The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2012


Points of View & Thoughtful Discussion - Watermen


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Comments for All Watermen





The Noodlers                                                                                                            Luray HS


     We are fishermen of the Shenandoah River! We are not happy about the chemicals that

are going into our waters. Can you imagine what the fish population would be in local

communities throughout the coast of the Chesapeake Bay if there weren't so many

pollutants? What is the point in going out on the waters and fishing for hours if you can't

eat the fish! In Page County we have a major problem with the fish in the rivers and creeks

 having sores! That's not normal, and it's not something that should be tolerated! Yes we do

 understand that there are runoff problems in certain areas! The noodlers think that we

need to correct this problem! Is it necessary to give chickens steriods? No, because all of

those steriods go back on to our feilds. Then after time when it rains the runoff from

these fields go to the closest estuary! Sounds like nonpoint pollution to me.  This is one of

the reasons why fish lesions are getting more widespread each year. Why not try

eliminating steroids for a few years and see if we see any improvements in Bay health. We

all just need to get a group together and figure out what we need to do to fix this problem.


     Another thing we need to consider.  Has anybody ever tested waters that is discharged

into the rivers and creeks from wastewater treatment plants?  I don't think they have the

ability to filter out chemicals such as antibiotics, steroids, or any type of medicines used by






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    From:   K&T Group - recreation - MslmnHS                                                         Ask


       Solid points. Completely agree. Something needs to be done and some of your ideas

       were great suggestions.

    From:   Farmers of WV - farmer - MslmnHS                                                      Ask


       Very well thought out points. We completely agree. Eliminating steriods being given to

       chickens would also make the eggs and meat healthier for those who eat them!

    From:   Helmet Stealers - farmer - EHHS                                                           Ask


       We completely agree with those points. If we let this keep going, it will affect our

       fields as much as it affects your streams.




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The FIshers                                                                                                              Luray HS


     The reasons our streams are polluted is because of trash and run off from farmers. I

don't think they are aware of the situation. Many groups and organizations are trying to

clean streams and water ways but not many people are involved. More people need to get

involved with helping clean up the streams. The pollution is hurting us fisherman badly

because many of our catch are dying off and making us lose money. Making us lose money

means we cannot make a living, but sometimes fishing is for recreation but either way, it

effects us because we need fish either way. That makes us look bad by tourist coming in

and seeing trash, dead fish, and brown water. The pollution also causes a lot of algae

growth and the banks along the side look terrible. Have these people ever heard of

eutrophication? There is sometimes trash along the side and dead fish. People need to start

 helping the community by cleaning the streams and keeping trash and pollutants out of our

waterways. Everyone needs to be involved so that we can make this place look as good as it

 did before. The water has to be clean. Not many people want to fish in dirty streams. The

state also puts a lot of money into stocking creeks, for example trout.  If the streams are

polluted the fish count is low so both the state and the county will lose money. People want

live healthy fish, not dead ones laying along the side or floating down the creek. That's how

 I think we can improve the streams and keep healthy fish available for fisherman.  Cleaner

 streams will mean a cleaner Bay.




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    From:   The Fishes Advocate - Waterman - MdS                                                Ask


       What are some ways that you propose people can get involved when it comes to

       cleaning up the water ways? What are some suggestions for the state involving the

       trash pollution in the waters?

    From:   K&T Group - recreation - MslmnHS                                                         Ask


       Great points. Definately agree. How can we work towards keeping the fish healthier?

    From:   Hicks - farmer - EHHS                                                                            Ask


       How are some ways that we can get the farmers to participate in cleaning the streams

        without costing them money




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Theb Fishermen                                                                                                 Musselman HS


This is the fishermen of the local area and I have some problems of chemicals, trash and

bad stuff running in the streams.  The bad chemicals running into the stream are affecting

the fish like making them deformed or making them have weird disease.  Which means you

can't take the fish home and eat them because they might have a disease that can make

you sick.  So I think the government needs to tell the factories to watch where the

chemicals go and keep them in a safe place.  But its not all coming from factories it's also

coming from people who are throwing unknown substance in there that just don't care. 

