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Facts on boats doing damage to river environments


smallie_hawgin

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OK so I read the other post and decided maybe we should get this out there so we can see where all of us are coming from.

One fact that is important to realize about rivers vuses lakes is the amount of natural buffer area that is still intact. Lakes, particularly in the metro and surrounding counties have had so many stupid people move in and wipe their shorelines of any erosion preventing vegetation.

In contrast (for the post part) rivers demand a bit more respect when it comes to having a house along it. The flood way is a regulated area and setbacks in most counties are fairly stringent to prevent building too close. So by in large (although I have seen way too many abuses) many river lots are less intrusive and the vegetation remains relatively in tact. I full well realize there is a large spectrum here.

Rivers are adapted to change: By this I am referring to the natural (albeit augmented with increased runoff from humans) flows most rivers receive annually. Think about the fact that there are areas we are fishing now that were under 7-10 ft of water earlier this spring. Rivers are adapted to rise and fall and to compensate for the natural erosive processes that have fomed these basins for eons.

So, a jet that runs a riffle area certainly may displace a bit of water and maybe even move a small amliount of gravel, however, in the scope of the river..... that is less than a blip. Rivers like the Miss move several millions of tons of sediment every day. That natural process is what makes them create the holes, riffles and eddies that have formed for centuries.

Just thought I would throw this out there.... What do you think??

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Sounds good to me. If the rivers aren't destroyed by the constant rises and falls, flooding, etc, then I would certainly think that they could handle a little wake.

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Quote:

Sounds good to me. If the rivers aren't destroyed by the constant rises and falls, flooding, etc, then I would certainly think that they could handle a little wake.


The rises and falls are natural HT, boats trash the shoreline at an incredable rate. I've watched my own shoreline wash away with every boat that went by, it has tended to be visitors with big boats sight seeing, running slow and throwing 3 foot waves at the shoreline from 75 feet out in the river when the water is high. A couple of years ago I watched a 2 foot boulder on my shoreline appear and in 2 weeks almost get completely uncovered. With high water the DNR put's no wake zones on the lakes but forgets about the river and we really get trashed. When I bought my house I left all the live trees intact, the roots hold the soil quite a bit but not completely. Those "little wakes" beat the heck out of the shoreline down here,

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Riverdog, I'm not disputing what you're saying. But I believe the original poster was talking about Jet boats on the upper portion of the river where only Jets and Canoes can navigate. Where you live is very "Lake Like" and probably suffer the same fate as lake shore owners, not to diminish that. I would bet you see more jet ski's than jet boats.

When the water is only a foot deep across the whole river, I would doubt seriously if the wake from a Jet boat would even reach the shore, and if it did, there would be nothing but rocks there anyway.

I'm just trying to point out that blaming jet boats for erosion on the upper stretches of the mississippi is ridiculous. Most days I don't even see boats up there, so my guess is some tree huggers with canoes want to keep the river to themselves, which isn't going to happen.

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I agree HT.....One thing I learned from Kevin Turner was that in his home state of Missouri those "tree huggers" which down there were large bands of canoeists actually got to the point that KT didn't want to even go in the river. They had been known to block accesses (like a line of picketers), string their canoes across rivers....and basically use their boats and bodies and big mouths to trash talk the Jet Boaters. They had this peaceful and tranquil river all to themselves until someone invented a boat that could run shallow. My point is simply that we should all realize that this could happen to us!!! Can you imagine coming up the river with your boat to attempt to put it on the trailer, and having a bunch of tree huggers shouting obscenities at you, hassling you, and just plain making your life miserable! We have been blessed so far, as I've heard of no such incidents in MN!!!

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I was going to clarify this as well.

This post was generated to discuss a point that was made in the "Who's Riverpro" topic.

The suggestion was made that those of us that utilize jet boats, are going the way of ATV's(disrespectful use and environmental damage).

SH put this up to show some details about rivers, and to try to help disspell a myth that jet boats are some new thing that is degenerating river qualities.

