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Thread: PWS Shrimping Ethics and Soak Time

  1. #1
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    Default PWS Shrimping Ethics and Soak Time

    I donít think I know enough to draw any conclusions (I'm a newbie shrimper), so I thought I would ask you with more experience for your opinion. There are a number of recreational shrimpers that leave their pots out most of the summer and pull them whenever they happen to get there. I think most of this happens in passage canal, but I have heard of other areas too. In view of a number of threads saying that the harvest is declining, do you think this practice is wasting the resource? Do you think some shrimp are wasted to starvation or octopus when pots are pulled once a week or whatever? If so, do you think regulations should include a maximum soak time?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I don't think it has a serious effect on the resource, a pot is only going to pull in shrimp from a small surrounding area. If an octopus or two gets in and clears out the occasional pot, to me it's a zero net gain on the biomass. As far as shrimp starving to death when stuck in a pot for an extended period of time, I haven't heard of that being an issue. You'd be suprised at how well shrimp can escape a pot, and I believe the water has a fair bit of nutrients to keep shrimp allive for some time in a pot.

    My understanding is most of the sets you see in passage canal close to Whitier are locals. I think most weekend boaters figure the risk of somebody stealing their gear and/or their catch offsets the gain of some shrimp during extended soaks and hence people leaving their gear out isn't that common of a practice.

    I do not want to see maximum soak time added to the regs. There are certainly many possibilities for someone to have to leave their pots during the season, medical emergency, boat problem, weather and then go and pull the pots later. Putting pressure for someone to retrieve those pots due to some arbitrary soak time will put somebodies life at risk when they go out with a boat that isn't ready or weather that is unsafe to keep from getting a ticket.

    I have no doubt with the number of recreational shrimpers increasing, we'll likely see the season shortened or perhaps the number of pots reduced in the future.
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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    I leave my pots out when I can. I have left them out for close to a week because of weather. When the silvers get in I will come down in the afternoon whenever I get gas buddies. When I can I will just cycle my pots every two days when fishing. I'm sure the shrimp eat each other, the crabs get in eat shrimp, octopus do their damage. But I have these critters in my pots after a short soak. Whats the difference? I don't think its unethical for me to fish this way. However, that being said...... Flame on!!

  4. #4

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    A few weeks ago I pulled up someone's 5 pots that had obviously been sitting on the bottom for over a year based on the corrosion. This was a string that had no buoy and had obviously been lost. Of all 5 pots, there was only one shrimp. One pot had a live octopus that had eaten half of another octopus. The threads that are supposed to dissolve after a while to allow the pot to open up were still intact. Based on what I saw, I don't believe that keeping pots out for an extended period of time traps/kill shrimp.

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    Shrimp pots are designed to make it more difficult for the shrimp to escape, not impossible. They're pretty good about moving on and finding their way out when food runs out.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Also, when your bait is dissolved and gone, they have no reason to enter the trap.
    BK

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