I rarely keep fish. Here are the exceptions:
1. Backpacking to a lake that has an abundance of brookies.
2. Fishing a put-and-take lake.
3. Getting fresh Dorado (Mahi Mahi), Trevally, Skipjack Tuna for the group dinner when I go on a trip to some distant Margaritaville.
I'll keep the heck out of some nice crappie, walleye or white bass but (i dont like the taste of trout all that much, smoked might be a different story) perfect example why otherwise i dont keep trout. my wife and i fished the la crosse river and kept two nice 10-12" native browns, all good not bad, but when i cleaned them for my wife (she has never tried trout) both fish were full of eggs and i almost dropped my flyrod in the stream to never use it again.
[/COLOR]As you could tell by my name, I fish on the Guadalupe river for trout. Though it is a great trout stream, it's the southernmost one in America, so these are relatively fragile trout. The bag limit is one 18 inch or longer trout per person a day; which doesn't seem so bad on the population, but this river is just FILLED with fishermen. If I catch a newly stocked trout on the river, I almost definitely release it. If I catch a domesticated trout, born on the river, I sure as hell don't keep it.
There is just so much pressure here, that by the end of the season there's almost no population, only a few hundred trout( mostly domestic). Though this does leave only smart, fat fish waiting for you in the early season. I HIGHLY recommend CPR with these fish. And try to make the photos REALLY quick, those fish are pretty sensitive.
These are the reasons why I voted mostly c and r , but sometimes keeping. And very rarely do I keep a fish, if everyone kept their limit there would be 20 fish in the river, and they could get eaten by a striper.
In general I keep salmon within the harvest limits and other regulations. I mosty throw back rainbows, dollies and grayling, especially those caught in lakes because they always taste a little muddy to me when compared to those caught in moving water.
I can understand the conservation issues found elsewhere I am thankful we have healthy and managed stocks for the most part with ongoing regulation up here. The system is not perfect but it sounds like the situation in Alaska is superior to other more poppulated and developed areas.
Also, I generally keep pike that I manage to land.
When I was a conventional bass fisherman I kept one or two fish a year until the last five years when I let them all go. Since becoming a flyfisherman two years ago I've caught a couple dozen LM Bass, a dozen SM bass, two dozen white bass, maybe a couple dozen panfish, and several hundred trout (approx. 230 in '09, 200 in '10).
Last year I kept two white bass, 6 panfish and 7 trout, all stockers. This year I kept 2 white bass, and 4 trout, again all stockers.
I grew up in a house where seafood was on the menu at least twice a week, and trout has always been my second favorite freshwater fish for eating (walleye is #1). So I always see fish as meat first. After all, fishing is a kind of hunting, and at the end of the day, we're talking about taking an animal for it's meat. And trout are pretty good eating. That said, I don't see the point in taking a limit of fish or any fish if I'm not going to grill 'em within a couple hours of catching them. I know some guys that put some in the freezer, but I only keep what I'll eat that night.
That's my choice. IMO, as long as you are legal and take what is legal, do whatever you want. It's up to the indvidual to decide what's equitable and what's not.
Colorado fisherys get hammered and quality fish are always being Harvested.
It takes away from the next adventure.So I always put back.
Besides I cant stand cleaning the dang things..and they smell like fish.