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Discussion Starter #1
I got an invitaiton in the mail today from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to a public scoping meeting scheduled Feb 25 at 4 pm. Participants are invited to offer sggestions and feedback on the future management of the Refuge Fishery and Recreation Fee Fishing Program. I expect Mustang and FishingGuitars will offer some insight. Anyone else expecting to go? i implore anyone who plans on going to be constructive and tacful with suggestions/points/criticisms, please don't bring tangents like some people we've known to post on this site but of whom we do not speak... Thanks
 

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"please don't bring tangents"??? i would assume that that is what this meeting is for to bring up and find a solution to some of the problems there, so we have an input on trying to preserve this fishery.  i would bet that most "problem" fisherman would not even show. i guess i must be one of the ones "of whom we don't speak"
 

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I'll be there. I talked briefly with Judson (the new aquatic bioligist for the RMA) and he expressed a "biology first" mentality for this place going forward. The late June opening is due to some remedy projects going on.

Lowering the maximum number of anglers back down to the 40 range would really help the pressure on these fish. Enforcing that limit is also key (in 2005 the angler limit was lifted many times).

I will also mention more fish handling information be presented during the orientation in some form. Too many fish were roughed up needlessly in 2005 by careless handling. "Be prepared for pike!" if you are going to fish Ladora.

Maybe the RMA can regain some of its former glory. In my opinion, the place is pretty much "on the ropes" compared to previous years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, so at least Matt gets my point. I just don't want the meeting to turn into a shouting match with no decent input save for a few loud souls.
 
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I'll be there!!! I couldn't agree more you Matt. I've been fishing the Arsenal for a long long time. I used to beg my dad every year to put his name in the lottery so we could fish there another year. Man that kind of makes me feel old I was fishing the arsenal 10 years ago.

I think before you can cast at ladora you should have to show one of the refugee officials both pliers and jaw spreaders. After handling a number of pike you rarely need jaw spreaders, but you never know. The fisherman who don't carry pliers at the arsenal simply amaze me.

The pictures on the wall of fisherman holding both bass and pike on the road by Ladora is pretty much glorifying poor fish handling procedures. Instead of it being a trophy case or bragging board those pictures should be displayed as fish obituary's.

Limiting the number of anglers is a must for the arsenal to be great once again. To many fisherman and not enough volunteers or staff makes it impossible to enforce the rules. Not to mention the headache of fishing two feet away from people. Last year I would be driving toward the visitor center see 20000 people on the wooden walkway at lake Mary and just leave.

Last year I seen a number of people walking thru cattails in lake Mary, and a few wading. This is a slap in the face to the people who care about and love the arsenal. Sure I would love to fish some of those back coves that you can't reach unless you trample thru the cattails, but rules are rules. If you've ever fished lake Mary you know the spots I'm talking about.

The overall health of the bass in mary has declined big time over the past few years. How many bass have you caught in Mary that have trophy heads and slender sickly looking bodies. It wasn't that big of a deal to land a healthy 5lber a few years back. Now its a somewhat rare...Although I did land a few that were well over 20 inches, but skinny. I'm not up on what was happening at the end of last year at the arsenal I switched over to cold water species. If minnows or a large number of crawdads need to be stocked to help these fish bulk up again it needs to happen.

The orientation has become a joke!!! Your giving people the priviledge to fish somewhere truly unique in Colorado with great pike fishing and a legit shot at a state record bass, and you talk for 10 minutes and away they go. I think the class should go into great detail about proper fish handling practice and even have some kind of demonstration. Letting fisherman know that leaving a fish out of water to get your buddy's attention is unacceptable and they will lose there priviledge to fish at the arsenal. I caught a few fish last year I would have died to get a picture of in Ladora, but I know they'll be back in there next time too...assuming on of the "boneheads" doesn't hook into them and parade them around Ladora for a pat on the back, and a picture of a soon to be dead fish.

We have a lot to try and acomplish at this meeting I hope everyone makes it.
 

