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Discussion Starter #1
To ALL Colorado Carp Anglers:

The Carp Anglers Group (CAG) Colorado Challenge 2015 in ON !

I took a bit of flack last year for not publicizing this FREE event locally to a broad enough audience so here goes.

Also for those that I disappointed by limiting the Carp Guys v Carp Guys contest to just 2 teams of 2 anglers, here is your chance at a medal for your carping 2015 endeavors!

For 2015 the Carp Anglers Group has again provided me with a set of three VERY nice Olympic-style medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) for use as awards in this LOCAL COLORADO event.

The goal of the event is to promote catch & release carp fishing here in Colorado and showcase our beautiful carp fishing catches to Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

The medals will be awarded at the end of the calendar year, 2015, to the anglers catching the LARGEST common carp, by LENGTH, which has also been submitted to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and accepted, for their catch & release category, Master Angler award program, during the 2015 season.

For common carp, this is 30" or greater in length. I am sorry, grass carp captures will not count. Cyprinus carpio only guys!

As an additional incentive, for the gold medal winner, you will get the opportunity to spend a day on the bank side with the “UK Madman” and “CarpQuest” during the 2016 season in Colorado, “euro” style fishing for carp, with all gear & bait provided for the session and your use.

I will even hand you your GOLD medal in person if you so desire ::)

I have actually had to stop taking any more requests this year to take people out fishing with me - sorry, I am just way overbooked, so, this is your chance!

NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF CAG TO ENTER ***

Click LINK BELOW for FULL DETAILS of the event and rules.

http://www.carpanglersgroup.com/forum/index.php?/topic/55388-the-cag-colorado-challenge-2015/

Best of luck to everyone who enters. Jeremy Romero, last years champion, is ready to defend his 2014 title against all those who dare enter.

PS: I am not actually in this contest, would be kinda pointless for me to hand myself a medal at the end of the year :) this event is for you, Colorado's passionate carp anglers!

John
CarpQuest
 

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Surely you don't support catch and release of carp in all bodies of water? I am not one to throw the random carp I just caught on the bank to die, but I have fished some places that need all the help they can get with those things
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Bobys,

A great question !

No argument from me that here are waters around our state where, due to many external factors, be that draw-down of water levels (#1), run-off, erosion, pollution, loss of habitat, increased recreational use, decline of large predators, other species of gamefish have declined and the carp population has become dominant.

If there were a fisheries management plan in place, for a particular body of water with an over abundant population of small carp, then I would abide by those specific regulations if I fished there. E.g. "all carp 24" and under should not be returned to the water". I would hope that the management plan would include addressing the underlying issues that allowed the fishery to decline in the first place where possible.

Sadly for our state, where most of our waters are managed as water storage facilities first, recreational use second and a fishery a distant third, this is a real challenge with a lack or resources and finances and the constant juggling of trying to make everyone happy!

I am a believer in sustainable sustenance fishing and hunting. Given the common carp's original introduction as a food supply to our waters, smaller carp can make great eating ! It's a darn shame that carp are seen as the trash of our waters, certainly doesn't encourage people to take those smaller fish home, toss them on the smoker, or in the pressure cooker, and eat them!

I am not a fan though of waste - I do believe, if you kill it, eat it! I enjoy eating fish, love sushi, and have a particular fondness of medium rare steak. Later this year I will be doing some walleye fishing, now that fish tastes dang good and I hope to get my limit of good eating sized fish - will make for some dang fine fish & chips ! Flip side, If I were to catch a trophy walleye, i'd release it.

Tight-Lines,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Richard,

A management plan, for a body of water, I would think would be the responsibility of the controlling authority for that particular venue, based upon their desires and goals for that water. I am sure there are wise individuals here on this forum that can answer that question accurately - heck, i'm still a "foreigner!" with a weird accent :)

That could be each individual State Park in conjunction with Colorado Parks & Wildlife for a State Park, or a local authority, county, for a town pond or lake - e.g. who owns that water, is responsible for it's upkeep, has rights to the water coming in and out and so on.

CPW has some great wildlife biologists that could assist a local group if they had a particular water to discuss and wanted to formulate a "get well plan" for it based upon the particular problems they face and the needs of those using the venue.

Carp abundance aside, this is a common topic raised at local meetings, with regards to fisheries management, species selection (some want bass, others walleye, catfish, pike, put & take trout etc), water usage - should boats be allowed, powered, not powered, hand launch, fishing hours, night fishing - the list is endless and a real minefield once everyones opinions and want-list starts to be heard.

