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View Full Version : Ling size limit suggestions......


Samson
03-24-2010, 09:35 AM
Not to be the environmentalist in the group, but when it comes to lings, particularly in Puget Sound, I would encourage everyone to not shoot the 15+lbs lings. They are the ones that are of breeding age and really dont taste that good anyway. The lings under 36" are the ones ya wanna eat and are not mature enough to be breeding. I mean, we eat what we kill right? That is why we do this, not just for the pleasure of killing, right? Why not kill the best tasting ones. All the big ones are good for is bragging rights and diminishing the numbers of lings for the future.

Hook and line guys have size limits that they have to throw back the big ones. By us not following the same guide lines, all we are doing is giving the spearo haters more ammunition against us.


Just my opinion.

winklecl
03-24-2010, 02:25 PM
Excellent insight. Might I also add that it is typically the female lings that reach 15+lbs. In reality females are the critical gender in maintaining a healthy population since a single male can guard/fertilize the eggs of multiple females. And the larger the female, the more eggs she'll lay.

Navanax
03-24-2010, 08:35 PM
X3 - I do a ton of lingcod research in Puget Sound and trust me, the 36" limit now spares the largest males. Anything over 1M (39") in Puget Sound is female. Both males and females start breeding at about 20". Everything legal is breeding size. I target 26-30" when I shoot lings for the flavor reasons mentioned by Samson.

I'm happy to be the environmentalist in the group (says he who will pummel the halibut this year).

Also happy to answer any and all lingcod life history questions. Check out http://www.lingcod.org/ sometime....

Ken

Tino Bernazzani
03-24-2010, 08:56 PM
I am a little confused by this logic on not taking lings over 36".
I have tasted large lings and small lings and they have never really been different.
Some large ones have no worms, others are wormy as hell.
Some have green flesh and others white.
I have to admit they all seem to taste the same.
If you are trying to preserve the population wouldn't an annual bag limits be more appropriate?
Living in Seattle for 8 years the local divers seemed to shun any take of fish, especially the largest of species.
Is this an attempt to make peace or are you just concerned that too many scuba divers are shooting big lings in the Sound?

Samson
03-25-2010, 01:17 PM
I am a little confused by this logic on not taking lings over 36".
I have tasted large lings and small lings and they have never really been different.
Some large ones have no worms, others are wormy as hell.
Some have green flesh and others white.
I have to admit they all seem to taste the same.
If you are trying to preserve the population wouldn't an annual bag limits be more appropriate?
Living in Seattle for 8 years the local divers seemed to shun any take of fish, especially the largest of species.
Is this an attempt to make peace or are you just concerned that too many scuba divers are shooting big lings in the Sound?

It is a fact that it takes many years for females to reach mature breeding age. Most of the lings you come across that are over 36" are female and of breeding age. Its about keeping the populations alive and healthy. It only makes sence. Dont shoot the mamas that are laying eggs. Its the same logic in hunting waterfoul or big game. Ya dont shoot the females. In my experience, the bigger the ling, the smooshier the flesh and the taste is not near the quality as a smaller ling.

As a side note, I tend to not get along with the left wing treehuggers around here who are opposed to spearing. As a matter of fact, I have been banned several times from the local scuba boards for expressing my opinions in favor of spearing. I have no interest in kissing ass to the enviromaniacs out here. However, the conservationist in me wants to ensure the species survival so I can continue to spear for many years to come. The only way to do that is to keep the populations healthy. To do that, ya cannot go killing all the breeding females.
Its not rocket science.

ApneaAddict
03-25-2010, 01:54 PM
Its not rocket science.

Hm. I agree with you up until this point.

Our country's history of management and conservation has proven time and again that wildlife management is much much much more complicated than we always assume it is. Look up the history of Yellowstone. First they discourage killing of the elk, then they encourage killing of the predators, then they encourage killing of the beaver, then they encourage killing of the elk, then they ban killing of the beaver, then they reintroduce the predators, and so forth. Each with a huge impact on the ecosystem.

While this stuff isn't "rocket science", it may be just as complicated as rocket science. Never the 1:1 relationship that it looks like on the surface.

All that said- the biggest ling I've ever speared is the one in my avatar, so you don't have to worry about me shooting the bigguns.

Samson
03-25-2010, 01:59 PM
Hm. I agree with you up until this point.

Our country's history of "management" and "conservation" has had catastrophic consequences that have proven time and again that wildlife management is much much much more complicated than we always assume it is. Look up the history of Yellowstone. First discourage killing of the elk, then they encourage killing of the predators, then they encourage killing of the beaver, then they encourage killing of the elk, then they ban killing of the beaver, then they reintroduce the predators, and so forth. Each with a huge impact on the ecosystem.

While this stuff isn't "rocket science", it may be just as complicated as rocket science. Never the 1:1 relationship that it looks like on the surface.

All that said- the biggest ling I've ever speared is the one in my avatar, so you don't have to worry about me shooting the bigguns.


What would be the negative "cost" of a healthy ling population in Puget Sound? Longer seasons?

I can live with that.

ApneaAddict
03-25-2010, 02:01 PM
What would be the negative "cost" of a healthy ling population in Puget Sound? Longer seasons?