My personal opinion, is that a jet boat will do far less damage than prop boats.

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While I agree with most of what all of you are saying, let's not take such an extreme stance to say that we have NO effect on the environment. Nothing worse than to debate a subject without seeing both sides of the issue.

Does anyone have any facts about how/where the fish from these "tournaments" are released? Are the put back throughout the river, or just dumped back in by the tournament HQ? I remember reading on the DNR website that the fish in the river don't travel far. Over the course of a few years the DNR caught the same tagged fish within a few hundred feet/yards of where they originally found it. I've fished in Montana streams enough to witness how fragile of an environment these bodies of water are. WAY more fragile than lakes. I admit to not having very many facts about the tournments (i'm hoping someone will provide them), but I had a long conversation with a good friend about how we were concerned that the tournaments may not be good for the river. Now, add the fact that I can take a jet boat with 15lbs of fish upstream 15 miles in less than a half hour, multiplied by x number of fisherman, and I'd say there's bound to be negative impacts to the river.

I know that I've floated the same stretch many many times, and purposefully avoid spots I've caught fish before, because I know I've caught the same fish several times. I can point out logs and boudlers that have 16"+ fish that live nearby.

From the DNR Regs:

Quote:

MISSISSIPPI RIVER (Sherburne, Stearns and Wright Counties)

smallmouth bass: From the confluence of the Crow River upstream to the St. Cloud Dam, the possession limit is 3, with only 1 over 20". All from 12" through 20" must be immediately returned to the water.


How are tournaments complying with "catch and release" if the release happens hours later and miles upstream? Is this legal and valid C&R in the eyes of the DNR? I'm not here to criticize, I just want to get some facts about the current state of conservation of this great resource on the table.

BD

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Personally, it wouldn't bother me if there were no tournaments on the river. Although there are no tournaments on the stretch of river where those regulations (quoted below) are in affect.

Also,read the telemetry studies from the DNR. Contrary to what you heard, Smallies travel very far annually, some over 30km.

No flame, you raise some great points/issues, and the fishery is of utmost importance to me.

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Thanks for clarifying the location of the "tournaments". I read about the recent tournaments and figured that since this is the Mississippi North forum, the recent tournament happened on this stretch of river I quoted. I actually steered clear of the river last sunday because I thought it would be hectic.

I started reading the telemetry data on the fish. Certainly there is an indication that the fish move, but largely they reflect seasonal migrations, which could be due to water levels, spawning grounds, and food sources. There's no indication that large schools of large fish will migrate 10+ miles on a regular basis.

Ethics aren't about laws. They are about interpreting the intent of the law, not as boundaries for acceptable behavior, but guidelines in which to apply personal conscience.

Not here to flame either, just raising concerns about "effects" on natural resources.

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Now, I'm not a jet owner (or as far as that goes a john boat owner anymore) so my skinny water fishing is done at least for a little while, but I can offer a perspective of the Mississippi river from fishing it for the last 30 years. Rivers change every year. That's a fact. Whether it's water clarity, temperature, depth, ect. A perfect example of this is my home waters, the Zumbro river. There are straight runs where there were oxbows, silt where there was rock and shallow water where there was a pool. High water tends to bring about this change. Will a boat wake influence this? Sure, but I think (and it has been already mentioned) that if you notice wakes disappear quickly as they travel down river. So the impact is minimal in respect to a flood.

I guess what I have noticed from the Zumbro to the Mississippi is the practices we adopt in terms of land management has a profound and lasting effect on a river more than recreational use of the water, such as boating.

I would be the last person to limit the use of anything that so many people enjoy in their own way, whether it's in a canoe or in a jet boat (and that includes tournament fishing). I believe there is plenty of water for everyone and in all honesty the DNR, sportsmans clubs and tournaments have done a good job about communicating the need to practice conservation. Just my opinion.

