Friday, July 29, 2011

Angler Cashes in On Fish

Pennsylvania Angler Catches "Diamond Jim Impostor"
The first Diamond Jim imposter of the 2011 Maryland Fishing challenge has been caught by David Huffman of Jersey Shore, Pa. Huffman was fishing off of Rock Hall, Md. on July 20, when he hooked the 22-inch striped bass. The Diamond Jim imposter, worth $500, was one of nearly 600 rockfish tagged so far this summer. If no one catches the authentic Diamond Jim─ worth $25,000─ the money will be split among those who caught the imposters.

“I want to congratulate Mr. Huffman as a winner in the 2011 Maryland Fishing Challenge,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This annual tournament is a local tradition and showcases the wonderful fishing opportunities we are afforded in Maryland.”

Over the summer, three batches of specially tagged striped bass – one authentic Diamond Jim and the rest imposters – have been released into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The current Diamond Jim is worth $25,000. Also still on the loose are as many as 599 imposters worth $500 each. Zachary’s Jewelers is adding to the prize pool, giving away a set of diamond stud earrings valued at approximately $4,000 to the angler who catches the authentic Diamond Jim released today.
I've never quite understood the purpose of the "Diamond Jim" fish.  Do they really attract people to fish who wouldn't ordinarily fish?  Even if some do, does the boost to the economy pay for the cost of the catching, tagging and releasing the fish, and paying off winners?  I doubt it.  Save the money and put it into something else.  Enforcement for example.

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