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Old 06-01-2014, 04:58 PM
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Default Catch and release argument

I recently got into an argument with my parents about my belief in catch and release. I said," I will not keep/bring home one steelhead trout I catch." The steelhead trout fishing has become so bad in my area American River that you are extremely lucky to catch three a week. My mother said," You won't even bring home one wild steelhead trout, even for me?" I replied with a stern "NO, but I am willing to bring home a hatchery steelhead trout as an alternative". She declined saying "They taste too fishy," (Yet on an annual charter salmon fishing trip we tasted a hatchery fish and it tasted minutely different). Then they stated how incredibly selfish I am, not wanting to a keep a fish over, fulfilling my parents wishes after all the things they have done for me (raising me and providing). Catching and releasing, especially wild steelhead trout is special to me because I want them to prosper. My parents think i'm crazy, because I wont bring home a wild fish; I love nature more than I love them. (Which is true). I was wondering if you can send me your thoughts on this argument.

Thank you,
Nathan Nguyen
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

Hmm, well I think this story has more layers than would be appropriate discussing on a public forum, yet I'll give you my personal "opinion" (which has no more value than yours).

First off as to the fish. Though your intentions are admirable, and serve the greater good albeit in a minimal way, do what you think is best and that you can live with, just be aware there is more to your life than just a fish.

That said, if it is legal where you live to take a Steelhead then in reality the experts being your state's DNR has already determined through scientific study and research that the population will not be adversely affected by harvesting them to the limits set down.....In fact, there are actually times when a lack of a harvest does more harm than good.

What you have to realize is that most state DNR's are trying to establish a healthy balance of all things relating to the fishery. Too few of this species might result in too many of that other to even the extreme of reproductive sustainablity....Too many however might result in a depletion of their food source. That might result in an unhealthy population at best, and at worst a crash in numbers from poor health and low reproduction yields.

It is an INCREDIBLY complex balancing act that I nor I suspect you have the education to determine. So rely upon your DNR to set the standards.........Past that you then need to determine if it morally suits your own opinions. Know in the end however, if you abide by the DNR's rules, whether or not you as a single individual harvest fish will doubtfully make any difference.

What I will say is if you do choose to harvest Steelhead, take only males. Besides the fact that taking the female will hurt your fishing, when a female is taken thousands upon thousands of fish from subsequent generations are lost, yet taking a male will only mean the loss of one.

Past that, whether just young or perhaps having other issues that are NONE of MY business getting into, nor do I want to, the relationship with your family is more important than any fish......Now I did NOT say more important then your self determined moral limits, yet most certainly more important then a fish.

Personally I'd advise two things in that regard.
1. Edit your post to remove your statement as to what you love most.
2. Consider working on that relationship with your family instead of devoting your time to fishing.

In the end however, it's your life.....Live it how you see fit.

B.E.F.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

My wife always wants me to bring home trout, I am 110% catch and release. Just like I don't hunt I don't care if people hunt legally and ethically. If you want to catch and keep, follow the rules and be ethical.

Tell your folks what I tell my wife...if you want to keep one, come with me and catch one and do with it what you want.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

I believe in Murphy's Law in that 'if it can happen, it will happen'. In other words, if you don't keep said fish, somebody or something else will. So don't believe for one second that if you don't keep that fish, that is in some sort of conservancy or safe haven. I agree fishing is tougher than it used to be in the past but I do not believe it is due to declining numbers in particular streams. I personally believe it to be more along the lines of pickier fish due to the sheer number of catch and release fisherman today. 40 years ago there were no regulations and catch and release was rarely heard of. Fish populations turned out just fine. Me personally, I keep a few wild trout every year. I hate stocked fish because they taste terrible and are mushy (not firm) due to the lack of swimming in the resistance of a stream. Wild trout are firm with much better taste.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

I used to go through the same thing with my mom, I'd kill 1 or 2 spring Brookies a year for her, if it where up to her she would have had the freezer full. In my opinion you have to do what you think is best, don't let other people influence your decisions, I'm sure your parents will get over it especially if they know how strongly you feel about it.

Be careful what you say they wont be around forever, your parents that is.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by grtlksmarlin View Post
Hmm, well I think this story has more layers than would be appropriate discussing on a public forum, yet I'll give you my personal "opinion" (which has no more value than yours).

First off as to the fish. Though your intentions are admirable, and serve the greater good albeit in a minimal way, do what you think is best and that you can live with, just be aware there is more to your life than just a fish.

