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  1. #46

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, Mike. It seems strange that you can't find any semblance of similarity in my analogies, and I find it hard to accept your hypothesis, as my experiences in PORT PHILIP BAY prove otherwise.
    It is interesting how you can't seem to understand that both beaches and bays are both saltwater environments, and both netting scenarios would/should have the same effect. But don't.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
    - Abraham Lincoln


  2. #47

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    I fish Northern NSW beaches and fish one particular beach, have done so for over 20 years.
    On this beach last week the netters hauled 16 tonne of mullet. The mullet had not spawned.
    This beach then shut down completely, no dart, whiting, or tailor in gutters . Conditions were there and the gutters were there for fish but nothing.
    After about a week a school of baitfish moved in travelling north. There was no predatory fish ie. dart tailor.
    Fishing at night in the same gutter produced one small chopper tailor in a 3 hour session.
    I have 2 points:
    1. Removing 16 tonne of mullet before spawning has to have a huge effect on the marine enviroment as far as the food chain goes.
    2. Beach netting does shut down the fishing on the beach.
    I cannot comment on the distance but from experience 1-2 klms either side of the netting area shuts down.
    This is experience, a study would be easy to prove just by anglers fishing the beach after netting.
    Furthemore after 20 years of fishing the same beach the fishing is getting worse.
    Please do not say this is because of recreational anglers as in my experience only a small number actually catch a lot of fish.
    And before I get jumped on, I fish for fun and only keep a small quantity of fish.
    Historian/Collector of Old Sidecast Fishing Reels

  3. #48

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Species that are attracted to structure are likely to hide as an antipredator response - which may be an explanation why the snapper don't flee in PPB. Bream in the surf are slower to leave the surf zone than dart and tailor which are mobile species not as reliant on structural habitat. Bream pops on nearshore reefs have increased in recent times on the Sunshine Coast at the same time as they have declined in the surf. Jack hide in the mangroves. A number of papers deal with habitat use and feeding by prey species exposed to predators, but I haven't included any in preference to the ones attached .... is enough reading there to get things started.

    Small fish such as baitfish which are smaller than the mesh size are not killed by the nets that take mullet, bream etc and have no experience of associated trauma with these nets and the sounds being made and therefore no need to avoid these nets. Of course they can't determine mesh size unless they swim through it. As you could establish for yourself by reading the attached papers, fish are perfectly capable of discerning the level of threat posed through experience and reacting to the level of threat with a proportional response.

    There were a few papers which are too large to upload and could be Googled:

    Fish Vocalisation - Understanding its biological role from temporal and spatial characteristics
    Author - Shahriman Mhod Ghazali

    Sounds of Sex and Death: Bottlenose dolphin whistles suppress mating choruses of silver perch
    Joe Luczkovic

    The Role of Public Chemical Information in Antipredator Behaviour
    Wisenden and Chivers

  4. #49

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    I for one, certainly won't jump down your throat for keeping a few fish for the table, Da-Jew-Man. I do exactly the same myself. And whilst I agree that netting CAN shut down a beach, I disagree with the some of the suppositions in an earlier post.

    I'd like to suggest an alternative to the netting triggering a shutdown and the panicked fleeing of other species.

    Let's imagine a fairly typical beach scenario - one with little reef or weed, so there's very little to attract and hold, benthic (prawns, shrimps, crabs, etc) species.
    Along comes a school of mullet, pilchards, whatever, to hold and rest up in a gutter as they move along the coast on their spawning run. Suddenly, a school of ravenous tailor or salmon come upon the baitfish, and mayhem ensues. Blood, entrails, fish scraps litter the bottom and become partially buried due to wave action. In very short order, those prawns and crabs are going to be attracted to the natural berley in the water, to be followed by larger and larger fish species, including more mullet and pilchards, followed by more tailor and salmon - and the cycle starts all over again.
    Now suddenly, take away those mullet/pilchards, and what you have left offers pretty slim pickings for the predatory fish - hence they move on to more productive locales - until such time as another school of bait moves into that gutter to feed on the worms, crabs and shrimp. All fish have a distinctive odor, and I'd bet that predators home in on that before any visual contact is made. (Again, this is purely subjective, as I've done no research into it). Now take away that smell, (by the netting), and the predators move on - as they can't smell their prey any more.
    .
    So the netting of those baitfish has caused a dearth of fish that we like to catch - but for different reasons. Surely this is more believable than the mullet sending alarm signals to other fish 20 or so km away?
    We all know how quickly tailor and salmon can move from beach to beach, headland to headland, chasing baitfish - heck, I've had to run hard down a beach just to keep up with a school! W
    And we all know the effects of a broken berley trail, as a broken trail can cause fish to follow it away with the current - so whilst I totally agree that netting a school of baitfish can have a serious effect on fishing, I feel that there are reasons other than discussed in the OP's post.

