Knocking off the Perch

Posted by Clara Beyer on April 01, 2015 at 5:50 PM

My grandfather was a tailor by trade and fisherman at heart. My grandmother would always joke that although his body went to the store during the week, his mind stayed out on the lake. A couple times a summer he would take me with him out on the water, and we’d float and talk and fish. Those are some of the fondest memories of my childhood.

I’m worried that others won’t get the chance to enjoy what I did. Chronic overfishing is endangering stocks across the state, particularly of Yellow Stripe Perch native to Iowa. Their numbers are down to one-fifth of the 1990 level, and continue to drop. If something doesn’t change, we will lose one of Iowa’s only native fish species. Something needs to be done.

My opponent cries over-regulation, says that enforcing stricter catch limits isn’t the government’s job. And to be honest, I understand where he is coming from. He doesn’t want to restrict anyone from enjoying a day of fishing, and neither do I. But I also want to make sure that those memories can be made for decades to come. Reasonable catch limits will still allow Yellow Stripe Perch to be caught, but in a responsible way. Government needs not only to protect the rights of today’s citizens, but also of tomorrow’s. I want my daughter to be able to go fishing with her grandfather, and that’s something I’m willing to fight for.


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