Carp From The St Lawrence

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Here?s where you can ask Gary about the carp fishing on the St Lawrence River. Also, I?ve got some other, more graphic, shots of the bow fishermen at work on the carp. We chose not to publish these, but I must admit to being somewhat undecided about this.

On the one hand it is a normal and acceptable thing to do in Canada. On the other hand, seeing carp with arrows through them and being gaffed is not a pretty sight.

Have I done the right thing by deciding not to publish them, or is that too much censorship?

What do you think?
 
J

Jon Moores

Guest
Graham, Would you have had the same thoughts of not publishing if it was a picture of a cod being gaffed onto a boat? If the issue is should any fish be treated a certain way then that's IMHO a valid judgement, but if it's just because it happens to be a carp then perhaps not.
 
P

Peter Morton

Guest
Graham, in my opinion you are right not to publish the bowfishing photo's as this is after all an angling forum.
Shooting fish that are moving into shallow water to spawn with a high powered bow & arrow can have no sporting value,you may as well put them in a barrel and take potshots
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Jon, I must admit that I would be more inclined to publish if it had been a cod, or a trout, but my decision was more about it being a coarse fish rather than it being a carp.

Another thing I want to make clear is that the decision was made jointly between me and Gary. It was not a case of me not publishing something that Gary had submitted for publication. I asked to see the photos for my own (morbid if you like) curiosity.

It was the curiosity factor that made me wonder if I had made the right decision.

I mean, why should I decide what you should or should not, be allowed to see?

You could say the answer to that is that it's my job as editor to make those decisions.

There are lots of ways to look at this, which is why I asked for opinions about it.

Peter, I understand what you're saying, but the principle (and I stress principle) is not a lot different to a fly fisherman doing the same thing and then whacking the trout with a priest.
 
R

Ray Bewick

Guest
Graham wrote - "whacking the trout with a priest."
A true statement but somewhat emotive phrase mate, a quick & certain end though!.

I was always taught to dispatch my fish in private i.e shield the act from eyes which may not care to see the final act perhaps that is what you practiced with the 'bow' pics.
I agree with your decision.
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
I think the asimilation to a trout angler is a little vague.
A trout angler will kill a trout to eat it, a bow fisherman(?) will have some trophy shots and then throw the carcass in a bush.

I know that in this country we are peculiar in the way that we revere coarse fish, but having been brought up to respect and care for your quarry I find it ethically distasteful.

I wouldn't condemn someone for following their passion in their own country, but I think that you're correct in not publishing the pictures on a UK based site.
 
R

rob d

Guest
i have always wanted to go to canada for carp but i would find it to upsetting if i witnessed bow fishing,i dont know how anyone could kill anything in the name of sport.
maybe i am hypocritical.after all i still fish.
 
P

Peter Morton

Guest
Graham,i take your point,but surely dispatching a trout with a blow from a priest when taking the fish for the pot,cannot compare to shooting a large carp with a bow and arrow just to get a couple of trophy shots!I very much doubt that these fish are taken for the table!
 
S

Stuart Bullard

Guest
"I wouldn't condemn someone for following their passion in their own country, but I think that you're correct in not publishing the pictures on a UK based site."

Carp, probably for the first time I have to disagree with you on something. So just for the record, you, Graham, Gary, Sedge, Coops etc etc I believe are the "cornerstones" of what is right about angling. However, I think we need to reflect on the global nature of organisations such as PETA.

To have any association with what has been quite loosely described by Graham is, I think, against most principles followed by anglers on this site.

"Conservation" comes in many forms, but bow and arrows??? No, sorry, it just does not sit comfortably with me and I really think that we should have no association with it what so ever.

We have debated long and hard on this website about our contribution to fish welfare, the environment, social aspects of fishing etc. So why associate ourselves with this activity?

So, I agree with Graham for not showing it, and any association with this form of "recreation" should be completely condemned.

Sorry Carp. Would love to fish with you any time and learn lots, but they must swim back safely........no matter what country.

PS - just in case, I am not a vegan and have no issue in eating meat and fish, but bow and arrows fun?? Sorry, no way.
 
C

Carp Angler

Guest
Fair comments Stuart.
I do find it abhorrent and distasteful, as I stated, and I would not associate myself with it and for that same reason I would have wholeheartedly condemned Graham for publishing the pictures.

I still don't think we can condemn people from other cultures and countries for the way they behave.
If I was stood next to the guy then I would try and reason with him and I would tell him how appalled I was, but you must understand that it is part of their culture.

Do you condemn the French for eating most of their catch, the Isrealis for breeding and eating carp, the Spanish for bullfighting?

We may find it extremely distasteful, but do we have a right to condemn them and their history and culture?
 
S

Stuart Bullard

Guest
Carp, on a late shift?? I am trying to re-create 6 hours worth of presentation material lost in a crash on my laptop for a 7:30am call tomorrow...long story.

Understand what you say. I have no issue with the French eating their catch or Isreal's breeding and eating, after all I will eat a good leg of lamb any day (and dont forget carp were "farmed" by the monks to eat in the first place). But a bow and arrow in the name of sport. Nah!!! And yes, I find bullfighting abhorrent. I have been to one and I really wanted to stick one of those "arrows" in the "fighters" you know whats!!

C U soon.
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Thanks for all the comments, and although I knew I'd made the right decision, I feel better now I've aired the few doubts I had in public.

It's censorship that doesn't sit well with me. For just like everyone has had the chance to express their views about the issue, I couldn't help but ask myself why not let everyone have the chance to see, or turn away from, the bow fishing pictures.

But the answer, of course, is that I wouldn't dream of showing pictures on this website of any barbaric act, and bow fishing fits that description.
 
G

Gary Knowles

Guest
Just one point that no-one seems to have picked up on here. The locals told me that the Carp are not indigenous to the rivers systems and are a result of flooding out adjacent stocked carp waters on the American borders. I'm not sure if this is true but I have no reason to doubt the guys who told me this.

But the point is this, I spoke to an old guy in a bar one night (who doesn't bow fish) he says that years ago he and all his mates used to fish the Lake St. Lawrence for Walleye, Muskie and Northern pike and it was a tremendous and prolific fishery. Now, due to the spread of what they call 'ratfish' the sport fishing is practically non existent. This is due to the sheer numbers of carp now present in the system, which (I'm told) as well as forcing the natural fish out of their habitat are eating all the eggs of any sport fish that sucsessfully spawn.

The locals are bitter, and see the spread of carp as a plague, a pollution of their natural waters.....can we really blame them for feeling like this ?......I think not.

I personally wouldn't bow fish, but no way would I tell a Canadian, in his own country how to behave. And I certainly didn't feel any ill feeling towards them, in fact I sympathised when they explained how the once great sport fishing had been ruined by the mass invaison of 'ratfish' - great for us - terrible news for them. I personally saw great shoals of hundreds of 20 and thirty pond fish moving into the bays like mackeral in summer. Would there be uproar if someone on this mailing list said their garage had been overrun with rats or mice and that they were trying to slaughter them - again I think not.

Most people don't want to see the photo's, fair play, thats why Graham and I thought better about publishing them. But perhaps there is a bit of burying your head in the sand here, Canada is a world away, has a hunting and fishing culture, and I might add a much better Conservation policy than ours.......

A final note, prior to publishing this artcle I have done a couple of slide shows where I have shown these bow hunting slides, once you get to sit down and discuss the issues involved I've found that the Canadians usually end up being sympathised with rather than critisised.
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Excellent points Gary. How easy it is for us to say how wrong they are, and yet how easy it is to see their side of the story if only we can remove the blinkers for long enough to allow us to see the whole picture.
 
Top