I just wanted to thank you for the real outdoor coverage you produce in this magazine. You obviously support and promote the hunter-based North American Model For Wildlife Conservation but you don’t let the right/left political distractions move you.
Kudos to you for standing up not only for hunters’ rights, but for clean water, healthy forests and abundant wildlife of all kinds.
I have a question in this regard. Is this a challenge for you in particular Chester or Texas Fish & Game as a whole? Do you get flack for this stand.
Editor: Thanks for your support. Conservation is at the epicenter of what we do here because we truly believe in abundant wildlife, clean water, healthy forests, plains and wetlands and incredible hunting and fishing opportunities.
To answer your question we have received huge support in the industry for our philosophy and zero flack from readers. In fact we get a lot of support from readers.
On a personal level I have seen a little resistance. On two occasions I had people ask if I were either A. Against Hunting or B. an animal rights person because I talked more about conservation than the actual hunting part of the equation.
It is hard for me to fathom that low level of thinking, but it exists in small numbers. Conservation and hunting are tied together, but we have let the political sector dominate instead of the human side. So anything that doesn’t seem right of Rush Limbaugh must be “animal rights” according to a few. In other words, if someone is happier that they hunted in restored elk habitat and expresses that, rather than the fact they shot the biggest bull of their life, they must be an animal rightist.
Clean water is a human issue, not a political one.
Ditto for healthy forests and abundant wildlife. We stand for all and the right to fish and hunt throughout our great country.
I could not have enjoyed your story called “Trout Tantrum” any more than I did. It was great and I appreciate how honest you were, even about what you perceived as your own mistakes.
What do you think the real problem is with trout and how the public perceives them as a resource?
Editor: This boogeyman’s name is indifference and most if not all of us who love consumptive outdoor practices have been a part of it.
In the early 2000s, I dedicated four columns in a two-year span to the speckled trout controversy of the day. I was fired up about the push to ban croaker as a live bait and an elitist attitude that seemed to drive sectors of that fishery. I was all for changing size and bag limits to manage, but against telling anglers how they can catch them.
I still feel the same way today, but can’t make that a big priority when there are enough PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins in Galveston Bay to cause the Texas Department of Health to issue warnings on consuming trout. Similar warnings exist for gafftops in Sabine Lake and various species in both salt and freshwater around the state.
Isn’t there time and room enough to cover potential cancer causing agents in our water and fish regulation changes?
On the same note, I think we are missing habitat as the issue. CCA is doing a great job of working to restore fisheries habitat and making it a priority, but it doesn’t resonate with the public as much as limits changes.
We need to get away from a limits-centered standard of fisheries management and realize if we don’t have good habitat we will have poor trout fisheries. Period.
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