I can live with that.

lol. My understanding of the fishery up there was that most people feel like it's arbitrary to begin with, so even if the population went up, the season probably wouldn't be extended... but I'm sure you know more about it than I do.

Tino Bernazzani
03-25-2010, 08:58 PM
Thanks for the feedback Sampson, I was just curious as I am with most fisheries management concerns. I'm not knocking you and think its admirable to have higher than average standards when taking prized food fish.
The funny thing is that recreational fishing is something like, less than 1% (off the cuff figures that I have not confirmed outside of crab) of the take in WA. The commercial side of things gets all the take and the rec side is left with crazy short seasons, and restricted take.
I know the commercials up there have no issue with taking large lings.
So knowing that the rec take is such a small drop in the bucket it has to be more of a personal standard (which I give big time respect to you for following).
I am not knocking anyone here as I have my own take standards that would seem odd to someone who did not dive with me.
Its more of what effect are the local divers really having in comparison to other forms of take?
When it comes to lings, halibut, dungeness crab, salmon, etc, it seems that the recreational side of fishing always gets the shaft in Washington, no pun intended. :D

Navanax
03-25-2010, 10:57 PM
And don't forget the shaft we divers get for shrimp! Holy cow all I want to do is pop off a couple of night dives and with all the short seasons and then only area 8-2 (which is not bad) open at might and then filter by low tide exchanges I think we're down to a handful of nights.

Samson
03-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Thanks for the feedback Sampson, I was just curious as I am with most fisheries management concerns. I'm not knocking you and think its admirable to have higher than average standards when taking prized food fish.
The funny thing is that recreational fishing is something like, less than 1% (off the cuff figures that I have not confirmed outside of crab) of the take in WA. The commercial side of things gets all the take and the rec side is left with crazy short seasons, and restricted take.
I know the commercials up there have no issue with taking large lings.
So knowing that the rec take is such a small drop in the bucket it has to be more of a personal standard (which I give big time respect to you for following).
I am not knocking anyone here as I have my own take standards that would seem odd to someone who did not dive with me.
Its more of what effect are the local divers really having in comparison to other forms of take?
When it comes to lings, halibut, dungeness crab, salmon, etc, it seems that the recreational side of fishing always gets the shaft in Washington, no pun intended. :D


Hey Tino,

You are 100% correct! Unfortunatly, as insane as it is, the local government and the local tree hugging owl kissing left wing wackos around here directly blame spearfishing as the reason for the decline in ling cod and rock fish in the sound. There is an active movement to get it abolished all together. Everytime a spearo comes in with a big adult female to the check stations it is another excuse for them to close us down permanently.

So I guess I am kissing up....:(

pablo
03-26-2010, 09:03 AM
Samson,

Maybe the "tree hugging owl kissing left wing wackos around here directly blame spearfishing as the reason for the decline in ling cod and rock fish in the sound" but everyone else - the majority that I know off blames commercial fishing and loss of habitat (pollution) for the loss.
You show good intentions by calling for a sub 36" limit personally imposed take ethic. I am not arguing against it. I don't know if you know about our local club the Bottomsounders - but we are very active in trying to understandour actions as spearos. A 22" ling will have bred at least once. That is why that is the limit size. A 36" ling will have bred many times that and with much, much bigger egg mass. During our two sanctioned competitions we take one of a species (ling, cabbie, black rockfish, greenling) and target an "optimum" size - one that picks out a fish that has had the chance to breed at least once. We leave the older ones alone. Outside the comps - personal ethics takes over.
Here is another way to limit your take - don't use Scuba for spearing fish! Freedive only!

Tino Bernazzani
03-26-2010, 09:04 AM
Not at all Sampson.
Like I said its admirable to have higher standards and hope that others follow.
Its tuf when the photo fairys pin you as a killer but its easier to pick on us than it is a commercial operation. Its just so obvious in WA you would figure that some of these organizations would focus on solving a problem rather than slinging mud. Then again its the mud that drives their donations, think Sea Shepard.
So I applaud you in your efforts.
Its in times like this we have to walk the higher path.

Tino Bernazzani
03-26-2010, 09:10 AM
Hey Pablo,
Long time no see.
Its nice to see you and the Bottomsounders are leading the charge.
That can't be an easy task in WA where the cards are stacked against the rec side.
When is ling/halibut season up there anyway? I need to visit some family soon and would hope to find a nice window for both. :D
Hope all is well

Samson,

Maybe the "tree hugging owl kissing left wing wackos around here directly blame spearfishing as the reason for the decline in ling cod and rock fish in the sound" but everyone else - the majority that I know off blames commercial fishing and loss of habitat (pollution) for the loss.
You show good intentions by calling for a sub 36" limit personally imposed take ethic. I am not arguing against it. I don't know if you know about our local club the Bottomsounders - but we are very active in trying to understandour actions as spearos. A 22" ling will have bred at least once. That is why that is the limit size. A 36" ling will have bred many times that and with much, much bigger egg mass. During our two sanctioned competitions we take one of a species (ling, cabbie, black rockfish, greenling) and target an "optimum" size - one that picks out a fish that has had the chance to breed at least once. We leave the older ones alone. Outside the comps - personal ethics takes over.
Here is another way to limit your take - don't use Scuba for spearing fish! Freedive only!