There is also a problem which people have picnic next to the streams and river and just

throw their trash in there like it's a trash can.  So when people go fishing there not hooking

fish there getting hooked on trash that should not be there.  Trash cans are made for a

reason the river was made for fish and others things it wasn't made for trash and

chemicals.  Now the bad stuff running in the streams are coming from farms and cities.  So

 I think the government should tell the farmers to make like a fence line around there area

 that catch the bad use and throw it away do it dose not make to the stream.   It would be

so nice if all this stuff would get cleaned up and all the fish would get healthy.  Healthy

fish mean that they would get bigger and when you catch them you can actually take them

home and eat them with out worrying about diseases.  Then all the fishermen would be

happy and won't have to complain anymore and try to catch a big one!!




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appleman fishers                                                                                               Musselman HS


We have many local water problems as well as problems with our fish quantity and quality.

We can fix the problem but it will take hard work and dedication. We can start with

filtration systems in our streams by using rocks piled up to reduce the sediment flow and

on the side of the filtration system we can have a sediment pond for all the sediment to go.

 We can also try to give the farmers a tax cut for the less fertilizer they use. Also we can

create controlled estuaries so only certain fish can enter and exit the temperature and

chemically controlled estuaries to maximize fish reproduction. We can use volunteer help to

 manage the estuaries and filtration systems. We can get local donations of stone and

plants to put in both. We can also address the problem of chemical problems by checking

the levels of the chemicals and reduce or increase the amount according to the local fish

population. Before the winter we can see where the large areas of algae growth are and

prevent it from coming back the next year. The algae can be prevented the next year by

reducing the nutrients in the water around the affected area. This can also help out the

areas down steam considering the nutrient count up steam is low. That is the appleman

fishers ideas on how the local streams, rivers, and ponds can be cleaned to make the fish

population better in the future so that fisherman like ourselves can finally have good

fishing again.




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    From:   Fisherwomen - Waterman - EHHS                                                           Ask


       You have a really good plan and it takes a lot of time and dedication, but where are you

        getting the money for it, donations aren't going to do it all. Filtering the water is really

        good, but what about about reducing the pollutants that pollute the water?



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Fishin apples                                                                                                      Musselman HS



     Our streams and rivers are being polluted by run offs from trash and other bad

chemicals like pesticides from the farmers. Fishing in the coast of the Chesapeake Bay is

important to us. It can be an enjoyable pastime, but when you can't take the fish home

because they have chemicals in them and odd side effects due to the chemicals it can be

dangerous for our health. The chemicals a killing the fish and diminishing their population,

this is causing problems for the habitats.


   We agree with the Noodlers that it is unnecessary to give steroids to the chickens

because it is causing a big problem for the surrounding environment. If we were to try not

using steroids or possibly move the chickens somewhere else then it would help to solve the

problem. There needs to be ways to filter out the chemicals found in the water so that the

fish can repopulate and be healthy to eat. We do not believe that the farmers know exactly

 how bad the situation is, and that if we could come to a compromise, everyone could win a

little and the Bay could become healthy once again. More people need to get together and

start solving this; people are being too stubborn on their point of view. Everyone will need

to give up a little of what they believe so that the Bay can be restored.


    The Susquehanna is the best contributor to the water in the Chesapeake Bay, so if we

clean up there first it could help exponentially, our information for that comes from the

website If the water is not cleaned it could

have bad effects on the people as well. For people who use a well to get water to their

house it could cause health problems. For example, my cousin lives near the Bay and when

you put white clothing under the faucet water it would turn orange.


     The bacteria in the water is causing mutations in the unborn fish, and problems for

animals that drink the water like deer, rabbits, raccoons, etc. This is causing a huge

problem with the surrounding environment. The Bay is important to many of the inhabitants

of the forest around it and the animals in it. This could cause the animals to leave the

environment and that could greatly harm the people that hunt for food, and the trees to



     We need to get the factories to watch where they spill their chemicals. If they can't be

 careful with where their chemicals end up then they need to relocate, because we can't

move they, but they can move their factory. We understand that we can't get rid of all the

 factories everywhere to protect the environment, but we can take precautions to keep the

 environment safe from harmful chemicals. If the chemicals were away from the fish then

they could get bigger and better for animals and people to eat. We could plant roots and

other barriers to help absorb some of the chemicals, and keep it clean for people.


