Dangerous RockfishRockfish possess a strange and mystical...


October 25, 1993

Dangerous Rockfish

Rockfish possess a strange and mystical power. They make normal, courteous, thoughtful and God-fearing individuals into psychotic, unthinking, uncaring fish worshipers.

In their quest for a fish, they will endanger themselves and others. I saw three heavyweights in a 14-foot john boat, which is a shallow aluminum boat, in a 30-miles-per-hour wind, five miles from shore.

The preacher-type person in a 40-foot boat that followed me closely became incensed when the anglers in my charter boat caught six fish at one time.

He threatened to do unspeakable things to his wife and children, if they did not catch on my next drop -- we drop live eels on the schools of fish.

However, I could not return to the spot where the fish were because of the parade of small, large and in-between boats that tagged behind.

The fall rockfish season should require a hunting license.

Charter boats hunt the rock and the so-called sportsmen hunt the charter boats. Protective gear should be required for all.

Capt. Ed Darwin


Mikulski's Ducks

Your Sept. 29 editorial, ''Mikulski's Misfire at Sitting Ducks,'' is a gross misrepresentation of Sen. Barbara Mikulski's action regarding the hunting of captive-reared mallards on regulated shooting areas in Maryland, the Department of Natural Resource's position on this issue, and hunting on regulated shooting areas.

The Department of Natural Resources fully endorses the Fish and Wildlife Service's review of captive mallard releases but does not support measures that would change the regulations under which regulated shooting areas operate, without clear evidence that such operations adversely affect wild waterfowl and other natural resources of the state. Senator Mikulski's action reflects a similar concern.

Regulated shooting areas within Maryland provide many thousands of acres of wintering habitat for waterfowl which would not exist were it not for the efforts of the owners and operators of these areas. In addition, they provide for many thousands of hours of wholesome outdoor recreation.

It is incorrect to characterize the mallards that are released on regulated shooting areas as ''sitting ducks.'' The vast majority of them act like wild birds and do not remain just on regulated shooting areas.

As high as 60 percent of all mallards in a hunter's bag limit that are shot on land open to the public in Dorchester County are mallards that were released on regulated shooting areas. Characterizing such activity as ''blasting away at hapless captive mallards'' is totally false.

Hunters have long been the leaders in the conservation of the wildlife resources from which everyone benefits. They have imposed limits on themselves when resources were in need of conservation and have contributed money, time and work to enhance and protect wildlife habitat for the animals they wish to hunt and for other wildlife as well.

As an example, Maryland now has more deer than at any time in history. To portray hunters as being only interested in shooting animals is a gross disservice to their actions.

Torrey C. Brown


The writer is Maryland secretary of Natural Resources.

How To Nip Violence in the Bud

In your Oct. 11 editorial, "Guns: A Health and Moral Issue," you advocate stricter gun control laws as "a reasonable beginning" to curbing the epidemic of "gun madness" and shootings.

You state that the passage of the Brady Bill could lead to "a series of more restrictive statutes" and "this is the way it could and should be." You also refer to a letter from the members of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center to support this position.

No one would dispute that easy access to guns is a problem. However, it is unlikely that stricter gun control laws will significantly deter the youthful violence which plagues our nation.

As I indicated in a letter to the editor July 3, unless we attack the real causes of violence, this epidemic will continue to run rampant.

The members of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center correctly identified some of the reasons why children become violent. Unfortunately, this portion of their letter is given minimal consideration.

As these writers correctly indicate, we do not know all the causes of violence. However, we certainly know enough to begin attacking the real issues leading to the resolution of this problem.

The reality is that violence is spawned by children who are reared in emotional, social and material poverty. They soon learn that they are unlikely to compete successfully in society.

Early educational failure, the lack of training in developing self-discipline and good impulse control and a strong sense of inferiority are at the root of the violence problem.

Children brought up under these conditions become pervasively and increasing angry and hostile. They eventually displace their negative feelings onto peers, authority figures and even society itself.

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