One the great things that comes out of a controversy sometimes is the communication created by people with different views. Myself and Ron Gunter my assistant CD have begun chatting with a group of anglers on the Fishing Across Texas Forum. While often I go into a meeting trying to represent all anglers, I admit that sometimes my perspective as a tournament bass angler may not parallel the views of a cat fisherman or crappie angler. Its not that we are that different in our perspective, but rather our experiences on the water may lead us to different concerns. I am used to roaring up the lake in my bass boat dodging skiers and cigarette boats forgetting that a guy in a 12 ft Jon boat running trot lines or tied to a tree may have a different perspective of those larger recreational boats.
The upper end of Lake Conroe above the 1097 bridge is considered by many Conroe anglers to be a refuge from the crazy congestion of the lower end of the lake. Some anglers are concerned about the prospect of boat lanes which may open up the upper end to skiers and pleasure boats making it nearly impossible to tie up to a tree and enjoy a relaxing day on the lake wetting a line. I think this is a valid concern, and while I still support the creation of marked navigational channels, I believe that some serious discussion must occur regarding the management of these areas. Since this project was begun with public safety in mind, there needs to be consideration given to the use, speed, and wake created in these boat lanes as to minimize risk to smaller craft which frequent the upper end. Ski areas should be restricted or designated to certain areas and it may be necessary to consider some no wake restrictions for larger vessels and wake board boats. I have always been of the opinion that anglers need to have a unified voice and work together more effectively. By doing so, we can represent our interests more efficiently. I intend to share these concerns with SJRA and TPWD and encourage these other angling groups to share their views as well.