch passively as our fishing water quality worsens and our fishing declines.

As an avid light-tackle angler, I've seen first-hand the devastating effects water pollution has on our fish, crabs, and oysters. Many species are hurting and some are already gone.

I think every fisherman must be first and foremost an environmentalist. Everything that happens in the Chesapeake watershed affects what happens at the ends of our fishing lines.

Shawn Kimbro, Stevensville, MD

 

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Angler Clean Water Story: Good Fishing Is Priceless!

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Photo by Emmy Nicklin/CBF Staff.

As for fishing, clean water means that the water is clean enough to support large numbers of the fish I fish for. Therefore, to support the kinds of fish that I care most about from egg to legal size, the water must also be clean enough to support the web of life on which they depend. Clean water along with physical and chemical features of the habitat such as the type of bottom, depth of water, current patterns, amount of structure, temperature and dissolved oxygen all determine what kinds of game fish will be present at any favorite fishing spot and how abundant they will be.

Often, the quality of water and the character of habitat far removed from where I try my fishing luck makes all the difference at dinner time between fresh-caught fish or plan B. The big rock caught near Cape Charles may have been fertilized at Port Deposit. So, to have the best chance of maintaining in good health large numbers of the fish we enjoy catching and/or eating, then we the people must do everything we can, everywhere we can do it to minimize pollution of the water and the destruction of habitat.

Good fishing is priceless and is one of the things that makes life worth living!

Capt. Robin Tyler, Magnolia, Delaware

What does the Bay and its rivers and streams mean to you? Share your angler clean water story here!