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I believe that if you are going to be a boater....whether a jetboat or other, you need to follow a boating code of ethics. This code of ethics is something that most people have never looked at, seen, or taken a class on. One of my small goals is to develop a Rivercraft Code of Ethics. Some 4-6 months ago I did some research on this, and planned to spend some of my "slow time" during Dec/Jan/Feb working on this. I would like to see the manufacturers present this at the time of the sale to the buyers of their new craft to help educate the newbies (of which I was one, not that long ago) how to have a safe boating experience for you, and for the other kayakers, tubers, etc. that enjoy the river experience. I wish I had time to start a NEW FM thread about this right now.....If you FM'ers like this idea, perhaps just getting a thread started, will provide me with some valuable input for my work.

Re: Boat Speed/Wake...the wake is determined by a combination of factors, boat speed + boat depth primarily. Imagine if you could go 1000 miles per hour across a body of water, if you could run in 1" of water, there would be very little wake. Of course that is an unrealistic example to illustrate that the depth of the craft has much more to do with it's wake, than the speed. Having been an avid canoe lover for many years, I always take the widest possible route around these crafts.....I have also observed (while being a RP passenger) that the wake caused by my LoPro causes minimal wake, and the canoes, and kayaks are bothered very little by this.....I've even talked to some who are amazed by how little the wake is from my craft as opposed to the big IB pleasure crafts, and others.

Enjoy & Respect one of God's greatest gifts to us...the wonderful natural resources!!! and for all of us one of those great blessings is the Mississippi River.

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Trouthunter

To clarify again.

This topic was about the river and some things that affect the environment. Not so much how a tournament might impact the fishery itself.

I'd suggest opening another topic up if we want to dispute the effects of tournament fishing on the resource. Thats a whole different topic, and sure to get lots of input as well.

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We have our share of jet ski's down here, some of them can be pretty obnoxious.

After fishing/boating this river for about 20/25 year's I can say for a fact the River Pro type jet's do less shore damage than any boat on the water other than the fast boat's (70/80 MPH+), The SeaDoo recreational type jet's make pretty good waves the way some folks drive them. I'm with you HT, jet's like the River Pro do like "NO" damage to the shoreline. Makes me feel guilty when I cruise with the Lund after getting a little time in a couple RP's and looking at them as close as I have been. I think KT's gonna own this river in a few year's, That's the boat. cool.gifcool.gif

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I have been reading all of the posts regarding damage to river environments and had to put in my 2 cents. I own a jon boat with a jet and dream of owning a rp someday and also live on the Mississippi in Big Lake. However I do believe that any watercraft with a motor will do damamge to the river especially when it comes to erosion. The reason for the erosion is because of development on the river. Look at how many people have cleared the river bank just to get a view. Most of the banks in the Monti area are nothing more than black sand. If you remove all of the trees, undergrowth, etc, there is nothing left but the sand. And the first time the river rises or someone comes by with a motorized boat you end up with erosion. Look at some of the area below Monti where a couple of years ago we had heavy rains and parts of peoples back yards ended up in the river. Until the DNR starts enforcing some of the laws that are in place to stop the development and stop allowing people to cut ever standing tree on the river banks this problem is going to continue, jet boats or not.

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Good discussion folks.

Mish you are absolutely right about people being the ultimate culprit. Unfortunately, the new Scenic and Recreational plan (for St. Cloud to Anoka) gives more "local" control to the municipalities on zoning categories and within reason restrictions as such. And we all know that local Gov't depends on tax revenue, big time. So development is good, even if the environmental cost is high to the cities. The dnr regs really don't prevent enough... that is a given. If we seek a change the folks we elected as our state reps will block any intrusion on riparian land owners rights... guaranteed. It might just effect the states economy....????

There has been plenty of talk about having a similar concept to Fonz's idea with "a how-to" guide of sorts for lake and stream/river property owners. But, the greed of some, or maybe even most of the realtors say they want nothing to do with it. They keep perpetuating the "golf course look" mentality for lakeshore/river-front as beautiful. If we want change, we need to reach them (The property owners) even if it means you and I or all of us.

