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I attended my first DOW roundtable meeting and so I thought I'd share my impressions. I went to learn about the process of how regulations are changed and I spent most of the time listening, so what I write below is just what I heard and I am not saying I agree or disagree -- so please no flames! afishman and I were the only coloradofisherman.com people that showed up. I hope afishman will add his own impressions as well.

  • There was food (appetizers) there! I did not know this, or I would have not eaten beforehand and snarfed up a free dinner. :p
  • There were some very well known fisherman in the room, including Joe Butler who has held world records in fishing as well as several representatives from the Colorado Walleye Association, three other DOW representatives and others. It appeared that many of the attendees were regulars at these meetings since the DOW folks new them by name.
  • The changes proposed and discussed at this meeting have been ongoing for about a year. Robin Knox, a DOW Program Manager (and the guy who signs Master Angler awards, btw ;)) reported that there have been 20-25 roundtable discussions across the state during the past year. The recommendations were presented in March and a draft of the new regulations was written in July. Overall changes to the fishing regulations brochure are only discussed every five years while discussions of specific changes to particular bodies of water happen during the winter. He reported that anyone who has issues with these new proposed regulations should send email to [email protected] by the morning of September 6th since they will be discussed on September 8th in Lamar.
  • Each of the major changes in the announcement of the roundtable were introduced and then everyone was given an opportunity to comment. I thought the open discussion sometimes got a little too far off topic (folks wanted to bring up their pet peeves instead), but two of the other DOW representatives were very articulate in their description of the rationale behind the decisions and it was useful to hear their explanation.
  • A fair amount of time was spent on the topic of scented baits (Gulp, Exude, Food Source, etc.), the discussion centered around how difficult enforcement might be, the fact that people who don't still fish these baits have fewer swallows and that longer versions such as 4" scented tube jigs rarely have created mortality problems.
  • On the topic of the increased Lake Trout limits at Granby, the DOW stated that a crash in Kokanee and Lake Trout population at Granby was predicted 15 years ago and is happening today. By increasing the Kokanee population, ultimately the Lake Trout population will increase as well and it was necessary to adjust this delicate balance by increasing the take on Lake Trout. They said their data indicates that Lake Trout in Granby are only growing at the rate of 1"/year, while at other lakes such as Blue Mesa the growth rate is around 3"/year. They debunked Charlie Meyers' article as sensational journalism, said it was inaccurate and mentioned that he wrote a previous article on Kokanee population that opposed much of what he recently wrote (anyone have a link for this one?).
  • Other issues were discussed, but I don't have very good notes on them. Maybe afishman can list some of those.
  • The last item mentioned had to do with an increase in the DOW's budget on the order of $2 Million due to fee increases and monies from the Sport Fish Restoration Fund. They said the time is now for anglers to voice their opinion on where these new funds should be spent. Attendees mentioned more should be spent on education, recruitment and enforcement.
Overall, I was glad I attended and I think I came away with a bit more insight into the complexities of the management of our fisheries. I felt that the DOW representatives welcomed discussion and tried to address concerns. I hope this summary may encourage others to attend next time!
 

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I am glad to hear there was opposition to the new regs banning many soft plastics.
I do agree that the lakers in Granby grow too slowly. A lot of this has to do with mysis shrimp and the fact that lakers are a bit overpopulated in Granby. Raising the bag limit will be a good thing at Granby.
However, to allow macks of any size to be kept is not right. The bigger macks should have to be released to keep the good genes coursing through the gene pool.
On another issue, I trust the opinion of Charlie Meyers on predators a lot more than I do CDOW biologists. The biologists just have a pretty blatant agenda.
 

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Laker topic was also discussed at the Colorado Springs meeting. They said that the drought killed off most the Kokanee population there and they have been trying to re-establish the population but the lakers along with other things has stopped them from getting a good poulation established. THus the 1" growth rate at Granby, where the kokanee are established like at Blue Mesa the growth rate is aroun 3" a year. (like you said)

I'm suprised you guys didnt spend alot of time on the walleye issue... Scent bait issue took up most the time at the Colorado Springs meeting, but the walleye stuff had alot of back and forth too.
 

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At the DOW meeting in CS only ePic and myself from this board attended (there may have been a third site member-I'm not sure). And at the Denver meeting only worktofish and afisherman attended. Out of 500+ members on this site.

I guess we all got incredibly important things to do and can't spare the 2 hrs. :(
 

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kirbydog said:
At the DOW meeting in CS only ePic and myself from this board attended (there may have been a third site member-I'm not sure).  And at the Denver meeting only worktofish and afisherman attended.  Out of 500+ members on this site. 

