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Bill is right on the money BUT in my opinion the overwhelming reason for a drop-off in fishing participants is the size and quota regulations.
I also think that is the plan of these regulatory bodies all along
Reduce fishing pressure by making regulations such that you can hardly take a fish home
Gas prices would not be an issue if fisherman could take fish home. Bad weather ,every year there is some bad weather.
Regulations keep getting tighter and participants drop out of the game.
Who suffers the most,the tackle shop,bait dealer,charter captain ,motel owner,eating establishments BUT I would bet less than 5% ever contact their politicians on the subject.They just complain
It is not just the recreational fisherman getting screwed by these appointed Governmental organizations who act without regard to accurate scientific data but for most part the only ones complaining are the fisherman ,or am I missing something ?
Public hearings are a joke,they do what they want regardless of what they hear in public hearings
17 or 18" fluke is a joke. There are a helleva lot more fluke around today than there were when regulations first went in with 13" size limit but instead of dropping back in size they will try to increase. The entire process needs to be scrapped and re-organized with a body that can get and use real data factually
 
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