    Now I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm NOT in favor of netting - never have, and never will be, but...it's all too easy to jump to erroneous conclusions, and that does none of us any favors.
    I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but it needs to be by proven, researched facts. We all have our own opinions and hunches, including me.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
    - Abraham Lincoln


  5. #50

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Slider - thanks for the articles and links. I appreciate the effort you've gone to. They make for very interesting reading, and I'll be back to give them a more thorough examination, since my first read was more for gaining a synopsis.

    You said, and I quote..."Species that are attracted to structure are likely to hide as an antipredator response - which may be an explanation why the snapper don't flee in PPB."
    FYI, PPB has minimal structure - it's more like an open paddock that snapper graze upon. And when snapper are known, (and observed), to flee the noise of a rattling anchor chain, I don't feel that's a suitable explanation. It's probably not THE definitive answer then, but a stab in the dark?

    It's clear that fish utilize chemicals to alert others about many things, including predators. In fact, none of us are arguing that fact. Indeed, most of the articles are about chemical stimuli, not vocalizations.

    What I do find strange is that it seems only one study mentions vocalization as a means of alerting others in the school - and I could not find a single entry which indicated that fish emit vocalizations which in turn warns off predators. Maybe I didn't look hard enough?
    Certainly, there is evidence that warnings given do affect similar species, but not their predators.

    Indeed, the only article that pertains to vocalizations is "Fish Vocalisation - Understanding its biological role from temporal and spatial characteristics"
    And the relevant extract reads..."Using a Malaysian FAD as a model, the present study showed that sounds in frequency bands typically dominated by various biological sources (500 Hz 2000 Hz octave bands) could propagate up to 400 m during the day and to more than 1 km at dusk"
    Hardly 22kms, is it?
    So, hypothetically, the sounds of distress MAY be picked up by other schools, and MAY be transmitted by them to others, and MAY ultimately reach your 22km mark, but there's really no definitive evidence for it, is there?

    Please enlighten me if I've missed something crucial to your argument.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
    - Abraham Lincoln


  6. #51

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    For what its worth when we spear and we shoot a fish and sometimes not kill shots (my mate not usually me LOL) they emit distress signals and this is a good thing as it brings out other fish to have a look at what's going on. It sometimes depend on the species though. I have personally shot a large black king at Hutchies is 20m of water and fought it for about 5 minutes. The other hung around until the spear pulled free. I reloaded an low and behold the whole school came back around and I nailed the same black king this time with a kill shot. The school hung around and I could have hot another one if I wished however I had enough of this fish for two nights feed so left them be. Coral trout are the same shoot one and watch all the other stick there heads out to see what is going on. Fish don't appear to flew 2klm as we will drift with the current and come across many more fish selecting which ones we want. No on the if you drop a red and dam those suckers stop chewing so what's going on there. NO yes this is on the reef but I have had a similar experience at steep point here I jumped in and was shooting bream and whiting. WI shot a fair few each day for my family for lunch and tea and at no time did I see a mass fleeing and pretty much by the time I reloaded they were all milling around to see what was going on. Yes not multiples as you would get in a net but still distress signals are distress signals.

  7. #52

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by goona View Post
    For what its worth when we spear and we shoot a fish and sometimes not kill shots (my mate not usually me LOL) they emit distress signals and this is a good thing as it brings out other fish to have a look at what's going on. It sometimes depend on the species though. I have personally shot a large black king at Hutchies is 20m of water and fought it for about 5 minutes. The other hung around until the spear pulled free. I reloaded an low and behold the whole school came back around and I nailed the same black king this time with a kill shot. The school hung around and I could have hot another one if I wished however I had enough of this fish for two nights feed so left them be. Coral trout are the same shoot one and watch all the other stick there heads out to see what is going on. Fish don't appear to flew 2klm as we will drift with the current and come across many more fish selecting which ones we want. No on the if you drop a red and dam those suckers stop chewing so what's going on there. NO yes this is on the reef but I have had a similar experience at steep point here I jumped in and was shooting bream and whiting. WI shot a fair few each day for my family for lunch and tea and at no time did I see a mass fleeing and pretty much by the time I reloaded they were all milling around to see what was going on. Yes not multiples as you would get in a net but still distress signals are distress signals.
    That is just like the beach hauling.
    Those guys run a net around a school of fish with all those "rattling chains" and yet the schools of fish following along the same beach, often within just a couple of hundred meters continue to swim along on their merry little way heading north right through where the net was just shot.
    Those fish get netted as well and then the next lot comes along.
    Sometimes these schools following are other types like Bream,Blackfish,Jews,Tailor,Mack Tuna, ect
    Sure they can spook the fish and stop them from biting but they certainly do not spook the fish 22km away.
    I remember the days when the haulers would work Smokey Cape Beach when the seas allowed it while many dozens of anglers were ripping into the schools of Tailor.
    The guys on the rocks at both Smokey Cape and Hat Head would slay the Tailor while the netters were in full swing.
    A lot of people hate fishing when the winds have a Westerly in them and I tend to agree that at times a Nor Wester can shut the fish down in many areas.
    This coincides with the migration of mullet as Westerly winds do get them moving.
    Maybe in many of these areas being netted, it's the westerlies causing the shutdowns as much as the hauling done on some beaches.
    Why do idiots that you hate continually like your posts?