It's a great question though, of just who is responsible, especially once you get to the local level. The sad fact is that many of us fishermen simply don't attend the meetings enough, or at all (i'm guilty of that later I do admit) and get our voices heard or be a part of the process. Often it is easier to whine about the outcome rather than step up, be heard, get people together to steer things in a particular direction you desire.
 

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I am not one who is in favor of any government interference or restrictions to comply to, but what about self-guiding principles. As someone's whose knowledge base I respect, what would be a reasonable management plan? From my conversations with you, I believe I have conveyed my passion for carp fishing, so I would never do anything to endanger a fishery. But, at the same time, I have seen small bodies of water overrun to the point where they are in danger of not being able to self-sustain.
 

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Stop busting the guys balls LOL

Do you really need him to say it's okay for you to kill a few Carp?? It's pretty obvious thats what you are wanting him to say. If your gunna kill a few carp dont kill the big ones and do soemthing productive with the remians.... Even if your not gunna eat them you can still use them for fertilizer or dog food or whatever LMAO
 

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Stop busting the guys balls LOL

Do you really need him to say it's okay for you to kill a few Carp?? It's pretty obvious thats what you are wanting him to say.
x2.

I am not one to throw the random carp I just caught on the bank to die
If you aren't suggesting that carp should be left to die on the bank, then how do you suggest killing carp? Throw them back in the water after you sliced their gills?

Back on topic: John, you make carp fishing sound almost appealing. Almost... :D
 

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I have an extra set up just waiting for you. Anytime you want to experience the true thrill and an angry carp, just say the word.
x2.



If you aren't suggesting that carp should be left to die on the bank, then how do you suggest killing carp? Throw them back in the water after you sliced their gills?

Back on topic: John, you make carp fishing sound almost appealing. Almost... :D
 

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I have an extra set up just waiting for you. Anytime you want to experience the true thrill and an angry carp, just say the word.
Bwahaha! I might be down for it after I am down chasing fish out east. It has been a long time since I targeted carp.
 

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A very prolific fish. Look at Jackson. They've been taking thousands of pounds of carp out a year for years and it's still overrun. Most of the eastern plains lakes are that way. A body of water will only support a certain biomass of fish. Too many carp hurts the ability to sustain the numbers of quality "game fish" in a lake. Over time, you end up with enough carp to almost walk across the lakes on top of their pods in the summer. You aren't allowed to toss them on the banks anymore..What the wardens used to ask us to do..Now, if you want to kill them you have to keep them. They need a dumpster at the lakes to dump them in guilt free.
 

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A very prolific fish. Look at Jackson. They've been taking thousands of pounds of carp out a year for years and it's still overrun. Most of the eastern plains lakes are that way. A body of water will only support a certain biomass of fish. Too many carp hurts the ability to sustain the numbers of quality "game fish" in a lake. Over time, you end up with enough carp to almost walk across the lakes on top of their pods in the summer. You aren't allowed to toss them on the banks anymore..What the wardens used to ask us to do..Now, if you want to kill them you have to keep them. They need a dumpster at the lakes to dump them in guilt free.
I think John has already said it somewhere else but the situation at Jackson is that the annual fluctuation in water levels creates conditions that are detrimental to game fish and conducive to carp. Combine that with the lack of wiper stocking and there is a void that allowed carp to thrive and take over the lake. The point was: why badger someone about their target fish? I see people who get so upset when they catch a carp. To the point where it is just ridiculous. I guy I know drove a pocket knife through a carp’s skull, then carved out its eyes, then kicked it like a football into the water. The guy has some issues and his day (and arguably his life) was effed up long before that carp ever entered his life. But, for the average guy, are you really gonna let a dumb animal work you up? The answer is: yes, plenty of guys out there get all worked up when they catch a carp... Just take a deep breath, fellas... You probably don't fall in this category, Hobie, so don't take this as a post aimed at you.
 

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I was at Bonny when it went dry..also Queens, Nee Noshee, Henry, and Merideth when they went dry. Thousands upon thousands of dead carp littered the banks..I'm guessing a hundred to one minimum as compared to stocked "game fish". I don't have a problem with anyone pursuing a particular species, but to practice catch and release at any of the plains lakes on carp ..no thanks. They muck up the water, tear up the vegetation, and compete with stocked game fish for forage.