As far as environmental damage from boats, it is certainly less than on a given lake, however, denuded shoreline on a river is just as vulerable a denuded shoreline on a lake. Something as simple as dumping grass clippings towards the river (Which at this point is not illegal) prevents the growth of plants and therefore reduced rooted areas along shorelines....which leads to easier erosion.

Next time you fish in Monti, keep a mental note of how many properties have their lawn to the edge of the river, or dumping grass clippings.... There is not a reg that will change that; it is a mind set. Just a thought. confused.gif

All good points and discussion.

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Hey Mish,

I think I know which house is yours. How about that new house downstream of yours where they cleared the entire bank to the river, so we could all see how nice their house is? There is our biggest problem right there.

SH,

Great post. Its as simple as that.

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BLB - I was noticing that too the other day - they cleared out everything - including small 2 to 3 inch diameter trees. Ultimately they will regret that move- as those trees and the brush were keeping their bank intact with their root system. Its too bad - but I suspect they will lose alot of that bank to erosion in the future.

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Quote:

I was going to clarify this as well.

This post was generated to discuss a point that was made in the "Who's Riverpro" topic.

The suggestion was made that those of us that utilize jet boats, are going the way of ATV's(disrespectful use and environmental damage).

SH put this up to show some details about rivers, and to try to help disspell a myth that jet boats are some new thing that is degenerating river qualities.

My personal opinion, is that a jet boat will do far less damage than prop boats.


I would agree if the craft is used properly. The reason a lot of people buy a jet is to go where they believe nobody else can go, and get there FAST. The average person that owns a jet acts like I paid this much money for this kind of a boat and I have to impress others with it. Or, with this kind of a craft I can save a lot of time getting around at higher speeds and not have to worry as much about serious damage to the craft. And I have personally seen this additude in the owners of these boats in my area. And this is my OPINION.

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Scout I dont know what your getting at, the reason for the boat is to go where normal boats cant go, and yes they are fast. And beyond that I better just shut my mouth cause Im real sick of the whining!

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I don't see how you can call this whining. I am looking for answers to legitamate questions. I have no control of people sidetracking a question. Most guys don't seem to be backing done from their opinions. If someone doesn't answer a question doesn't it make sense to ask a different question, until you learn what you looking for?

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Having been pretty much a lifelong user of the Miss from Brooklyn Center to Coon Rapids I have to say one of the biggest enviromental concerns should be the pollution, mostly material but some chemical I'm sure, then boating/erosion. Pretty easy fix in the erosion, just don't allow cutting of trees along the banks when people build in new developments. I know they have this "Great River Program" thing where they go along and pick up trash but that always seems to be south of the metro, how about north of the metro? Fishing and swimming and generally screwing off on the river as a kid/teenager I can't tell you how many cans, tires, debris, general trash there was. I cannot for the life of me figure out why people think it's ok to litter and just throw junk in the river. We have an awesome resource right in our own back yard and all we have to do is take care of it. Boats on the river doing damage? I can tell you that a good spring of high water and ice flows will tear it up alot more than some jet boat and it's flowing water so there will always always always be some erosion..part of being a river and not a lake. Thanks for letting me vent about the pollution thing...makes me crazy.

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ScoutII, your claims about jet boat owners are completely ridiculous. That's like me saying the average shore fisherman is keeping every fish they catch in a white bucket, doesn't have a license, and litters trash along the shoreline.

How did you come to this conclusion? Did you take a survey? Did they tell you that their intentions were to impress people? I know a lot of jet boat owners, and not one of them bought the boat to impress people, it's because they want to fish a great fishery and not replace their props and lower units 2-3 times a year. They are a necessity to safely navigate the river in my area. They go fast so they can get over the shallow areas. If I went 15mph, I would hit bottom.

You can speak your opinion, but people in the know, can tell you obviously don't speak from 1st hand experience or knowledge.

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Scout

I think Smallie Hawgin has addressed your questions/concerns VERY clearly.

Not sure what else you are looking for.

