So whats the relationship...........
between Duck hunters, herring runs,and Stripers?
Back in the early 30's a group of Duck Hunting SPORTSMEN, remember that term it comes into play soon, started to notice an alarming decline in the waterfowl populations in North America.
Industrialization of the Mississippi and Chesapeak Bay areas was in full swing, but that was not the only cause. Cultivation of the northern Canada prairies was in full swing, but that was not the only cause. There were no seasons or bag limits in place on migratory bird species, but that was not the only cause. Waterfowl were being persued from the nest, eggs were gathered for sale in the larger American markets for wealthy consumers omlets. Large rafts of waterfowl, most prized were the Canvasbacks, due to the total vegitarian diet the best best table duck of all. A single Can would fetch $5.00 at the market. Remeber now this is the 30's. The market GUNNERS would load 8 gauge punt guns with screws nails and scap metal, row out into the shallow waters, and with one pull of a lanyard unload 3 barrels at once into a flock of thousands of birds.
Hundreds at a time were marketed. Tales of punt boats sinking in the bay under the heavyloads were common place. But that was not the only cause.
The sum of all these things caused the crash of waterfowl populations.
So the sportsmen paid for the studies, petitioned the federal government and "SURPRISE", regulations were passed setting seasons, and bag limits.
The Gunners (commercial duck hunters) fought the SPORTSMEN every inch of the way. Can't buy wild ducks no more!
The other issues involved breeding areas, the Canadian Prairy pot holes, and small rivers and estuaries throughout northern North America.
This group of sportsmen named themselves and chartered a non-profit organization, Ducks Unlimited" Not for unlimited bags, but for unlimited opportunities for ducks to migrate and breed. They kept at the feds and got the Migratorie bird treaty passed. this forced Canada and mexico to establish seasons and bags as well.
KEEP READING I'M GETTING TO MY POINT!
Next came the Migratorie Bird Stamp. The monies are protected by federal law and can only be used for ONE purpose, Waterfowl habitat.
Ducks Unlimited raises money to purchase lands in conjuntion with the stamp monies to REHABILITATE wetlands, for nesting, roosting, and feeding areas all along the migration corridors.
The Chesapeake Bay area has recieved a great deal of atention from these monies. Cape Cod as well. The American system of "Refuges" is a direct result of all these issues. Imagine Hunters contributing to land purchases where they can't hunt!
How does all this affect Stripers you ask!
Each state gets a piece of the pie according to the numbers of stamps, both state and federal, they sell. $1.00 spent on licenses and stamps gets 3 back through the Wallop-Breaux act.
Want fish ladders, buy a fresh water license, Federal duck stamp, state duck stamp, and watch even more money come into your state.
The license pays for the ladders, the stamps rehab the eco sysytem of the rivers/streams the herring need to spawn. In turn more Bass visit the food source.