Effects of a New study that shows Elassoma are closely related to Centrarchidae
Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:50 AM
Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:30 PM
That is a very disturbing thought. I mean, it makes no sense for a pygmy sunfish or an orangespotted, bluespotted, or blackbanded sunfish to be a game fish, but some states just blanket 'all sunfish' as game fish.
Ok, that makes sense and I can accept Elassoma going back into Centrarchidae again, ... so long as state fishery agencies dont declare pygmies as game fish! (Hard enough to find hooks and bait for Enneacanthus. What are we gonna use for Elassoma tackle?)
Just look at my fishing trip last month where I tried and failed to hook bluespotted sunfish on a rod and reel. They're four inches long, but that's the only way I can legally capture them.
Quote from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission on http://www.ncwildlif...and_Fishing.pdf
INLAND GAME FISH
The following fishes are designated as inland game fish:
● Black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted)
● Crappie (white and black)
● Redbreast sunfish (robin)
● Redear sunfish (shellcracker)
● Green sunfish
● Roanoke bass
● Rock bass
● All other species of the family Centrarchidae
Quote from ITIS on http://www.itis.gov/...ch_value=168113
Thus, the bluespotted, because it is in the family of Centrarchidae, is a game fish.
Family Centrarchidae – achigans et crapets, lobinas, sunfishes
Genus Enneacanthus Gill, 1864 – banded sunfishes, little sunfishes
Species Enneacanthus gloriosus (Holbrook, 1855) – bluespotted sunfish
Yeah, so, actually, I'm opposed to Elassoma being classified under the family Centrarchidae.
Edited by EricaWieser, 21 February 2012 - 01:36 PM.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:13 PM
Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:52 PM
(Didn't Manuel Lujan try to get a new squirrel species un-recognized back during Reagan's presidency in order to block its endangered listing, or some shenanigans like that?)
A few years ago when NC-WRC was soliciting comments on fishing regualtion changes, I did send them a letter suggesting that mud sunfish and the 3 Enneacanthus be excluded from "game fish" like SC does. They told me they agreed that from an angling perspective Enneacanthus aren't "really" gamefish, but they wanted to keep the regs as is because: 1) putting the burden on WRC agents to field-identify tiny sunfish in a collector's bucket of muddy brown water is simply not feasible; and 2) given the rarity of E, chaetodon and E. obesus in NC and potential for commercial collection, WRC doesnt want to lose the option of regulating the harvest of these species should that become necessary. [Witness the explosion in commercial turtle harvest over the past 20 years].
To me those are perfectly good reasons, even though "game fish" is really not an accurate term for them. I would rather see Enneacanthus treated as game fish, and their harvest managed, than to see them become listed as endangered or threatened.
Edited by gerald, 21 February 2012 - 06:58 PM.
Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:19 AM
I once asked a local fish store on the ability to get natives and said special orders may be possible but they won't do sunfish,
Many states regulate all sunfish as game fish and have them be causght on hook and line.
Both of these make smaller sunfish all but inaccessable.
I say we should press fish and game to move sunfish recognition into four categories.
1. Game fish. Basicly all lepomis, micropterous, pomoxis, and ambloplites
2. semi-gamefish: Species that have trouble competing with game fish but catchable on hook and line. Sacremento Perch and Mud Sunfish fit this bill. Basicly in places where they are not threatened/endangered they should be treated as game fish but special efforts must be taken to keep them free from more agressive competitors.
3. Collectible nongames: Ennecanthus and elassoma.
I wish fishing licences included a collectors licence. I'd gladly pay more if they did.
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