Sustained forests; sustained profits

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The Fishery

The Fishery is a whole system for producing sustained profits for people in the enterprise. It does that by producing and sustaining desirable levels of specific human benefits. It is devoted to improved natural resource management, the only way known to sustain benefits from such a system cost-effectively. The Fishery includes all of the parts of that dis-junct concepts of aquatic organisms; fishing or angling; fishers, fishermen, or anglers; aquatic systems; riparian systems; wetland management; lake, pond, and stream ecology; and "the fishery" nowdiscussed by modern experts. We shall not resolve the problems of definition but we do operate on the philosophy that we are managing an important natural resource system for people and conceive of it as a singular a whole system designed to produce high, bounded, stable expected net-present value over 150 years. It is producing specified human benefits directly or indirectly from fish populations. It includes doing research on as well as actively influencing pollutants, costs of production, habitats, effects of logging and mining, harvests, perceived benefits and an almost-endless array of other factors, all to enhance fish numbers and quality, but especially human benefits (reducing risks, increasing values, enabeling substitutions, and reducing wastes). It includes preventing problems, developing water and populations, maintaining programs, monitoring, enforcing the law, planning, and administering the enterprise. Much more than "Fishin'", it includes the waters, the landscape effects, fish themselves (many species), watersheds, wildlife, boats, marketing, equipment, sales, outlets, education, economies, research, administration... and more.

The Fishery is based on the observations and a premise that adverse environmental conditions such as high insecticide levels, excessive turbidity levels, and great changes in water quality and depths can prevent native fish reproduction in ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. Increasingly evident, public waters, with limited management, cannot supply the apparent currently-desired amount of angling in sufficient quality. Increasingly, people seem to enjoy simply knowing that abundant healthy populations of fish exist.

To sustain fish populations for for angling seems like a reasonable objective, but within the context of Lasting Forests it can be misleading. As in foresstry, sustaining forest growth may not be cost effective and may even lead to bankruptcy if not done carefully by private land owners. Sustained profit or not failing are the objectives. The concept behind the fishery is like that of the factory. To sustain profits from a factory, it must be safe, clean, efficient, and well maintained and managed. Factory operation costs money, part of the equation leading to profits. The manager of The Fishery works on increasing income (from any and all legal sources) and on reducing costs, losses, and risks (from any and all sources) private.

"Stocking fish" and "setting seasons" are familiar fishery activities but they are such trivial ideas in the context of the above that they need only a second thought. They will continue to be done, but their emphasis will be far out of proportion to their significance. Hatchery fish are used in some strategy. Fish, however, must be placed in quality waters and used by quality anglers to gain quality fishing experience. There will be new needs for hatchery fish, some three times more than now available, and some hatcheries are now closed. Independent construction has slowed. The time may be right for managing existing ponds and (those that can be properly constructed) with introduced fish seems to be upon the people of the region.

The Fishery is responsive to problems seen in the past in relating environmental studies (research) to fish, fishing, and angler satisfaction. It has been difficult to make these relations, to tie them to other resource interests, and rapidly to make analyses of the data collected and deliver them rapidly before decisions are to be made. Ponds are dynamic, so data taken today may not reflect conditions tomorrow. Owners and anglers' values change as surely as the ponds themselves. Citizen interest varies with the evening TV newscast. Pond models used by The Fishery reflect rational robustness and use heuristic approaches, a reasonable confidence level, a reasonable standard of accuracy, conditional standards, and present networks or sets of likely outcomes.

The Fishery has been formed to assist in meeting these changing needs. Creating a modern, sophisticated regional freshwater fishery is its task and opportunity. Later it may be expanded to other regions.

Major work of The Fishery is in

  1. developing a pond fishery as a managed subsystem,
  2. developing river- and lake-based warm-water subsystem with guides, education, and tours,
  3. developing Silver Waters, a quality trout fishery,
  4. developing a wetland fishery (with Nature Folks)
  5. developing a native-fish group
  6. developing a cooperative research program with universities

The Fishery, strangely, is not a "fish" system. Our fundamental beliefs are that there are many groups of people with at least one interest (actual or potential) in one or more parts of the system. There is not just one thing to do and do well. There are many fish species and many situations . . . but probably even more types of people with various interests in The Fishery. The three-way match-up of The Fishery is that among

...often with influences greater from outside than inside the water.

