My Outdoors page story in Friday’s Roanoke Times covered some of the issues the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is looking at as it mulls potential fishing regulations changes.
The official proposals will be made later this spring, and voted on in August. They will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Ideas include changing the slot limit at Briery Creek reservoir to encourage anglers to remove a few smaller bass from the lake in the hopes it will increase the growth rate of larger bass. A similar idea is being floated for the striped bass fishery at Kerr Reservoir. Another potential new rule is the establishment of a 10-fish limit on yellow perch at Lake Moomaw, where the once amazing perch fishing has fallen on hard times.
One issue brought up, but with no potential regulations changes being proposed, is the decline of the smallmouth fishery in the section of the New River from Claytor Dam through Radford. Biologists agree that the river there is lacking in those 14- to 20-inch smallmouth that are so important for the fishery. But they don’t know why. Potential causes under consideration included catch-and-release mortality, poor spawning classes, and possible predation from otters or muskies.
I got a good email on the topic this morning from an angler who has strong thoughts. I am hoping he posts it here as a comment, or gives me the OK.
In the meantime, what do you all think about the ideas? Any other changes you’d like to see?