     The chemicals are causing the algae to overgrow causing many problems for the fish in

the water. The overgrowth is causing ripples in the water. The chemicals are also turning

the water brown, which is unhealthy for the water and the creatures in it. The chemicals on

 the crops are being washed into the water causing all of these horrible things to happen to

it. If we could find a way to keep the chemicals out of the water it could start cleaning




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MSS                                                                                                                  East Hardy HS


As watermen, the water pollution has become a problem because we can no longer catch POV:

the amount of fish we need. Therefore, we cannot make the profit we need. If we don't

catch the right amount, people around the community will not have fish, oysters, and crabs.

The restaurants and other businesses around would go out of business. Besides the

economic problems we would have, the pollution destroys the habitats of animals living in

the water. To solve the pollution problem, we could start cleaning up the bay and being

more careful about where factories dispose of their wastes, . The Chespeake Bay area

could invest in more wastewater treatment facilities, as that would reduce the waste

discharged into the bay.





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    From:   Fisherwomen - Waterman - EHHS                                                           Ask


       If you find out the contamination is coming from factories, how do you plan to help

       solve the factories problems?

        Response        MSS - Waterman - EHHS

                             To:  Fisherwomen - Waterman - EHHS


              We plan to start petitions within the county and community to have the factories

              have better disposal systems.


    From:   Wilderness Tours - recreation - MslmnHS                                              Ask


       We agree with you all  good job

        Response        MSS - Waterman - EHHS

                             To:  Wilderness Tours - recreation - MslmnHS


              Thank you very much!

    From:   Fisherwomen - Waterman - EHHS                                                           Ask


       10-4 captain.



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octtoes                                                                                                              East Hardy HS


     We're the Octtoes crew, we fish on the main streams of the Chesapeake Bay. We catchPOV:

 all feshwater fish like trout, bass, carp, catfish, etc.

     We have been fishing for over 10 years, and we've had some issue's with pollution but

not as bad as this year. People have been very uncaring about the fish economy. We think

that people do not care about what their doing to the environment so they are polluting it.

     People in the Chesapeake Bay has been affecting us, because it is killing our fish and all

of the dirt pollution and things like excessive erosion has made the population of the fish


     We think if people would be more caring for their land and take care of it, then maybe

the dirt pollution and excessive erosion would clear out. It would probably cost a good

amout of money to fix up the areas where the erosion is, but it would be worth it.





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    From:   Sheep Farmers II - farmer - EHHS                                                        Ask


       How are we supposed to stop erosion? That is something that happens to the earth

       over time.

    From:   MSS - Waterman - EHHS                                                                       Ask


       How can people help clean the Bay? 




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The Fishes Advocate                                                                                       Mount de Sales



                If you had the choice to eat a diseased, poisonous piece of food versus a healthy, delicious piece of food, which would you choose? As watermen, our goal and job is to help protect the fish that we catch and sell so that the consumers of our catch receive the best possible fish, crabs, oysters, and shellfish. If the water the fish live in is dirty and polluted, how do you think that affects the organisms that live within? They’re probably not going to be that appetizing, right? If we reduce the amount of land pollution, or at least regulate it to a manageable level, the organisms we catch will have an overall health level that is much more beneficial to the humans and other animals that are consuming what we catch. This is a small change could vastly improve the state of the Bay for everyone.

                It’s easy to overlook something as small as fertilizing a few crops, or putting chemicals on our lawns to help them look better, and grow stronger, but these things are hurting the organisms that live in the Bay. Not only does this affect the amount of fish in the Bay, as watermen, this is our living. If there are less animals for us to catch, that’s less money that we’re earning, and less food we have to offer the consumers.