In the U.S. there are 50 million anglers and they are increasing. They spend about a half billion days fishing. Doing this, they spend $24 billion. Half of these expenditures are trip related, $3.7 billion equipment related, and $5 billion boat related. All of this action generates $20 billion in worker earnings and supports over 900,000 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Like a deep coal seam, The Fishery of the region is untouched. It has great potentials for profit as well as secondary benefits to the region. It is of a type and scope that falls outside the normal operating procedures of district fish division personnel of most state departments of wildlife. There are major problems ahead for the urban dweller gaining timely access to angling opportunities, equitable use of the resource and increasing pollution. In October, 1999 a Conservation Biology article said that freshwater species are dying out as fast as those in the rainforests. Likely to be an extreme commentary (Lomborg, 2000), nevertheless there is work to be done. &wuot;Things" are not as good as they might be. Since 1900 at least 123 species have been lost from North American waters, and the study predicted a continuing loss of about 4% of the remaining total every decade, unless the trend is arrested. Almost half of all freshwater mussels, a third of the crayfish, a quarter of the amphibians and a fifth of the fish are likely to be threatened in the next century unless there is significantly different action than that of the past.

Staff duties are to operate The Fishery as a comprehensive enterprise, a for-financial-gains and cost/loss-reduction division of Lasting Forests. Positive net gains are used to improve the total fishery of the land, other ownerships, and the world. Allocating these "profits" internally will be computer-aided.


The income flow is conceived from the work of an industrious, gains-oriented, service-producing staff and will be from the following activities and products (generalized as outreach). (These will vary by season and years, especially in the start-up period, and may reflect the personality of the staff employed more than the local markets and current demands.)

Since national reductions have occurred in public support for federal fisheries programs, there are excellent opportunities to employ outstanding fisheries experts in The Fisheryand to create an internationally recognized center of fisheries systems work. The emphasis is on systems. Fisheries research centers now exist that are not likely to be surpassed. These have achieved excellence in select areas of fisheries work. In few places is there a powerful, committed, rational group at work, computer-aided, synthesizing the incredibly large and complex literature and making it work on the land and in the waters of Lasting Forests.

The following are comments and ideas on what is planned for The Fishery:

1. Create and operate a rapid-analysis and rapid-prescription writing system. (See The Trevey.) In the computer are the equations and messages. Based on forms filled out by pond owners or by staff, a report will be sent (for a fee) telling how to solve problems or improve pond management. A staff analyst may then approach potential clients and cooperators for detailed analyses and prescriptions.

2. Market and sell pond management and stream-management consulting services to all mining, agricultural, and other firms in the area. These services can be in permitting procedures, but many ponds exist for which advice is needed just to improve their overall role. Demonstration streams, lakes, and ponds can be built or identified for people interested in contracting with Lasting Forests and for others.

3. There are many ponds in the region. These are often unmanaged and do not achieve their potentials as esthetic resources, as a component of a fishery, or in the other purposes for which they were intended. We propose to operate a pond management program; manage ponds for land owners; charge for fee fishing; supply a percentage of profits to lake owners; diversify fishing opportunities (pricing quality of the experience); and provide employment of several varieties (including inspections and monitoring).

4. There are thousands of unpublished fisheries reports. These can be secured from government sources and published or republished, especially if grouped in unique ways or if provided the "cement" of a computer program showing the practical results of putting 2 to 5 ideas together. These programs can be used on site, used with clients, and sold with reports to those interested. These programs open doors to fees since few owners will want (or have competence) to use the programs delivered. In some cases, noted writers can be brought to the area, commissioned to write specific fisheries papers, and these sold. A staff writer may be employed to produce a steady stream of camera-ready, low-cost publications.

5. By contacting the state judiciary, it may be possible to secure funds paid by industries in fines resulting from stream pollution. These fines (as Allied Chemical was instructed in the kepone pollution incident in Virginia's James River) could be used in the enterprise for research on inventory systems, pollutant and coal effects, land use practices, fish and groundwater interactions, delelopment of a regional fishery, and many related topics. (A list will be supplied on request.)

Similarly, a program for work within The Fishery with delinquents will be explored.

6. The staff can seek contracts and grants from many sources. They may provide area and waters for research by university faculty.