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perfectly said matt and eric i couldn't agree more. maybe i'll get to meet you two at the meeting. i feel strongly about the same topics, but i get labeled as a loudmouth for pressing my points. imagine that!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not a loudmouth mind you, I've never met you nor do I especially remember any of your posts. I was talking about IceintheVeins (great now I've mentioned him) who was passionate about his beliefs but may have had some trouble getting people to see things his way because of his extreme rhetoric. But you seem to have taken offense to it. You have my sincerest apologies that I hurt your feelings. The point I'm trying to make is that if the meeting turns into a shouting match between the attendees and the Arsenal organizers, then noone's really going to get anything out of it. The Arsenal doesn't have to take in the public's opinion through an open forum but they are making the effort and I think we owe it to the Arsenal employees and the fishery to be constructive and realistic.
 
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I think the staff that works at the arsenal is great, but when you allow so many fisherman its hard to enforce the current rules. We work on the trucks the us fish and wildlife has out there and all those guys are really nice too. I get what your saying Volfan but I really don't think it will be a problem. I think most of us who will attend the meeting know how far respect goes. I'm very passionate about the arsenal, but also a very respectful man. I'm not going to stand up and rip the staff for making the meetings to short...but will suggest the things we've talked about in this thread to make the meeting more informative and less like an advertisement for great fishing. A few of us should get together before the meeting and discuss a plan of attack and maybe appoint a key speaker. So 20 guys aren't saying the same thing over and over again. I have a web site of too that many members are going to attend the meeting so we can get things done. I think with these things presented to the staff out there in a business like manner we can accomplish a great deal.
 

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i've also never had a problem with any of the staff i just think that they need more of them, i too think that it's a neat deal that they are letting the people that actually use the arsenal have a say or at least voice their opinion about changes that need to be made to preserve the area for future use.
 

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Volfan, Jamie, Matt, and Eric --- Although this was my 1st season fishing there, the RMA has become my favorite place to fish.
I actually took the day off (the 25th) to go to the meeting, but may now have other plans. I think the best thing to do is to come up w/ 5or so points (things you would like to see done there)(tangents ;)) before the meeting. You are all very passionate, and seem to want the same thing. If the 3 of you go into the meeting w/ the same agenda, things may get done. I agree w/ all the things Eric lists.

The one thing I may see differently is the # of people let in. I was told last year the limit was 60. In the 6 times I fished it, it was always below that. I'd like to see it stay that way. I understand the less angling pressure, the better the fishery will be. However, we drive from Estes, and just about every time I went we took someone new (who had to take the class), and I would hate to get there and have friends who rode w/ us not get to fish. I guess a solution to this would be to let them sign in when we get there and be included in the max # ? I have no problem getting up earlier.

If you/we come up w/  our 5 (or so) most important points. I could get the  people I fished the arsenal w/ last season to sign a copy. I could then scan it and e-mail it to one of you going to the meeting.

This meeting is right around the corner, and if we're going to do something, it has to be now. It would look alot better if you go in as a united front. If we get points together now, maybe other people can sign it through this site and Eric's. 
 

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Look at it this way. Which is better?

a) Matt says "I think this sould be done" and a few people say "oh yeah, I agree. Then the meeting moves on...

or

b) Matt says "WE think this should be done, and I have 20+ signatures from two different fishing forums that agree" "Here's our list"
 

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The RMA website also has an e-mail option for those who want to express concerns and comments before or without attending the meeting.

The meeting itself will probably start with some presentations and provide information about creel surveys. They may also talk about some recent projects as well as changes at the RMA they propose. This in itself is worth the drive for me.

At the end will most likely be the Q&A where anglers can express their views.

I also agree that anglers should be calm and respectful. The officers, staff and volunteers have worked really hard to make this opportunity possible. I have no doubt that we could lose this opportunity if things got out of control.
 