Like I mentioned, when Charlie Bennet was the CDOW biologist for southeastern Colorado..He asked us to throw them back..wards. Not into the lake. A few years back, I was fishing John Martin at night for cats. The ranger came out and checked our licenses..as he was checking us, he heard a rustling in the bushes..we had tossed a couple of carp backwards as previously instructed..He got pissed and made us put them back in the lake..said if they didn't swim off he'd charge us with wanton waste. He was only a park ranger not the biologist. Since then, I toss them back to the detriment of the fishery.

I've got nothing against carp..or those that enjoy pursuing them..great fighters..but give them a chance in a lot of locations and you'll end up with a lot of sloans lakes. The South Platte through Denver...great place for carp..other species don't do nearly as well with the inconsistent flows through town ..along with the pollution.

One thing I'd have to say is that other than mirror carp..or grass carp..I've never heard of a carp infested lake being fished out.

Kinda strange how the CDOW wanted you to rip a gill on the pike you'd catch at Spinney..but want you to put carp back in a lake. In fact, the day after the opening day at Spinney, I was asked by two different individuals fishing for trout...Well, not really asked..more like stated.."You kill all the pike you catch out of here...Don't ya?"

I did hear recently that Nee Noshee was full again..along with Queens. I haven't been out that way to see for myself. Last time I was there, it was a sea of dead carp soup..as it went dry.
 

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but to practice catch and release at any of the plains lakes on carp ..no thanks.
Are you suggesting that John (or anyone else) should practice catch and kill of carp? I am not advocating for or against catch and release or catch and kill of carp, but I am not about to tell someone what they should do. Kill the carp is you want. Release it if you want. It isn’t about the carp. It is about the human beings and what their actions tell about them. I think there is a difference between a carp left to die on the bank and a carp angrily killed or mutilated before tossing them away (back in the water or on shore). And even then, I would say: mutilate them if you want. You want allow a an animal to work you up, knock yourself dead. But I am gonna keep my distance from you and put you on the list of people that I consider to be a potential threat if you are within striking distance. :D

BTW, the person I mentioned above got a ticket and his license revoked. I wasn’t there, but a mutual friend told me. I am not sure what the ranger’s reasoning was, but my guess is that it was not about the carp. It was most certainly about the person’s behavior.

For the record, I just let carp go. Unless I need them for bait. :biggrin1:
 

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In most lakes, catch and kill would be the desired outcome. As I mentioned, carp are very prolific...males mature at one year of age and females at two. Each female carp will deposit between a half million and a million and a half eggs per season. Knowing this, I realize that angling alone will not reduce their numbers significantly in almost any lake.

I realize that John loves his carp. And, I wouldn't tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do with them. But, I also realize that they are an "invasive species" and they can really reduce the quality of fishing in many lakes...unless you want to go fishing for carp.

A lot of info on the net about the problems bio's face when dealing with a carp infestation and the damage they cause...Here's one example.

http://fish-notes.blogspot.com/2010/07/common-carp-biomass-black-hole.html

Now, don't get me started on mature gizzard shad...
 

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In most lakes, catch and kill would be the desired outcome. As I mentioned, carp are very prolific...males mature at one year of age and females at two. Each female carp will deposit between a half million and a million and a half eggs per season. Knowing this, I realize that angling alone will not reduce their numbers significantly in almost any lake.

I realize that John loves his carp. And, I wouldn't tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do with them. But, I also realize that they are an "invasive species" and they can really reduce the quality of fishing in many lakes...unless you want to go fishing for carp.

A lot of info on the net about the problems bio's face when dealing with a carp infestation and the damage they cause...Here's one example.

http://fish-notes.blogspot.com/2010/07/common-carp-biomass-black-hole.html

Now, don't get me started on mature gizzard shad...
I haven’t studied this topic, but casual observations and simple logic tell me carp are like weeds. Take care of the grass and the weeds will be in check, with minimal or no weeding required. Don’t take care of the grass and you’ll need to do a lot of weeding. It took me 10 years of homeownership to finally figure that out 3 years ago… :D It was around the same time that I started reading John's arguments in defense of carp. It all seemed to make sense due to my then recent epiphany about weeds... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I actually love a good carp debate and am always happy to type away in conversation. with others in a respectful manner. Everyone has an opinion, individual perspective on things and a right to share their views whether we agree with each other or not.

As this particular venue was mentioned, let us take a look at what happened to Nee Noshe. In 2010 there was an almost total fish kill at this location.

As was written about in the Denver Post, a series of factors contributed. Drought and irrigation practices, severe water drawdowns and a the final straw, a decision to favor John Martin for plains water storage in that area.