7. A Foundation may be created within contributions are actively solicited, typically for Lasting Forests. Without much detail, and with fear of sounding trite, the system should include "capturing" school children's interests by them buying a square meter of lake (allowing them to relate personally and, hopefully, for a lifetime), supplying information to contributors, conducting tours and having areas sufficiently pleasant and rewarding that people desire to contribute to its upkeep. Efforts will be to relate people to fish groups, to lakes or streams, to problem areas and to cater to sub- group interests. Aquaria, glass-bottomed walk-ways over lakes, etc. are ways to inform as well as to seek personal attachment to the land and The Fishery and the work it does. Contributions from sporting clubs and others and the positive feedback from naming a stream rock-face or a stream reach for a contribution seem feasible.

8. A highly efficient work crew, a "stream attack force" - perhaps summer-employed youths in a low-cost work camp environment-can be made available for costs for stream reclamation in the region.

9. A source of fish-related art objects might be maintained and sales sponsored. Painters and sculptors might be commissioned to work on the area themselves, become part of tours conducted, and their objects sold. These objects can be used to build nature appreciation and that for interactions (e.g., fish-insect-plant).

10. An organization called the Anglers may be created with each member seeking progress along 10 steps or stages of angling competence. The organization would collect membership fees, give deductions in fees on all related fishing areas, and all would be pushing toward high knowledge of fisheries, fishing efficiency, care of the land, fishing ethics, ecology, camping, woodcraft, fish life history, fish identification etc. This is not a meeting-oriented group (though an annual convention might be considered, especially for fees from displays by manufacturers, etc.) or politically oriented group. It helps provide a mailing list, outreach, memberships, fee promotion, consciousness (hats, badges, car stickers, T-shirts, boat stickers etc.). Most importantly it seeks to put a significant number of well- informed, resource users out on the land, getting far more than the average person gets from every unit of fish-protein produced. A special program is planned for attracting and supporting female anglers.

11. Tours can be conducted for Anglers but there is a need for a specialized staff to advertise and get corporate decision makers and natural resource managers in on highly efficient, clearly-cost-effective, 2- and 3-day intensive sessions on the full meaning of a fishery. At respectable fees, groups can be brought to and housed in or near tract facilities, taught actively in-doors, then taken on bus tours of ponds and streams to maximize learning, i.e., significantly changed behavior per dollar of their investment. Contacts for later service are an evident secondary result.

12. Angler conferences (off-site) can be sponsored. Once expertise is gained, these conferences can be managed for other groups for a fee or they may be sponsored with fees.

13. Bird lovers build life lists. They seek to see as many different species as possible. Serious birders will fly around the world to get one or two additions to their life list. Fish life lists are almost unknown. There is a rich fish fauna in the area. The Fishery can emphasize this new sport, provide publications and aids, help introduce it in the region, sell opportunities to gain, for example, 3 new species in that stream, 2 new ones in this stream, 1 in that pond. An entire new nature sport can be created. Obvious candidates may be Anglers (but they should be separate programs). Rules will be worked out, and there are license problems with seining for a new minnow and seining for fish. These can be resolved through proper efforts, including a special license (i.e., membership in this group of life-list builders). Computer records can be maintained; a newsletter can announce new leaders in the list; notices about where new species can be readily gotten; tours taken to allow a bus load of people to get 5-10 new species with one seining or electro-shocking activity.

14. A special boat (new or one with a distinctive local style) can be constructed using many local materials by workers in a pole-shed environment. The workers will employ computer-aided design, and the boat will be uniquely suited for local fishing. The boats can be marketed nationally and sales supported by the many visitors to the area. Built by trained craftsmen or women, these unique boats will be used in research and other activities of The Fishery. Intensive use of such boats in mapping ponds and lakes with GPS and making GIS maps of waterways will help market them.

15. An extensive bait enterprise can be created along with a pet native fish and aquarium enterprise.

16. Fisheries research is badly needed, world wide. Fisheries research, using the full range of activities of the area and the net monetary gains from the total FISHERY can be significant. The research effort from such funds can build staff and facilities. It can encourage visitors and conferences that will use or feed into other Lasting Forests System activities and interests. Visitors can bring new ideas, techniques, and computer programs that can be rapidly sent to the field by the activities and contacts outlined above.

17. Contacts with Kristen P. LaVine, Program Manager, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Phone: 703.519.0013 x105, may be helpful.

18. Access to ideas potentially related to ocean fisheries and the law is now available as are other contacts for fish information.

Estimated Development Costs are $130,000 with annual profits after about 5 years being $100,000.

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Last revision April 1, 2002.