Tim Smith's Catfishin

This is a Page showing the use of the new boat my cousin and I made. We've caught a lot of fish with it so far and we've just had it out about 4 times. The tube sticking up on the left side is where we drop the sinker into and when the boat gets to the desired location the person on the left will tug on the line and the sinker will drop right behind the boat leaving the jug, fishooks and sinker there ... then the boat goes out a little further and when it's turned around it breaks contact on the motor and you just reel it back ... usually the fish get on b4 you can get the boat back to bank ... they bite that fast.

This is my cousin Roy Richardson co-owner of the boat

Trolling Motor Boat Abuse

We built this boat and after seeing what it's doing to my favorite fishing hole I will no longer be using it. Some of the people that are using these type boats (not all) are very unsportsmanlike. They use these boats to harvest catfish out of this confined area and it's destroying this fishing resource for everyone that fishes there. 7 or 8 years ago you could fish behind Keystone Dam with regular equipment and catch a fair amount of catfish there ... Now if you take a 9 foot pole and fish behind the dam and if you catch a decent fish you'll have done better than everyone I've seen fishing down there in the past two months. The trolling motor boaters will set their boats up right between fisherpersons and run them out of their fishing spot or they'll set up on the inside wall and run a rod all the way accross the dam "loose lining" and it not only takes up the whole dam it takes up all the area straight out from the sidewalk. Due to this unsportsmanlike behavior and the ILLEGAL COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION of this great fishing spot I've decided that I will no longer use one of these devices to fish with and will no longer be giving fish away that I catch. I have no trouble catching fish at Keystone dam as I've been fishing there a very long time and can cast just about anywhere the fish might be so my agenda is not one of jealousy or any other reason other than preservation of this fishing area for everyone ... the main reason I would give fish to anyone is due to the depletion of the fish population behind the dam. I can't justify taking any more fish than what I or my family will use now.

I spoke the the Game Ranger about this problem today Friday Oct 8, 1999 that handles this part of the state about the commercial activity going on and also about the use of these boats and the unsportsmanlike behavior associated with them and he's informed me that something can be done about it if we have enough people call in complaining about this sort of activity. I am not a believer in placing restrictions on any kind of hunting and fishing sports or anything associated with human exploitation of animals as this has been the way of life for everyone throughout history but there has to be something done about this or no one will be able to fish behind Keystone dam unless they themselves build a boat and add to the problem. I went fishing tonight after talking with Gary Smeltzer the head game ranger for this area, and when I got to the dam there wasn't one boat or two but three boats and the rod&reel fisherpersons were drivin out and had to fish way down on the east end of the sidewalk. One of the boat users was the guy that's taking fish out of there daily (100 to 200 lbs) and selling them for $2/lb. This is what prompted me to write this info piece and see if we couldn't get something done.

Here's what will have to be done to get any relief from this problem. If you've been pushed out of your fishing spot due to this type of situation or concerned about the amount of fish taken in this manner by these individuals using these boats on a daily basis give Gary Smeltzer a call at (918)865-7767 and also call the Corp of Engineers at (918)865-2621 and let them know about the fishing conditions these individuals are creating. Gary told me basically that "The squeaky wheel always gets the grease" So let's get our grease guns out and see if we can't get the fish population back up so that everyone can catch a fish behind Keystone dam instead of going fishing down there and get pushed around and/or having to literally threaten to whip someone's butt to be able to fish where we'd been fishing all day. My boat is retired after this last two weeks watching people get abused I'll not be associated with that sort of trash. These guys won't bother me in any way shape or form because they have known me a very long time and know I will throw them in the river without too much prompting but everyone else I've seen down there fishing trying to have a good pleasant day fishing whether they're catching anything or not it's relaxing and they aren't nearly as capable of protecting their rights to that little fishin spot as I am as some are very old and some just fragile people not wanting to get into any confrontation with someone over a fishing spot they've been nursing for hours. The Corp of Engineers man I spoke with did have one problem with the trolling motor boaters and that was a safety issue as the boaters would lose control of the boat or their control line would break and the owners of the boats would swim after them which is illegal and a violation of corp rules placed by the Corp ... I think these are the people to get in touch with mostly as they control all that stuff down there from parking to rules concerning boats beyond the buoy line etc.etc.

Help out and it'll make fishing better for everyone at Keystone Dam.

Gary Smeltzer (918)865-7767
Corp of Engineers at (918)865-2845