  8. #53

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    I think personally that we as a species are very quick to dismiss the abilities of other species because we can not personally relate to these abilities first hand.
    It's more than likely that they can tell what fish is putting out the distress call . In the case of pilchards or sardines this is going to give the predatory fish the heads up for dinner time , where as if it is a whole school of large sea mullet this is going to warn other species of similar size or position on the food chain that something bad is going down.
    It is a well known that the beaches of Teewah and Frazer are very prone to shutting down after netting.
    Incidentally the length of Teewah beach is around 20 km, and I would have said that this beach is very much a one system environment.
    I would be very surprised if a pro netter would get on this forum and confirm these facts as it's not the greatest pr for the industry.

  9. #54

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnycoastfisho View Post
    I think personally that we as a species are very quick to dismiss the abilities of other species because we can not personally relate to these abilities first hand.
    Yes, we are. That's why research papers like the ones Slider posted are invaluable for us to learn about the world around us. That chemical warning systems are in place in many species of fish, is both undeniable and backed by research and data.. But...these are easily and rapidly dispersed in a saltwater environment, and primarily for warning members of the same school. Certainly wouldn't spread for 20km or so, and warn other predatory species! Sharks are known for their keen sense of smell, but they're an exception.

    It's more than likely that they can tell what fish is putting out the distress call . In the case of pilchards or sardines this is going to give the predatory fish the heads up for dinner time , where as if it is a whole school of large sea mullet this is going to warn other species of similar size or position on the food chain that something bad is going down.
    So pilchards and sardines can only ring a dinner bell, but sea mullet can warn others? Why only the mullet? Where did the others go wrong?

    It is a well known that the beaches of Teewah and Frazer are very prone to shutting down after netting.
    Anecdotal hypotheses, or empirical data?

    Incidentally the length of Teewah beach is around 20 km, and I would have said that this beach is very much a one system environment.
    I would be very surprised if a pro netter would get on this forum and confirm these facts as it's not the greatest pr for the industry.
    I actually wish a pro netter would get on this forum and give their side of the story! When there are so many anecdotes and observations of netters working school after school on the same beach, the OP's opening post doesn't make sense.

    There's a lot of supposition and conjecture in your post, and even Slider's data doesn't really support it. I'm all for finding out the truth behind the stories, but am only interested in the truth. We can make up stories and possible hypotheses till the cows come home, and still be no closer to the real story.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
    - Abraham Lincoln


  10. #55

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by robfish 1 View Post
    It seems strange that you can't find any semblance of similarity in my analogies, and I find it hard to accept your hypothesis, as my experiences in PORT PHILIP BAY prove otherwise.
    .
    That would be because your beloved PPB and your analogies are nothing like the situation I highlighted.
    Your claims that beach netting mullet is totally removing an areas food source for my target species of whiting, bream and dart, would indicate that the whiting, bream and dart in PPB are incredibly larger than ours in Qld, or PPB contains the worlds smallest mullet.
    ~~~><))))*>

  11. #56

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Robfish, you make some very valid points.
    In relation to predatory fish etc, any dedicated beach fisho knows that at night when a tailor bite is on and they go off very quickly there is nearly always a big jew or shark in the area. Once the jew or shark has been caught sometimes they will come back on the bight.
    I have spun tailor off the rocks and surfers have gone through and the tailor have gone off only to come back on the bight after the surfers have gone.
    In my experience the fish do disappear form the beach after netting. When I say fish I am saying tailor,dart, bream and whiting.
    Perhaps it is the collective distress signals of the large number of mullet caught. I have no evidence just a thought.
    Over the years in posts such as this a number of people refer to historical events.
    Everyone would agree that fishing was much better years ago, bigger fish, more fish, easier to catch.
    I can remember seeing huge schools of mullet that blackened the surf and extended for hundreds of metres.
    There were even reports of mullet schools off the Tweed miles long.
    Technology today and with the mullet run up the coast with professional netters waiting, well the humble mullet does not have much of a chance.
    To take this large quantity of fish out of the food chain has to have an enormous affect.
    Furthermore, to take this many fish from our enviroment for roe to be sent overseas is, well I do not wish to say.
    Let me be clear I am NOT against mullet netting, but they must be let spawn and then netted.
    The government must instigate quotas which will allow some fish to spawn to replentish the environment.
    At present the the netters take as much as they can.
    So in this instance (refering to the initial post) ,once quotas have been installed and managed then EVERYONE will benefit.
    Historian/Collector of Old Sidecast Fishing Reels

  12. #57

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Mike, you said and I quote..."That would be because your beloved PPB and your analogies are nothing like the situation I highlighted.
    Your claims that beach netting mullet is totally removing an areas food source for my target species of whiting, bream and dart, would indicate that the whiting, bream and dart in PPB are incredibly larger than ours in Qld, or PPB contains the worlds smallest mullet."


