I am just sitting here after hearing about the results of the Homer Halibut Derby and can't help but wonder about the changes they made and the effects of those changes. Do you think that it made a difference? Seems like the changes got a warm reception on a thread here when they were announced, but now that the season is over, how did the behavior of fisherman change due to the change in derby rules? I realize that there were plenty of large halibut released and kudos to those folks. But how many people reeled up a large halibut this year and said to themselves or out loud,"The prize for the biggest halibut is only $10,000 this year, throw it back!"
I saw on Dave Bayes website, the day of fishing is free if you release a 250 lb. or greater halibut. Don't know Dave personally, but it seems like a pretty admirable thing to do. Why doesn't the derby reimburse someone like that for trying to conserve the resource if that fisherman had a derby ticket? Until we take the emphasis completely off the largest fish, people will continue harvesting them. I know that the derby has to keep the excitement there and make their money, but there has got to be some other way. I am not in any way ragging on the Homer Chamber of Commerce or the derby, I just think that there has got to be another way to keep the derby going and let those big fish keep swimming around. Just my thoughts.