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I would say 20 people speaking their own minds is much more powerful than one guy saying he has 20 signatures. The power is in numbers of individuals. Legislators know that getting people to sign a petition is fairly easy, but getting people to stand up for themselves requires a certain level of comittment. Sophisticated special interest oraganizations (TU, Sierra Club, etc) have long recognized that merely listing names under a letterhead has far less impact than being hammered by a bunch of concerned individuals - either in person or by mail/email. John
 

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You are right John, 20 people expressing the same opinion in person is more powerful than 20 signatures. It would be nice to be able to get as many signees present as possible. Have one or 2 spokespersons, present your signatures and have the signees present stand to demonstrate that you are not only willing to sign but take the time to be there.

Dan
 

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Dan, John --- I completly agree. However, what are the odds of 20 of us showing up? Even if we do, how like minded are we going to be?
   
I have always agreed w/ and admired Jamie's strong convictions about the arsenal, same w/ Matt. I think the points Eric brings up are the same ones I'd like to see put into effect.

All I'm saying is, so far 4 people plan on attending. They should decide what they think is most important, and put it in writting. Signatures from people unable to attend may or may not help, but certainly won't hurt.  After the meeting though, they would have a document to look at w/ our suggestions.

The meeting won't last all day. Even if 10 of us show up w/ close to the same agenda it won't matter if we don't get time to all speak our minds. We could show up and have a couple of guys suggest stocking Ladora w/ Trout (just an example  ::)), and spend ten minutes hearing why they thought it was a good idea, and the next twenty minutes being pointed out why it's not. Suprise, meeting ajourned.   ???  There are tons of things that could be brought up (and argued)  ... alowing float tubes, opening the other side of Ladora, opening at 5:30 am, having a lottery, etc... If there is something in writing, backed up by even 2 or 3 attendees, and signed by a few more of us. At least when the meetings over, they will still consider our suggestions.

Sorry for this being so long. I love fishing the arsenal. Realisticaly, w/ BPS so close I don't see the place doing anything other than going downhill (like those of you have fished it say it already is). The publicity of the place is also growing. I have had lots of people ask me about it, that have never fished it before. If changes aren't made it will contiue the downward spiral.

One more thing. My buddy Jevan and I took the day off work to attend their meeting. I (and my daughter) were invited to a birthday party from 10 - noon. Jevan got asked to work, and agreed, and the birthday party got changed to 2-4. My daughter is almost 9 months, and it will be her 1st Bday party (and 1st time at Chucky Cheeses), so I can't be there.  

James    
 

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pikester01 said:
I'd recommend allowing float tubing at RMA
i wouldn't recommend it, there are already people that can't follow the no wading or getting in to the water at lake mary, so how can you expect that they would follow any directions concerning float tubes at either lake, i recommend leaving the fishing rules close to what they are, and just changing the structure of how many people are allowed in there, as well as the training classes. they also seemed really short of volunteers last year. any one stepping up to volunteer their time??? most want to fish it but don't want to work it..
 

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i guess nothing good lasts forever, i don't even really know if i want to fish there next year with all the yahoo's. all it does is get me fired up and running my mouth looking like the bad guy. my girlfriend sure likes it there though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know myself and I'm pretty sure Mattsabasser and Mustang volunteer at teh Arsenal, if any of you guys are interested, all they require is 8 hours a year as I remember, and it's a grea cause. You do have to sign up while you're there and go through an interview, but it's not hard. I can't say that I'm upset with the rules as they are now, but a more strict enforcement of them sounds like the highest priority idea. Especially with the treatment of Mary and the handling of fish. I'm also all for a lottery or limiting the number of anglers, but would you guys be willing to pay more for a daily pass to keep the numbers down? I can see that argument coming...
Jamies's not a bad guy, we just gotta channel all that anger.
 

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I've never fished the Arsenal. But I'd like to someday. On my behalf, I'd like to thank those who are actively participating in the process to keep the Arsenal a decent place to fish so if and when I do cast a line there it will be an enjoyable experience. Thanks again to all of you! John
 
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