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Pioneer Press: Write to save fishing!


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Pioneer Press: Write to save fishing!


Fewer young Minnesotans are fishing these days, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and as a result, the state is losing a generation of conservation-minded anglers.

Does that concern you? What should Minnesota do to continue the state's fishing traditions — and the revenues fishing licenses generate for fish management and habitat — for the next 50 years?

Send us your ideas on why fewer young people are fishing and how the trend could be reversed.

Send comments via e-mail to Outdoors Editor Chris Niskanen at [email protected]

Or write him at the Pioneer Press at 345 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55101. A selection of letters will be published on the Outdoors page Feb. 4.

[email protected]

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That's a pretty big assumption by the DNR

no assumption there, it's a fact jack. Berkley has done studies, as well as the University of MN and other government agencies that have shown the trend of decreasing numbers per capita of anglers. Yes, the static number of anglers is near the same as in years past, however, the general population has obviously increased since then. This should be a concern for all anglers, because unless a dedicated funding measure is in place, the majority of revenues for fisheries management comes from license sales, the federal excise tax paid on fishing equipment (F.E.T) and a token amount from the lottery and tax-in-lieu of payment revenues. If numbers of licensed anglers drop, so will the funding and level of service the DNR is currently providing. We stand to lose an important piece of our culture and way of life. There's no room for apathy here. Take a kid fishing. Our sport depends on it!

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Take a kid fishing. Our sport depends on it!

I totally agree to take a kid fishing! BUT, The problem now is not kids, we need to get the adults/older kids (16+ yrs. old) back into fishing,

I have been after my friends to get into fishing, I have brought them onto many trips, hoping at the very least to give them an experience of how fun it can be...and I tell them it is a lot more fun when you actually catch something. I have always told them that if you are out to just catch fish you are missing the point. Get out on the water and relax. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in your boat with your bobber floating. enjoying the breeze, catching fish is a bonus. Go out with this mentality and you will definetly be hooked. Most of them did it as youngsters, but, gave up on it for some reason. Talk to someone you know, that does not fish, see if you can get them interested.

I finally talked my mom into buying another fishing license. The last time she did was 30 years ago. She stopped going when she felt her life was in danger, from us boys...WHAT?? Like you guys were not a little crazy at casting at 5 yrs old. shocked.gif Dad just stood upstream and kept a close eye.

She never thought about getting out and fishing, until we brought it up this year. Just had to put the idea back into her head....Yeah, I know... what took so long for her to change her mind??? I do not know. Just wait until we get her back onto the boat, and, she realizes my casting capabilities are no better... grin.gifblush.gifgrin.gif

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sure, it starts in the home with the parents or grand parents. but what has the state or the fishing world done to promote the young to get into fishing? watch any fishing show and its comercials and you quickly learn that its a big boy's sport...in order to have fun fishing you need lotsa money, because if you dont have a tourney style boat, and all the hi tech gizmos, your not going to find those fish.

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when kids become teenagers most don't want to relax.They are out chasing girls and discovering new things.I think a lot get back into it later as long as they were exposed when they were younger.That's how it worked with me and a lot of my friends anyway!

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Lots of great responses so far. I've been thinking about this one since I saw it posted yesterday. (In both forums by the way)

There is no, one easy answer to this one. Fishing of late has certainly become a big boys sport. It can be intimidating for the occasional angler to approach a guy with a $40,000 set up and talk fishing. It seems that the guy that wants to take his kids out for a day of fishing now and then could easily be overwhelmed going into a GM or Cabela's and attempt to get set up. The days of going to the local holiday station and buying a Zebco 202 and a little tackle are gone. What I take with me for a half day of fishing, tackle, rods, and reels, cost more than my dad spent on his first two boats and motors. That's just a cold hard fact. Most of us that are serious fisherman now started out fishing with a family member when things were much simpler and it's been a matter of keeping up. Those that are new to the sport start out at a great disadvantage and that takes a lot of the fun out of it.

Another problem with todays anglers is the sense of competition between fisherman. Everything is a tournament. Who caught the biggest one, who caught the most, who caught the first one, etc. And there's the catch and release vs keeping a few eaters controversy. To this day I have a hard time explaining to my wife why I spend a small fortune on equipment and very rarely bring home a meal.

Then there's the bully's on the lake who believe that it's their right to blast past people leaving big wakes or dropping anchor right next to someone who is actually catching fish. Overcrowding at ramps and on "hot spots" can certainly take the fun out of a day of fishing for a young father and son who are trying to learn to fish and spend some time together.

On to the kids themselves. Very few kids can go fishing on their own. Obviously they need a mentor of some sort to take them and teach them. But with the schedules of most urban and suburban kids fishing is secondary to soccer, baseball, computer camp and so on. I'm making a fisherman out of my grandson and my son-in-law.But that's enough for me.

Let's move on to regulations. It used to be that all you needed to know is when the season opened and how many you could keep. That has changed dramatically. By necessity but it's getting too much like the tax code and soon you will need to have your attorney look the book over before you head out.

Enough for now. My point is that there's more to the problem than simply "take a kid fishing" but it's the best thing that can be done fore now.

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The Duluth News Tribune (Sunday, Jan 21) had the whole story and it is a fact that the number of fishing licences sold in 2005 was down in almost every age catagory. The only increase was in the 45 to 55 group. The main reason cited was that the under 30 crowd is too busy with other activities.

I took my son and daughter fishing all over the place while they were growing up. Canada, BWCA, Kabby, LOW and all the lakes around the Duluth area including Lake Superior and even stream fishing. Now that the daughter is 28 and graduated from nursing school she says she doesn't have time to go fishing because she has to work overtime to get her $40K of student loans paid off and that is after I forked over about half the cost. My son is 24 and the father of twins. He too has to work all the OT he can to make ends meet. He goes to school three nights a week and also attended summer school last year. He also bought a fixer upper and spends what ever time he has left working on that.

These kids are about as ambitious as anyone could hope for, but they simply don't have time to fish given the other stuff they have to do. Last summer my son got out with me one evening. Both my kids were over on Christmas day and had the photo albums out looking at the pics of our trips. Both said they wish they could get back to camping and fishing, but they just don't have the time.

The Duluth article states that fishing is competing with year round kid sports, and other action sports like mountian biking, rock climbing and sea kyaking. I think that with the 40 hour work week going the way of the dodo and the cost of living, especially for the under 30 crowd, is making it difficult for the young adults to just be able to take time to go fishing.

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