MikeBlue

Were Fish Really Bigger Back Then?

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I found this interesting.

 

Over the years fisheries have simply removed the bigger catch from the gene pool. Smaller fish with slow growth and early maturity get to reproduce and transmit their genes. This means that fishing-induced selection toward small body size is genetic. The situation is thus hard to reverse, now that we start to understand how we have affected evolution. To read the whole study go here.

 

https://phys.org/news/2022-01-size-fishing-chance-big-fish.html

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Good read for this time of year.  Very similar to the article on town/county wide rattlesnake festivals that feature hunts. Hundreds of rattlers would be killed, leaving only the quiet aggressive ones to survive and breed.  The rattlers that gave warning, being more docile, gave away their location and caused them to be killed. The aggressive rattlers that would strike without giving a rattle/warning weren't found and were then able to breed. The aggression and lack of rattle warning is a recessive genetic trait that was then passed on to the next generation. 

So if the larger aggressive bass are caught and killed then that leaves the smaller more timid bass left to breed.  But I dont think that means the bass cant grow to be as large as bass were back in the day. I just dont think we are giving them a chance to reach that size. 

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22 mins ago, BeachBum818 said:

Good read for this time of year.  Very similar to the article on town/county wide rattlesnake festivals that feature hunts. Hundreds of rattlers would be killed, leaving only the quiet aggressive ones to survive and breed.  The rattlers that gave warning, being more docile, gave away their location and caused them to be killed. The aggressive rattlers that would strike without giving a rattle/warning weren't found and were then able to breed. The aggression and lack of rattle warning is a recessive genetic trait that was then passed on to the next generation. 

So if the larger aggressive bass are caught and killed then that leaves the smaller more timid bass left to breed.  But I dont think that means the bass cant grow to be as large as bass were back in the day. I just dont think we are giving them a chance to reach that size. 

I would question the correlation between aggression and lack of rattling. In fact I more than question it, I out right call BS.

 

The ones that don't rattle are the laid back docile ones. They're the ones that freeze and rely on their camouflage to avoid predators. They survive because the snake hunters never know they were there.

 

The ones that rattle are the feisty ones. They're the ones who are ready to fight at the first sign of trouble. Rattling is the first stage of their defensive arsenal. Next is coiling in the strike position and finally striking. 

 

The quiet ones don't want to fight. They lay still and hope you pass. Then they try to flee. They only strike if you grab them.

The noisy ones will strike quick if you ignore the rattle.

 

Unless you have spent time around them, it's hard to understand just how inoffensive they really are. 

There are places out west where rattlesnakes are the most common snakes. Like garter snakes to us. They're in all the parks and recreational areas and in people's yard every day, yet very few people are bitten. Invariably, the ones who are bitten were mucking with it.

It's extremely rare to be bitten by a snake unless you put yourself in position to be bitten. 

Simply watching where you step and put your hands is all the protection you need even in the most snake infested places.

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2 mins ago, mikez2 said:

I would question the correlation between aggression and lack of rattling. In fact I more than question it, I out right call BS.

 

The ones that don't rattle are the laid back docile ones. They're the ones that freeze and rely on their camouflage to avoid predators. They survive because the snake hunters never know they were there.

 

The ones that rattle are the feisty ones. They're the ones who are ready to fight at the first sign of trouble. Rattling is the first stage of their defensive arsenal. Next is coiling in the strike position and finally striking. 

 

The quiet ones don't want to fight. They lay still and hope you pass. Then they try to flee. They only strike if you grab them.

The noisy ones will strike quick if you ignore the rattle.

 

Unless you have spent time around them, it's hard to understand just how inoffensive they really are. 

There are places out west where rattlesnakes are the most common snakes. Like garter snakes to us. They're in all the parks and recreational areas and in people's yard every day, yet very few people are bitten. Invariably, the ones who are bitten were mucking with it.

It's extremely rare to be bitten by a snake unless you put yourself in position to be bitten. 

Simply watching where you step and put your hands is all the protection you need even in the most snake infested places.

Interesting, and makes sense!   My yard has a ton of garter snakes.  Its not uncommon to have 5 or 6 sunning themselves on our front walk.   The only time I have had one bite me is when I was messing with them.  It startles you more than hurt you.  They can be feisty little suckers.  Its really cool when you watch one that has just caught a toad.  If you don't bother them, you can see the entire process of them swallowing their dinner.

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21 mins ago, mikez2 said:

I would question the correlation between aggression and lack of rattling. In fact I more than question it, I out right call BS.

 

The ones that don't rattle are the laid back docile ones. They're the ones that freeze and rely on their camouflage to avoid predators. They survive because the snake hunters never know they were there.

 

The ones that rattle are the feisty ones. They're the ones who are ready to fight at the first sign of trouble. Rattling is the first stage of their defensive arsenal. Next is coiling in the strike position and finally striking. 

 

The quiet ones don't want to fight. They lay still and hope you pass. Then they try to flee. They only strike if you grab them.

The noisy ones will strike quick if you ignore the rattle.

 

Unless you have spent time around them, it's hard to understand just how inoffensive they really are. 

There are places out west where rattlesnakes are the most common snakes. Like garter snakes to us. They're in all the parks and recreational areas and in people's yard every day, yet very few people are bitten. Invariably, the ones who are bitten were mucking with it.

It's extremely rare to be bitten by a snake unless you put yourself in position to be bitten. 

