Originally Posted by Rip Tide
I've seen where "creekers" have gone through with chainsaws clearing out sweepers that provide cover for trout so as to make a stream more suitable for paddling. That's not cool at all and it's a lot different than pulling out a submerged limb bent on stealing flies.
I cut trails or at least maintained them. I do it every year on "the club water". It's a public service
Not really a question of 'Ethics,' but a question of degree. As RT notes, major stuff (unless part of a genuine sanctioned work party) the chain saw should be used on the owner.
Removal of logs/wood underwater strata is a 'no-no, they should be left in place as these are major 'baby cribs' for fry. Many examples of where the practice of cutting down large shore located trees and chaining them to the bank
(pointie end down stream) has created ideal conditions for small fish.
The odd limb? Make it go away.