                In addition to lessening the amount of catch available, the chemicals washing into the Bay and washing off of the land are affecting the organisms in a genetic way as well. Fish are developing intersex (male fish were found to have female sex cells in their testes), among other developmental issues. When you really think about it, the fertilizers, nutrients, gasoline, chemicals and other type of pollution that are coming into the water are also entering our bodies when we consume the organisms that are caught in the poisoned waters.

                Although the catch restrictions on things like oysters and other fish found in the Bay are detrimental to the watermen’s lifestyle, the population decrease due to disease and death as a direct result of the various pollutants interacting with the different species is only going to make it worse. As watermen, we supply the public with (seemingly) fresh, healthy fish to eat, and although further restrictions on the aquatic organisms that we catch will be difficult for us, in the off seasons we could pick up another job until the fish populations take a turn for the better. The government could help support the watermen by offering them paid positions in the water cleanup process. One way to increase the amount of healthy fish would be to focus on various land pollution restrictions and regulations to limit the amount of pollutants going into the water, so the fish and other Bay organism populations can manifest and allow the watermen to continue fishing healthy organisms. A solution for those who help reduce the amount of pollution could be governmental reward, tax reductions, and an increase in healthcare benefits for volunteers of the cause.

                Not only would this help the watermen economy, but consumers of said organisms will become healthier because the fish they are eating will not be ridden with poison and bacteria and disease. The fault is ours, but the solution can be ours as well.




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Fisherwomen                                                                                                     East Hardy HS


We are the fisherman of our area. We catch the fish in our area and then we sell them to POV:

the local markets, which make us a major food supplier in this area. The Bay's problems

and conditions affect us by damaging our food supply. The more fish that become

contaminated and die leave less for us to catch and sell. The less amount of fish we bring

back daily in return means less pay. We have families to support and mouths to feed. We

not only need the fish to bring in for money but also for our own families and well being.

Also, if we do not supply enough fish for the local markets and restaurants they may start

searching for new suppliers. We need to keep our business running and our supplies heavy,

but with all the contamination it seems to make that impossible. The causes of the

contamination come from local farms and factories not controlling the runoff of their

wastes. It also comes from local residents polluting by throwing trash and other wastes on

the ground and in the water. We could help solve this problem by promoting trash clean up

around the community and more recycling bins and waste disposable areas. We could also

try and form a group that could go around and talk to all the local farms to see what we

can do to eliminate our runoff in those areas. Another option could be testing other waters

that are combining into ours, to be sure that the contamination is not coming from another

source.  We plan to try and pin point the source of where the contamination is coming from

and stop it to save the well being of our community.





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alligator pancakes                                                                                             East Hardy HS


We are the waterman.  Keeping the Bay clean is essential to our livelihood.  We make our POV:

livings off of the feesh  and other critters that live in these waters. Quite delicious.


But on a serious note, something needs to be done to help the bays ecosystem. Anybody

that makes a living off of the water needs to regulate their takeout of these waters,

including us. Pollution needs to be controlled to keep populations high.  This starts with

controlling heavy plant pollution, over fishing, and farming techniques. Anything that is done

in the Chesapeake Watershed affects everyone. Any solutions would help our cause

because this is our living. Better regulations on every group would be a big contributor to

solving the bays problems. Everyone takes a part in pollution. It's up to everyone to think of

 ways to cut back. If something is not done to help the cleaning up of the bay then us

waterman could go extinct. This would be a loss to the economy and the world will have lost

 a great natural resource. Something needs to be done NOW!





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    From:   The Fishes Advocate - Waterman - MdS                                                Ask


       You have some good points and address that something needs to be done and a solution

        needs to be found, but how are you planning on fixing the problem?

        Response        alligator pancakes - Waterman - EHHS

                             To:  The Fishes Advocate - Waterman - MdS


              We plan on using proper fishing techniques to conserve what resources we have.

              This will keep population high. Maybe change how long some fishing seasons are in.

             Thats about as much as watermen can control

    From:   Ninja Kangaroos - Other - EHHS                                                            Ask


       As the United States goverment, we find your comment a bit disturbing. We ourselves,

       do not take money from the budget. It is a pay check. Just like you getting a pay

       check for your work, we get a pay check for ours. Our way of living has nothing to do

       with the budget.