Simply watching where you step and put your hands is all the protection you need even in the most snake infested places.

LOL I'm not going to debate or argue with you. I'm just passing along info from a research study done in the early/mid 2000's. It's not just anecdotal evidence...but an actual study. They found aggressive snakes that struck without any warning, which became more prevalent after the rattlesnake roundups. The docile ones were the ones that frightened away threats using its rattle. Make sense that the ones that rattled were more likely to be killed during the round up. They didnt find an in between- snakes that didnt rattle and didnt strike. 

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10 mins ago, BeachBum818 said:

LOL I'm not going to debate or argue with you. I'm just passing along info from a research study done in the early/mid 2000's. It's not just anecdotal evidence...but an actual study. They found aggressive snakes that struck without any warning, which became more prevalent after the rattlesnake roundups. The docile ones were the ones that frightened away threats using its rattle. Make sense that the ones that rattled were more likely to be killed during the round up. They didnt find an in between- snakes that didnt rattle and didnt strike. 

Were you directly quoting the results of a study or an article in the press that made assumptions about the data?

 

Can you post a link to the article?

I'm very interested to read it as it directly contradicts all the science I'm familiar with and my personal experience around both wild and captive rattlesnakes. 

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For the few years I worked as a fisheries observer, I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of cod, maybe over a million individuals. I have seen only one over 40 lbs and count on my hands how many 30 pounders I’ve seen.
 

Less than a century ago a 50 pounder was not an unusual sight.

 

I do believe this change is due to human impact on the gene pool.

 

Stripers seem to have a lower weight to length ratio than they did pre 19990’s. This may be due to genetic changes from fishing pressure or a change in prey populations or combination of both.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

 

On 1/22/2022 at 9:49 AM, mikez2 said:

t's extremely rare to be bitten by a snake unless you put yourself in position to be bitten. 

Simply watching where you step and put your hands is all the protection you need even in the most snake infested places.

 

Back in my senior year in high school my girlfriend & I were hiking the trails of the Quabbin reservation (I grew up in Western MA). As we were hiking I heard a rattling noise. I looked down to see a rattler giving us a warning. We slowly backed up and then changed our hiking route. 

Edited by zak-striper

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OTW ran a similar article only it was a completely different theory for size gap.  Striped Bass sexually maturing to a younger age. :laugh:

 
I guess we trust the science or go with user experience and file under fish tales. 

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8 hours ago, zak-striper said:

I

 

Back in my senior year in high school my girlfriend & I were hiking the trails of the Quabbin reservation (I grew up in Western MA). As we were hiking I heard a rattling noise. I looked down to see a rattler giving us a warning. We slowly backed up and then changed out hiking route. 

Thousands of hikers around the country pass within a few feet of rattlers every season without ever knowing they were there because they did not rattle.

The idea that the ones that don't rattle are more likely to bite is hogwash.

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I don't fool around rattlers,but I am interested in the striper situation we now have. Since the moratorium in the 80's and the recovery, I have seen a change in the quality (size) of the catches go from small to large and now back to small, medium with less 40-50lb fish,at least for me and my experience.

We had a great period in the early 2000's of many large fish caught and by 2015 it was reducing in quantity and quality.

My personal experience is we are in a full scale break down of the population.  

I don't think it has anything to do with the gene pool,but terrible miss management yet again.  We are again in the tank for many years and I hate it. 

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We have to take into consideration the way that the baitfish are hammered by the Com fleet.  Menhaden, herring and squid are relentless persued for commercial use.  

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Purely anecdotal but I certainly remember when the limit was 36", 35" fish seemed disproportionately common. 

When the limit became 28", it was 27" inch fish.

 

So the question is, are fish genetically smaller? Or are the larger fish just being removed quicker.

 

I guess the question I have is,  is there enough proof that large fish grow large babies permanently? 

I'm not convinced based on that study.

 

 

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37 mins ago, John P said:

 

I don't think it has anything to do with the gene pool,but terrible miss management yet again.  We are again in the tank for many years and I hate it. 

^^^^^ this.

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2 hours ago, Gotcow? said:
3 hours ago, John P said:

 

I don't think it has anything to do with the gene pool,but terrible miss management yet again.  We are again in the tank for many years and I hate it. 

^^^^^ this.

 

I don't really care about "all the speculation". I know what we see is simple "cause and effect". The cause is that excessive fishing effort (mostly commercial) takes/targets the larger, more valuable fish with "most species". The effect is that the fish do not get a chance to grow so the size average goes down.  A perfect example of this is that from 1999 until 2012 we saw more 4+ pound (winter/black-back) flounder aboard my Quincy charter fishing operation each year. In 2009 we started seeing at least one over 5 pounds for several years and in early 2012 (how oblivious I was) I even bragged on a website (perhaps here somewhere?) that we will be getting some over 6 pounds soon enough. Then, in the end of 2012 The Fishery Manager Menza's  announced that they were giving the draggers a 77% reduction in the cod quota and in early 2013 they doubled the flounder quota with no justification other than to give "the poor, hardworking, struggling, traditional commercial fishermen" (and their starving families) something to catch. Since then we went from "easy limit catches" of large flounder with a 13 week season down to "keep every keeper" to try to scratch a limit from Mid May to Mid June ONLY. By 2016 we were down to a handful of 4 pounders and we have not seen one over four pounds in several years now. Damn few over 3 pounds now as well.

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