Largemouth Bass Virus

 

Largemouth Bass Virus link: http://espn.go.com:80/outdoors/bassmaster/s/b_conserv_lmbv3_results.html

All the materials for the LMBV Workshops I and II can be found on the Bassmasters internet site. The LMBV workshop III fact sheet and news release can also be found here. Go to www.bassmaster.com. Click on the article titled "Results of B.A.S.S.' Largemouth Bass Virus Workshop III Announced" under the Headlines section, on the screen. The summary report of the 2002 LMBV Workshop III will be posted on this site shortly. Note: The "Keeping Bass Alive" book will be available in about three weeks. Copies of the book will be sent to each Federation for distribution to each club.

As we continue our conservation efforts, we will most likely hear terms like: the green process, fishing pressure, expanding urban sprawl, and a declining economic base to work with. We also will hear more from the anti-hunting and fishing groups and anti-boat and motor groups. Combined with growing problems of exotic plants and aquatic species. So how do we focus on these issues given our resources and time, while leaving room for enjoyment of our sport? Fortunately the framework exists to solve many of today's problems. We will all need to form some new behaviors; such as making sure that we aren't transporting aquatic vegetation and little critters such as Zebra Mussels. It could be that we will need to start making boat inspections before launching and upon leaving a tournament, as much as a requirement as life jackets, kill switches and livewells. Fishing pressure will continue to keep issues like bag limits, slot limits and catch and release as hot topics. In order to be the conservationists that we aspire to be, we all need to learn more about monitoring and understanding how our style of fishing is effecting the bass population within Minnesota. Knowledge is power, so we will need to figure out ways to track and understand information on the bass population that the DNR gathers.

We will need to combine this with our bass fishing experiences. I'd suggest that we develop a uniform club tournament recording book that could be used by all Federation clubs with numbers of fish caught, weights, big fish, etc. The Alabama Federation tracks this type of information and posts it on their Web site. Knowledge is Power.

Thanks to groups such as the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance, we have a Constitutional Amendment That states: Sec. 12. PRESERVATION OF HUNTING AND FISHING. Hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good. [Adopted, November 3, 1998] So when PETA and other such groups make their annual media attack on us, we have legislation in place to counter their drivel. But political activism needs to be an on-going part of our conservation efforts. We need to continue to support groups like MOHA and to keep communication going with our elected officials.

One of my goals for 2002 is to "Keep in Touch" , and to this end, you should expect monthly letters to club officers coming from Jay and I. At the last fishing Roundtable a green group: Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation was passing out flyers calling for "Quiet, Safe, Clean Waters". Calling for time zoning, space zoning and technology zoning ? no boats, no motors, no noise. For them, this is conservation. Sportsperson's definitions of conservation differ, but to make our voices heard, we will need to be much more political in the future then most of us want to be. It will mean more email alerts, more contact with local politicians, letter writing and fax machine paper. But together we can make a difference.

Catch and release has been the mainstay of most bass fishing clubs. I believe we need to continue this ethic. However on our slot limit lakes some selective harvest is needed, especially below the lower slot level. It is my belief that tailored individual lake management regulations i.e.; slot limits, reduced bag limits and catch and release only lakes, will be prominent in our future. I'm excited about the possibility that we can improve tournament release fish, with a bass taxi pontoon. This is another goal for 2002. I look forward to us partnering with the DNR on Lakeshore Restoration projects, Club conservation activities such as lake clean up and adopting accesses are practical and realistic. I hope that if asked, I could be helpful in finding activities for your club to participate in.

What I want to learn more about in 2002 is - the possible long term negative effects of chemical sprays to eradicate nuisance vegetation such as milfoil and - Bass diseases, especially Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV) - Regional fishing /Bass Season openers and the effects of catching bedding bass. - With a 2 billion dollar deficit in 2002 legislative bills such as 3/16th ? a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to dedicate 3/16 of one percent of the state sales tax to be used for various natural resources purposes. This amount annually is approximately $115 million. Will most likely be on a back burner. However a watered-down version of Rep. Haas's Gross Over Limits bill could pass. Since this is a bonding year in the legislature needing to make severe cuts, I don't anticipate any new hunting and fishing programs to be introduced. In closing I'd like to borrow a few lines from Bruce Shupp, National Conservation Director. Sustaining America's sportfishing industry: Advocacy, our greatest need? By Bruce Shupp, National Conservation Director B.A.S.S. Times, March 2001 What's the most important action that must be taken to sustain a strong sportfishing industry through the next decade ? through the new century? It can be described simply by a single word ? ADVOCACY! Not water quality or fish habitat protection and/or improvement? Not more aggressive fishery management? Not new fish hatchery and fish genetics programs? Not better marketing or more exciting fishing tackle? Not more and better fishing access? No! Why is advocacy our most important activity? Because, without intelligent and committed advocacy none of the above will happen. Without dedicated advocates, championing the fishery resource and exhorting the emotional, spiritual, recreational and economic values of sportfishing, the opponents of sportfishing will win.

So, good luck out there on the water in 2002, Wave if you see me! "Those of us who have reached the half-century mark or more, and whose trail gently leads toward the setting sun, more and more value the yesterdays, especially the angling yesterdays. For doubtless we fishing men dream far more often of our sport than other men of theirs." William Dillig"

Vern Wagner, Conservation Director (w) 612-348-9053 (H) 763-425-6072