In my last piece, I emphasized the importance of being good stewards of our natural resources. We all enjoy the many opportunities Mother Nature blesses us with such as fishing, hunting, swimming, and boating etc. Therefore, it behooves us all to be vigilant in keeping our environment safe and clean. It is the little things we do that make a huge impact. One such thing is to purchase bait from certified reputable bait distributors.
I remember as a child trying to catch my own minnows. That would have been fine had I been catching those minnows from the same body of water I was fishing. For example, if I was fishing Lake X and Lake X had a Dam, the Spillway of Lake X is actually a different body of water. You should not catch baitfish in the Spillway and transport them alive to the body of water that is flowing into the Spillway. As of May 28, 2017, Mississippi is one such state that mandates that you cannot catch baitfish in the Spillway and transport them alive to the body of water that is flowing into the Spillway. Why, might you ask? Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Fisheries Coordinator Dennis Riecke said, “This rule is being implemented to prevent the spread of live non-native fish species like silver carp and bighead carp to new waters. Since these fish are difficult to distinguish from shad when small, they could be introduced into new waters when used or discarded as live bait.” (Cleveland, 2017, Mississippi Sportsman).
The Great Lakes and Kentucky/Barkley Lakes are some examples that prove just a little innocent baitfish or invasive species can turn into a massive recreational, ecological, and economical problem. We can make sure our local bodies of water never experience these man-made issues and we can continue to help get control of lakes, rivers, reservoirs, streams and creeks that are currently experiencing invasive species issues by doing our part. Get your bait from a reputable source.