I guess we all got incredibly important things to do and can't spare the 2 hrs.  :(
It's called a job!!!!!
 

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Chris-You're excused. What about the other 500 people?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ePiC said:
I'm suprised you guys didnt spend alot of time on the walleye issue... Scent bait issue took up most the time at the Colorado Springs meeting, but the walleye stuff had alot of back and forth too.
ePiC,

The CWA guys were very quiet and didn't have much to say on the topic though others did spend some time talking about the new limits. BTW, afishman and I said we are affiliated with coloradofisherman.com ;D and Robin Knox said he was aware of this site as well... Wouldn't it be nice if some of the DOW/wildlife commission guys would participate in the discussion forum to answer questions?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
kirbydog said:
At the DOW meeting in CS only ePic and myself from this board attended (there may have been a third site member-I'm not sure).
dkooser was also at the CS meeting if I read his post correctly...
 

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good morning all. work2fish nice to meet you. i would have loved to talk to you after but i had to pick my son up from work. maybe we can get together and fish sometime. i also have a few thoughts on the meeting last night. first, scented baits: i see where the division is coming from on the baits such as gulp and all the ones like it. i asked the question what about an 8" worm for bass? i have never had a fish swallow one. their basic answer was that it is all or nothing as far as they are concerned. with all the different regs they have for different lakes, that argument does not hold water in my opinion. everything to do with that reg change has to do with trout and it is a kneejerk reaction to something going on at spinney. so for the warmwater fisherman you are basically screwed because of a few idiots that cant obey the laws. as far as enforcement they were very evasive about the answer to that question. as far as pike fishing goes, they said they have not changed any regs or policies in the last five years. also of interest, theychanged the regs at delaney buttes to flys and lures only on all the lakes and closed the dam on one of them because people were snagging browns with flies during spawning season :mad: more idiots as far as the wallyes go, there were two different wallye clubs there and the guys from the clubs did not even say a word when they brought the wallye issue up. so they must be happy with those reg changes. finaly, i would like to say i learned alot and i will get to more meetings and encourage everyone else to as well. sorry for rambling. iam not a great writer.
p.s. work2fish told robin knox about the website and how many people we have and his jaw hit the floor. so if we want to change something we have a little more clout than you think
 

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Discussion Starter #11
afishman, nice to meet you as well! I was hoping you would add your comments as it would help fill in the gaps I left!

TAL0362 - Thanks! It took a while for me to collect my thoughts not to mention read my poorly written notes ;D
 

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Ken Broeren said:
Again, great job. And now that people know there is food, attendance will likely grow! :)
Didnt work for your picnic. :p
 

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Ken Broeren said:
ePiC said:
Ken Broeren said:
Again, great job. And now that people know there is food, attendance will likely grow! :)
Didnt work for your picnic. :p
That's because they knew I was cooking - that's not much of a draw if you know my cooking skill! :p

Well, we had 40 at the picnic - and 4 (maybe 5) at the DOW meetings. If we could have 40 at the DOW meetings, that would be awesome!!
i think even a dozen organized members at one meeting would really make a statement and by organized i mean showing up with a plan so that one members coment or statments work with and add to the others not just random overlaping coments also if they had supporting documents and studies that could be impressive
 

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Thanks for the great report on the CDOW meeting last night. I wanted to attend but had to take the kid to back to school night.

I just wrote a letter to the commisioners about my thoughts about the walleye regs and the artificial lures rules. I hope everyone else will take a moment to drop their own e-mail.

A few of suggestions I have are, mention your association with ColoradoFisherman.com, the CWA, TU or any other fishing or conservation group you might be a member.

Be sure to run spell check! I usually have little problem with spelling but was surprised to find the errors I had made. Most were typos but a couple were just errors.

Lastly if possible have someone give it a quick once over before sending it. See if it makes sense to them. If a letter or e-mail to the CDOW does not make sense to the commisioners it will carry no weight with them.

Thanks Dan

Ok, I am sure I missed a couple of mistakes here......be kind when telling me about them!
 

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youll never hear me complain about spelling or grammar!
 

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it was definately a learning experience. and roadkill you are right if we packed 40 people into a meeting they would freak.
 

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Thanks alot to you guys for going, and representing. Was coaching a football game here in Greeley till 6:30. It would of been great to sit in and here the discussion, I'm bummed I couldn't go.
 

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Ok kids,

Anyone whinning about the DOW - who didn't attend the meeting - is going to get a good verbal lashing from me,,,, No car pool???

It is one thing to complain and have an opinion, but (In My Opinion) quite a different thing to complain and just be opinionated. Go for it kidos, I am prepared to pounce!!!

Terre
 
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