That said, if it is legal where you live to take a Steelhead then in reality the experts being your state's DNR has already determined through scientific study and research that the population will not be adversely affected by harvesting them to the limits set down.....In fact, there are actually times when a lack of a harvest does more harm than good.

What you have to realize is that most state DNR's are trying to establish a healthy balance of all things relating to the fishery. Too few of this species might result in too many of that other to even the extreme of reproductive sustainablity....Too many however might result in a depletion of their food source. That might result in an unhealthy population at best, and at worst a crash in numbers from poor health and low reproduction yields.

It is an INCREDIBLY complex balancing act that I nor I suspect you have the education to determine. So rely upon your DNR to set the standards.........Past that you then need to determine if it morally suits your own opinions. Know in the end however, if you abide by the DNR's rules, whether or not you as a single individual harvest fish will doubtfully make any difference.

What I will say is if you do choose to harvest Steelhead, take only males. Besides the fact that taking the female will hurt your fishing, when a female is taken thousands upon thousands of fish from subsequent generations are lost, yet taking a male will only mean the loss of one.

Past that, whether just young or perhaps having other issues that are NONE of MY business getting into, nor do I want to, the relationship with your family is more important than any fish......Now I did NOT say more important then your self determined moral limits, yet most certainly more important then a fish.

Personally I'd advise two things in that regard.
1. Edit your post to remove your statement as to what you love most.
2. Consider working on that relationship with your family instead of devoting your time to fishing.

In the end however, it's your life.....Live it how you see fit.

B.E.F.
Some very sound advice. well said that man.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

I was taught catch and release fly fishing. We never brought home any trout. I would fish for trout in the summer and steelhead in the winter. We would fish the same rivers every summer. Three summers in a row I caught the same fish in almost the same exact location, it's jaw was damaged hanging down on one side I noticed when releasing the fish from a large hook it was torn and hanging somewhat. I don't think I caused that damage cause it was not bleeding and on the opposite side that was hooked. The next summer I caught him noticing the jaw still hanging then again the next summer. It really made an impact on my fishing and understanding of why catch and release of wild trout, steelhead,salmon and Striped bass are necessary in California.

I suggest you watch this movie with your family

Rivers of a Lost Coast | You'll never know what we've lost, unless you know what we had.

It is a movie about the demise of California's runs of Steelhead and the men that chased the steel in the heyday.

Thank you for releasing the wild fish I tip my hat to you sir.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

To begin with, it's not legal to take wild steelhead in the American, so, that takes care of that.

If you choose to kill the occasional hatchery fish, go for it.

To those not from Ca, between habitat destruction, pollution, dams, poachers and snaggers, these fish have their little fins full...and of course now this is 2 years with no water. They aren't pickier than they used to be...there just aren't enough of them.

Nathan, make peace with your folks and explain the law to them.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by bear 007 View Post

Be careful what you say they wont be around forever
Long term mismanagement of their habitat, food sources and population is what will harm population numbers in the future.

Saying to watch what you say on keeping a couple here and there, is not going to hinder their survival.

Streams are very complex ecosystem and we cannot allow ourselves to become so sensationalized on catch and release that we actually create reverse selective harvest. The religious following of Catch and Release actually have a lot of biologist more worried about future populations than those who keep considering the lopsided numbers of those types of fisherman.

A fair balance is absolutely necessary.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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Default Re: Catch and release argument

I have a question and several comments.

(1) How do you parents know that a hatchery steelhead tastes different than a wild steelhead?

If they know that because you once brought them a wild steelhead, then it follows that bringing them another one will not satisfy their desire for you to CONTINUE to harvest wild fish.

If they don't know then, well .......

Regarding their comment that you don't love them enough to bring home a wild fish; I believe the disagreement has nothing to do with love at all. "Love" is never contingent on a quid pro quo.

The greatest description of what love is, is below.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You must decide whether the request to harvest a wild fish honors or dishonors, trusts or distrusts, is prideful or humble, rejoices in the truth, trusts or distrusts your personal ethic and identity.

I am a parent probably much older than your parents. Truth be told, a parent does not decide to have a child for the child's sake. They have children because THEY want to have children. YOU were first a blessing to them rather than the other way around.

Being Asian myself, I have heard that Asian and Jewish mothers must be related somehow because they often play the guilt card with their children. My father never did but my mother did.

If this is the worst disappointment they have in you, they are very lucky indeed.
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Last edited by silver creek; 06-01-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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