    Firstly, why is everyone fixated on mullet? I don't for a moment believe that they are the only species of fish that are beach netted, Indeed, all of the published articles cited on this thread have nothing to do with our mullet, but O/S species, and mention very little about vocalization as a warning device - only chemical stimuli, which rapidly dissipates in the water. Did I miss something?

    And secondly, don't your whiting, bream and dart feed on the scraps of mullet, or pilchards, or whatever species has been preyed on by tailor or salmon (for example)?
    Have you never pulled a good bream from underneath a school of feeding tailor, when allowing your bait to sink a little further in the water column?
    Did you not know that a small live mullet is quite often used as bait for big bream?
    Do you never use fish-based berley to attract fish to your area?
    Have you never seen the carnage left by these predators? Scales, blood, fish scraps litter the water, often lodging in the sand, and in turn attract benthic species to feed - worms, prawns, crabs - and fish like whiting, dart and bream, which feed on both the scraps AND the benthic species.
    .
    And thirdly, we don't even have dart down here in Vic. How you came to that conclusion from my posts is beyond me!

    However, let's just agree to disagree - because it seems that unless I'm discussing your beloved beaches, any other situation is unacceptable, and not worthy of consideration..

    As I've said before, I'm a little more skeptical than most - I like to question what seem to me, to be illogical claims.Yes, I've been proven wrong in the past, and no doubt will be again in the future...but there's no shame in that.
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
    - Abraham Lincoln


  13. #58

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    Correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't the biggest target of the beach netter in these parts mullet? (By these parts I'm referring to the Cooloola Coast). If so isn't the money only really in the roe of the spawning females? I didn't think there was a huge market for mullet for the table so the majority of the remainder of the fish end up as bait for the recreational sector, is this right?

    If so, wouldn't it be more beneficial to put money into aquaculture of this species if roe and crab bait are going to be the end game? I know that mullet for the table should be sea run to clean them out and make them more palatable, but if they aren't going to market as food fish, why not farm them rather than netting wild stocks and upsetting the ecological balance of the region?

  14. #59

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    I am posting this on behalf of a concerned fisho. I have permission to copy and paste the contents of the email.:-


    You might like to post this message.


    I have read with interest the discussion on the effects of net fishing on fish/recreational fishing. AUSFISH folks may be interested in some further information and comments. I have photos taken at Moreton Island on 18-19 July 2015 during the trip of my fishing club.

    A strong southerly was blowing that weekend hence our club concentrated on the northern beaches from Comby Point to the Cape. Checking out the beach formations on Saturday arvo, we observed a group of six commercial fishers, gutter raking the northern beaches. They were catching mullet with a fair amount of bream, dart, whiting, tailor and flathead - see photos.

    Our club members and many other recreational fishers who wished to fish the northern beaches that weekend were unhappy to say the least about the antics of these net fishers - a very unprofessional operation - just making a nuisance of themselves, and reducing the chances of the average rec fisher in making a reasonable catch.

    Club members commenced fishing after dark, targeting those gutters where the netters could not work their nets due to snags and other obstacles in the water or on the beaches.

    One member fished at night in a very shallow drain with much fallen timber - within 50 metres of where the photos of the netters were taken. He managed a nice catch of bream that night - see photo. I fished several gutters which were not netted but were close to the netted gutters - within a few hundred metres. I got a nice mixed bag - see photo.

    To put our results into context - my club has considerable expertise in beach/surf fishing. We have won SQAFCA interclub competitions on many occasions. Several of our members have won individual beach fishing championships. I personally have won the South Qld surf championship on 9 occasions - and have won the State surf title twice.

    On the other hand it is expected that the average recreational fisher would have done very poorly fishing those Moreton Island beaches that weekend - especially trying to catch fish from gutters that had been netted the previous afternoon.

    LP
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    Kingfisher Painting Solutions:- Domestic and Commercial.

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  15. #60

    Re: Why Nets Ruin Recreational Fishing

    The likes of the comments against Lindsay are the reason why this site is a shadow of it's former self. Some members mothers obviously didn't teach you that if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.

    Didn't get past ShaneC's comment before I moved on. Disgraceful really

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