With a significant lack of fresh water coming in to Nee Noshe (the last significant amount was in 1999) there was a marked decline in water quality. Salinity increased and oxygen levels reduced.

In 2010, but a few weeks of ice cover exhausted the remaining oxygen supply, end result – fish kill carnage. It appeared only a few carp were left and even they were in miserable conditions. Heck, even a carp can only take so much!

When we take a step back, and look at the big picture, these changes in water conditions at Nee Noshe had been taking place for just over a decade before the fish kill took place. Yes, there were a LOT of carp present when the fish kill occurred. However the carp had been present in Nee Noshe for many decades – during a time when it was considered a top tier warm water fisheries in the state.

The carp population only started to become abundant when the water quality changed and other species not so tolerant to this decline began to diminish. Carp love to fill a void. I am not surprised carp outnumbered other fish – they were probably the only thing left that could survive and thrive in the dreadful conditions.

I would humbly offer, in this particular instance, that the carp did not destroy Nee Noshe, environmental, climate and finally human decisions to store water elsewhere contributed to it’s ultimate demise. Carp did not cause the problem but they sure as hell took advantage of it.

When people report that a venue is over-run with an abundance of small carp, they have destroyed a great fishery I would challenge this and propose that often what you are actually seeing is the end-state, the symptom of a problem and not the original cause.

I am not going to say it's ok to kill a carp and toss it on the bank, not only is this illegal but it's the waste of a resource. If a Wildlife Biologist told to you take this action – that is unfortunate as he was telling you to break the law – the Ranger at John Martin was correct on the law.

My caveat to the "It's never going to be right to kill a fish and toss it on the bank" would be in respect to ANS fish - for carp, this would be, the bighead carp, and silver carp, both planktonic eating machines which should not be returned to the water if you catch one. Their capture should also be reported to the local authorities (CPW). If I were to personally catch one of these fish, it's game over for it! That would be like spotting a Zebra Mussel on the hull of your boat, prying it off with a knife and flicking it back out into the water!

In all honesty I usually avoid fishing heavily carp populated waters as it simply isn't much of a challenge, - one reason i've yet to fish Jackson Lake these past few years - though I have had many ask me to visit the place. Ironically I may be doing so this year if my wife and I take a few days camping in the area – will be Jackson or Horsetooth if we head up there.

Whilst the average fish size at Jackson is going to be dismal there is always a rare chance that an old Jackson carpy monster lurks still in the depths - unlikely, but hey, it's possible - just going to have to wade my way through a large number of smaller fish to find out. The flip side being, some of these waters are a great place to practice your skills, test baits, tactics or take anglers new to the sport out to get their first carp action!

Tight-Lines,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I would agree with Hobie that angling alone is not going to make a dent in the overall population #'s of carp at a particular venue, unless it is very very small. Well meaning angler efforts in small venues are more likely to skew the size distribution. When I am talking about a small venue, I think of this as < say 250 surface acres.

The theory I prescribe to (rightly or wrongly, I am no fisheries biologist) is that if you remove a 10 lb fish, that's 10 lb more of biomass that can be filled. Lets say, by 2 x 5 lb fish. Now you remove a 5 lb fish and you could have a 3 lb fish and a 2 lb fish. Remove the other 5 lb fish and you could have a 2lb fish, another 2lb fish and a 1 lb fish. Where once there was 1 x 10 lb carp, you now have 5 smaller fish.

Keep doing this and you end up with a ton of smaller carp and few, if any, larger specimens. Lots of carp means they can kick up a hell of a lot more turbidity, especially during spawning times. In problematic waters, unless you're going full monty total rotenone fish destruction, or draw down to 0, you may do a lot better to enact a mandatory slot limit to significantly reduce the population of the smaller fish.

The analogy of "Take care of the grass and the weeds will be in check, with minimal or no weeding required" is a great one for carp. Keep your water quality healthy, maintain a balanced environment for predator and prey and the carp won't be a problem.

I appreciate for every positive carp story, or article I could post, there is going to be another one that's negative. For me, I see carp as a great sports fish species that can be a challenging at times to catch and huge fun. Not everyone's cup-a-tea for sure!
 

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what you are actually seeing is the end-state, the symptom of a problem and not the original cause.
Spoken like a true intellectual! I am surprised you haven’t mentioned any of the latin terms for the correlation fallacy here… Keep that up and someone will label you as a European pedantic jerk! :p I say that tongue in cheek because I am sort of a Euro pedantic jerk myself. The key words are "sort of," both in terms of "European" and "intellectual" (I can't quite claim either). :biggrin1:
 
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