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Posted by Egret on July 12, 2018 at 19:38:44:

In Reply to: STRIPER CLUB CHALLENGE posted by Mark A on July 12, 2018 at 11:51:03:

Anybody who is trying to claim that the quality of the fishery at Hartwell is as good as it has been in years past either didn't fish back then, didn't know how to fish back then, don't know what a big fish is or they are trying to inflate their ego. The numbers of 10 pound plus fish are a tiny fraction of what was there not all that long ago. While I 100% support lowering the limits to a much lower number, the reson for this decline isn't people keeping the excessively large limits that are on the books. Sure, huge limits do not help the recovery but it's the fish kills that killed them by the hundreds of thousands.

I honestly believe the striper tournament clubs (I don''t refer to the clubs as striper clubs because that implies they care about conservation) are to blame for this current situation. They pressed the DNR over the years to shift the traditional stocking of Hartwell and Clarks Hill away from a very large percentage of hybrids to a larger percentage of stripers. I was a early member of the Striper Kings and watched this happen. Stripers are better for their tournaments which is all they care about. But hybrids have a much better survival rate than stripers in our lakes the way the corp manages them. O2 lines at Clarks Hill have been huge for fish survival but the fish are getting raped by the guides and meat fishermen when they gang up in the lower end around those lines. And a lot of those fish caught around the O2 lines are stripers, not just hybrids as some are claiming in this thread.

I support lowering the limits significantly, and shifting the stocking emphasis back to a larger percentage of hybrids. Hartwell and Clarks Hill were unreal fisheries in the mid 80's when you could go out and catch 40 to 60 absolute slab hybrids averaging 6 pounds plus on any given day. Back then we kept our limits too and I honestly regret every one we kept looking back on it.

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