Although, you might consider it "his opinion". So I don't think any of us can answser your questions. We can toss out our personal first hand experiences and opinions.

A jet boat is not our enemy.

If your buddy had a Riverpro, would you turn down an invite to fish the Miss? I bet you wouldn't. wink.gif

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Scout,

I think your problem is, is that you had YOUR river all to yourself for all these years and now that more and more people are buying and using jets to reach parts of YOUR river that they could not before and you are upset.

It's not YOUR river, or your friends river, it's OUR river. Your's, their's, MINE. So get over it. There's going to be more and more people going further and further up than ever before and you cannot change that. If you want peace and solitude, there's always the BWCAW. I'm not advocating turning the river into a speedway, but it's public waters and if Joe Schmoe wants to run up and down the river in his jet or little Johnny wants to make doughnuts with his skidoo, then they have that right, just as much as you do paddling your canoe down the river.

As far as jets going fast, they need to in order to get over the shallow areas. That's just the way they are. The whole going fast and causing a wake argument has been beaten to death in this thread and countless others. Not just with rivers but lakes too.

Let me ask you this while you sit in your canoe.....

Would you rather have a jet go by you fast creating maybe a 6 inch wake, or a boat going by 1/4 throttle creating a 2 foot wake? I know which one I would choose.

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Have you followed me around to know I have no 1st hand experience? If you have you would know that I run a prop and have not even replaced a shear pin yet(knock on wood). I am not a newbie to the river and don't claim to know everything. I have fished on the river off and on since the early 60's. Actions speak louder than words and the jets I have seen in my area are not impressing me. If a snowmobile goes fast enough it can skip open water, but is that safe operation. I don't think so. You can ask Dark 30 about some of the shore fisherman and litter. Or is his credibilty also questionable? And you are under the assumption that I am saying all jet owners are the same? I don't believe I stated that. I believe I said jet owners I have seen in my area. So if all the bad apples seem to be in this area I guess this must be my loss when I am out on the river. If someone would just answer a question or two without the added remarks I wouldn't have to keep asking more questions to get answers to my questions. It seems that several people jump in and get everyone reved before someone finally even comes close to answering a question. And no I don't own a jet and am not aware of all of their advantages or disadvantages. So maybe that is why I am ask questions. Also I am not questioning your experience, so with all due respect why should you question my exerience? Old Man River is the one that is due the most respect and new technologies are not always better.

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I have never seen a jet boat owner want to impress anyone! And I still want to know if you've ever been blown off "your" spot by a jet boat owner? Ive had more problems with prop boats then jet boats cause they absolutely cant set down to IDLE by, and really I dont expect anyone to idle by me, the only thing that fustrates me on the river is Jet Ski's and tubers (especially loud teenager tubers) but its there right to use the river also. My advice is to get over it or canoe a river like the Elk or upper reaches of the Rum there you have noone to blow you off "your" spot!

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Scout

What are you specific questions again that have not been answered. Sorry, we are getting a bit random here.

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Scout: You are invited to join me for a cruise on the Mississippi in my RiverPro LoPro model sometime this year. Just let me know, and I'll be glad to oblige. I'll buy the gas, we'll cruise around and do some "test wakes", or whatever you'd like in order to see if this ride will assist in answering any questions that you may have.

I will be in the Monticello River Rodeo on Saturday the 13th and would be free to give you a ride at about 4 pm if you'd like.

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Scout, I have reread this thread and I cannot seem to find what questions you have? Please restate them as I feel civil discussion is always beneficial. I have lived on the River since 1987 and have run many different boats including jons with props, jons with jets and river pros.

I know my 16 foot jon boat leaves a bigger wake than a bigger and wider river pro at any speed.

Please restae your questions and I will give you my honest answer to them based on my personal experience living on theriver. Thank you

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I wasnt trying to hijack the thread, I was merely including the fish as part of the "environment" rather than limiting the conversation to just erosion.

How come no one mentions those pesky drift boats oaring down the river!

BD

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