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Max Online: 36273 @ 01/23/13 02:34 PM
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#12248040 - 05/16/17 11:23 AM Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights?
Uncle Zeek Online   content
"Good News, Everyone!"

Registered: 09/26/05
Posts: 18220
Loc: Lewisville
We all know the basic fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There's others that have been added to that list over time.

How many of you would consider fishing and hunting, on public lands and public waters for the public resources (wild deer, wild catfish, wild salmon, etc) as a 'fundamental right' that belongs with life, liberty, etc? Why or why not? Note that I'm not talking about these activities on private land - if you have some acreage with a private pond, there's no question that you have to right to catch whatever fish are in there.

What's got me thinking about the subject are things like recreational fishermen having to buy GAF quota of halibut, or some commercial/charter Gulf boats using their "Catch Shares" of red snapper to get around the limited season.

Halibut GAF:

Red Snapper Catch Shares:

I don't want this to turn into political bickering. We have an area for that. This is about the impact that treating public resources like red snapper or halibut as a private sector resource has on our rights as fishermen.

#12249499 - 05/17/17 09:04 AM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
Oldtrackster Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/12/09
Posts: 874
Loc: Blackwell, TX
Uncle Zeek. I wish it was a right, but it is not. We are not guaranteed access to the public resources, the government/politicians (collectively of course) control them. The public only has access as it is granted. Heck we arent even entitled to private property either. Your opening sentence used to end with "and the pursuit of property" by Locke The way we wished it was.

You mention private sector. Red Snapper is the perfect example of what has happened in fisheries many times. Red Snapper a public resource was gifted to individuals and companies based on catch history. Note they paid nothing for this exclusive right but yet can lease or sell it. This would be like giving oil companies exclusive rights to drill and produce for free. The public is slowly losing, but I think most of us realize this. History demonstrates its always the way of government, it grows until it implodes.
Can someone explain how the Feds count recreational Red Snapper catch?

"Pretty sure it involves a witch doctor, an astrologist, and a tub of KY jelly." - jamisjockey

#12249969 - 05/17/17 01:08 PM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
fishesintrees Offline

Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 26
Loc: Austin/Seadrift
As long as we have paid lobbyists, John Q. Public is going to be disregarded by ALL politicians. As soon as (unlikely as it may be) sportsmen band together, and out donate money to the political parties, then, and only then, will you see a difference. No matter the political party, no matter what form of government, money, and only money gets attention.

I remember saying to my dad once that the state oughta do something, his reply was "otter has a butt like a beaver".

#12251201 - 05/18/17 07:23 AM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
Lloyd5 Offline

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
Hunting and Fishing As Fundamental Rights? They were fundamental rights at one time, they no longer are:

1. When the population was such that the amount of hunting and fishing would not destroy the resources, then it was a fundamental right - and generally practiced for subsistence as opposed to recreation.

2. When the population reached a magnitude that it could wipe out the resources if the resources were not managed by limits, then it was no longer a fundamental right. At that point it became a privilege sold to a few.

Edited by Lloyd5 (05/18/17 07:23 AM)
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer

Warm Water Fly Fishing Nut

#12252425 - 05/18/17 07:52 PM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
lite-liner Offline
Capt. CUDA

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 6463
Loc: Fulton, Texas
not to take away anything from this fine website, but over on 2cool
there is a movement afoot among Rec's.
After 12 years of internet posting, it appears we finaly realized
that it takes $$$$$ to win this fight; there is now a gofundme page,
a 501c3 in the works, peaceful protest in port cities, etc.

Zack- to answer your question, YES!
access to public resource that I pay in tax dollars to maintain
is part of my inalienable right as a US citizen to life, liberty, &
the pursuit of happiness.
if the resource is in danger, shut it down, period.
dont alienate a sector, & reward another....... over a goddam fish?
look what theyre really doing... divide & conquer.......

#12256557 - 05/22/17 04:38 AM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
kickingback Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 887
Loc: Texas
Simple answer is yes. The long bad answer is that WE the people made the laws to restrict these actions to preserve for future Americans. If we had not then I doubt we would have the species still that we currently have left in the world.
WE can change it but I doubt you can get support on an issue that matters not to the majority of the people. You have to bring things to light and make it a "peoples" choice to change it.
USAF Retired and Fishing!

#12256582 - 05/22/17 06:04 AM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
karstopo Offline

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 200
Loc: Brazoria County
Seems like what's going on in this country is a constant erosion of constitutionally guaranteed rights until the point where the right no longer exists. For example, the framers of the US constitution clearly intended the population to have the right to own firearms, but then various state and local authorities have passed laws effectively taking the right away. Same thing with free speech. Now there are movements and zones where any "hate" speech is forbidden. Who gets to determine what's hateful?

So then we have fish and game on public land and in public waters. I think we all agree that anything tidal is public. Therefore, the game fish in said public water belongs to the public. And that's what we have in Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife at our behest manages the resource with studies and enforcement to ensure that the public has equal access to the resource and that future generations will have access, too. I think we all agree there must be limits on harvesting game fish even if we don't agree on exactly where the line should be. But the important species like redfish and speckled trout are limited to recreational harvest only. No commercial harvest because commercial harvest combined with recreational take of these species simply wasn't sustainable. Any Texas resident can buy a license and have a shot at taking their portion of the resource. The commercial guy is cut out of the mix because he is by definition a special interest and should not be entitled to take more than the share we all potentially get.

Then we get out into federal water beyond the state managed zone and the situation is completely different. Here we have federal authorities, again by statute working for all of the 330 million people of the USA, managing the resource like red snapper for sustainability, but in this case, it's for a select few special interest commercial operators. If the fish is in US federal water, then it belongs to all of us equally. If the resource is so strained as to not be able to support both commercial and recreational harvest, then the COMMERCIAL OPERATORS SHOULD BE THE ONES CUT OUT OF THE MIX. Yet, the exact opposite is what is happening. It's as clear as daylight. 3 days for recreational harvest, 49 days for guide assisted harvest (commercial/recreational mix) and a minuscule number of commercial players gets the rest. It's our resource, why do a tiny few get to hoard it all?

Restaurants don't have a right to public fish. Cut out the truly commercial guys for red snapper. Let individuals buy or borrow a boat, hitch a ride, or hire a guide boat to have a shot at their resource just like in the inshore model. The inshore model works well for dividing the public resource equally at least in opportunity. Restaurants can move into fish from international waters, fish that is sustainable for commercial and recreational harvest, or farmed raised fish. Texas made the right decision a long time ago to prohibit the commercial taking of wild speckled trout and redfish. Maybe Texas can't take on the Federal government on its own, but if enough people in each state ban together...meanwhile, I'm not eating any red snapper at restaurants or buying it in any market. It's stolen goods as far as I'm concerned.

#12256612 - 05/22/17 06:40 AM Re: Are fishing and hunting fundamental rights? [Re: Uncle Zeek]
KQT Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 806
Loc: Dallas and Port A
Karstopo you are so right. When they changed the season from 60 days I stopped offshore fishing and sold my boat. I was not going to run 20 plus miles out if I could not bottom fish too plus my sons loved catching big snapper. My economic impact: no more boat barn, fuel bought, six weeks rental, tournament entries that helped charities, bait, tackle, groceries, eating out, local taxes, fish cleaning fees, boat/car washes, 100 pounds of ice every trip, plus lots more.... all so a few can harvest what belongs to all of us! Makes me sick every time I see gulf snapper at the store. You want you catch it.
Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.


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