Puddlefish Vs. Gamefish in Georgia

When the Wall Street Journal took aim at the governor of Georgia yesterday, casting him as a sort of L’il Abner of state budget management, it recorded that Sonny Perdue believes that fishing in small, hot, man-made lakes will provide the economic shot-in-the-arm that will save the state. In fact the state has gone ahead with the construction of a $14 million “Go Fish Georgia” center near Purdue’s hometown.
Consider, then, that a state that has overbuilt its water supply and that recently considered damming several wild rivers to help manage its water crisis hasn’t even bothered to enact programs that would generate significant revenue at much lower cost. Case in point: declaring “gamefish” status for redfish. Georgia is the only state other than Mississippi to have failed to recognize the economic benefits of limiting the commercial harvest of redfish. Even Spud Woodward, Georgia’s assistant director for marine fisheries, recently noted that “over time recreational fishing has grown in importance, and commercial fishing has somewhat diminished. The designation of species targeted by recreational fishermen just makes sense.” Robert Pavey in the Augusta Chronicle.
Now if we can just get Spud and Sonny together on the idea that maybe a few million of those puddlefish dollars should go to regulating the harvest of redfish, we could all be winners — especially the guides and anglers who treasure the resources of the Georgia coast. Take the time today to go to the GeorgiaRedfish.org Web site and sign the online form that registers your wish to see redfish protected. It will take only seconds, and you will have done a good thing for fishing — and for the state of Georgia.

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