    From:   Ninja Kangaroos - Other - EHHS                                                            Ask


       We are also the United States Goverment or as you would put it the "feds". we think

       that you're a little confused about the eForum. We are not actually the Us goerment

       and neither is Ynok. I think what Ynok is trying to say is that money is tight, we can

       take it out of other interests and put more money for the bay in our budget. What

       happens in the bay strongly affects the economy greatly. If we lost the buisness there

        we would loose a lot of money for our country. And about us leaving our "luxurious

       homes", most of us have normal two story houses. Not luxurious homes. We do hire

       people, but not to do part of our jobs. We hrie them to do research, which is there job.

        We visit the bay to review the progress of research and observe the problems of the

       bay. And we are trying to resolve the issues because it doesn't just affect the

       fisherman or the ecosystem itself, it effects america as a whole.



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Watermen of MdS

Mount de Sales



From the gas and chemicals emitted from boats and other water vehicles to the runoff from the land, the bay is getting worse and worse. If it weren’t for these pollutants, the population of fish, plants, and other species would be outrageously greater. As a fisherman, the more that the water is polluted, the worse it is for me and for my business. By being a waterman, I take out large shipments of different kinds of fish and crustaceans and I sell them. If the water is extremely polluted, the less healthy and lively the animals will be. In fact, many of them could be diseased or even dead before I get to them. If an outbreak of diseased fish transpires, people will boycott buying such fish and I will substantially lose business.

If you live or work anywhere even remotely near the Chesapeake Bay watershed, you are contributing to the pollution. I understand that everyone is part of the problem, including myself. Using large fishing boats is the main way that I contribute to the pollution, but that is something that I cannot get around. I need to use this boat to do what I do to make a living. If a solution to these environmental problems includes modifying the vehicles and/or utilities that watermen like myself use, then I might lose my business. Everything that I use is completely necessary and is essential for my business to be successful, and in my life right now, my job is more important than the cleanliness of the bay.


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    From:   Nessie the lock ness monster - CB_Ecosystem - MdS                            Ask


       The clean water act should be ratified to include new pollutants that threaten the bay.

    From:   Fisherwomen - Waterman - EHHS                                                           Ask


       If you're so concerned about the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay, and the Bay being

       your job, why aren't you trying to help clean it up?




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the real sportsman                                                                                       Musselman HS


Being a fisherman I like to catch all kinds of fish: trophy trout, catfish, and bass, and many

 other species. The problem is that most people don't care what they throw in the water. I

have seen everything from fishing line to boots to full tiers. I don't understand what makes

 someone want to harm the environment in such a way. I believe a way we can help is going

around taking hooks out of trees that people throw and get caught in the trees. I also

believe that if we go around and take the fishing line out of the water we can keep the fish

from getting tangled up and dyeing taking out litter throw in the water could help reduce

fish deaths. The more removed from this beautiful bay the better. Less dead areas in the

bay will bring back life and if we bring back life there will be more fish to sell and make

money. Another plus to getting the litter I that more people would want to come and have a

 nice family day and swim.


If farmers keep putting chemicals in the water, such as manure and fertilizer, it will cause

more dead areas and the fish population will cease to exist.  


How does excess fertilizer create dead zones?

When nutrients come into the water in rivers, lakes, and oceans algae grows out of control

which this creates the dead zones in the water like the Bay. Extra algae will cause the fish

to suffocate and die. 


One thing we can do is join Trouts Unlimited and plant more trees along streams in  the

water shed.





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Team NewEra

Musselman HS                                                                         4/4/2012

The bad chemicals running into the stream are affecting the fish such as making them

deformed or create weird diseases. We can't take the fish with these problems home to POV:

our family or make a profit off them. If we try to keep the Chesapeake Bay clean and

polluted free, the fishes will be healthy and more populated. Once this happens, we can

take the fish home to feed our families and sell for profit.





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    From:   Fisherwomen - Waterman - EHHS                                                           Ask


       What actions do you plan on using to clean up the Chesapeake Bay?




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