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-   -   Eat that fish, or release it? (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/forum-polls/4081-eat-fish-release.html)

plland 04-28-2008 08:49 PM

Eat that fish, or release it?
 
My friends often question me after a fishing trip, when I show them a picture of a pretty little brookie or a big lunker brown trout: So did you eat that one? They are often amazed or confused when I say that I released it. But those trout are tasty, they'll offer. My only response is, it's more fun to catch them than to gut and cook them. There's also conservation issues in some small streams that aren't regularly stocked, but in which the trout population survives through natural reproduction. However, in other streams, the trout do no reproduce naturally and the local Game and Fish might want people to remove the non-native trout from the ecosystem. But, I'm not really sure if I'm qualified to talk about trout conservation, so I'll leave it at that.

So what do you do? Do you release most fish, but keep and eat one every once in a while? Do you pull your daily limit early in the day and then start fishing catch and release? Or do you always release? Or does it depend on where you're fishing? Please explain below...

MrEsox 04-28-2008 09:15 PM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
Biggest thing here is what am I after, where am I, what did I catch, and how big it was. Larger fish tend to not tast as well as smaller fish do. Then again some fish just are not that good eating. When it comes to trout and bass I dont keep. Pike every now and again when we are up in Canada fishing we will keep some. The colder water can make pike tasty...but in the summer they can be like eating mush and tast like a carp. There are also a few lakes around here that if by chance I do fish it, I dont keep since the water gives the fish a very nasty tast. There are other small factors that I keep in the back of my mind if I keep them or not. But I'd rather put back and go eat a cow.

todd r 04-28-2008 09:26 PM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
I fish in an area that is stocked weekly and I keep fish most of the time. As I think back over the years of fish fries with my family and friends, it's always a good time with families getting together, fish stories being told, and fellowship. If I'm in an area that isn't stocked on a regular basis then I don't keep many fish. I know people who don't keep fish, I say to each his own. I like to fish, and my family likes to eat fish. It doesn't make much sense for me to catch and release and buy fish at the grocery store. I'm sure my opinion will not be the most popular one here.

Doubletap 04-28-2008 09:51 PM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
I haven't intentionally killed a sport caught fish in 15 or so years. For myself, the release is as much a part of the experience as the hook set. I have to admit that my years as a Salmon fishing guide burned me out on the killing, a bit - but its more than that for me, these days.

Once upon a time, I was quite content to say "to each his own" and look the other way, but these days when there are very nearly as many fishermen as fish in some of the easier to access waters (especially where I have seen a real decline in the quantity and the quality of the fishing), I'm not so inclined to turn that blind eye - and I've often found myself attempting to educate in some small way, those taking what I feel is more than their share.

I fully realise that those folks had every right to keep their fish, and as long as the limit is adhered to I don't have much of a leg to stand on - but I'm definitely well on my way to becoming a grumpy old man (at 39!) and don't hold back my tongue much. So please be a little patient with me should I approach you after a fish bonking, on my home waters. I may come off like a holier than thou purist - but honestly, my heart is in the right place. Just nod and smile and I'll soon go away.

plland 04-28-2008 09:59 PM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
One thing I forgot to ask in the OP is about lakes or rivers and fish species.

For instance, many urban lakes in some regions are stocked with rainbow trout in the winter, but they all die off in the summer, so it wouldn't make conservation sense to release those fish, but some trout parks might feed into a river where the trout can reproduce naturally, though some don't.

For the species aspect, I personally tend to have more "respect", for trout in streams, which I have to outsmart with my entomology skills (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating), than for something like panfish, which I used to always catch on a hook and worm in a lake where I couldn't see them until I got them to hand. I haven't cleaned a fish since I started fly fishing, which is why I answered "always release", but if I'm at a lake with decent water quality and I'm catching a bunch of panfish, I can't see why not eat them. Entirely subjective, of course...

Frank Whiton 04-29-2008 09:21 AM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
Hi to all,

When we talk Pan fish there is nothing wrong with keeping all that you want to eat. In some lakes it is a mistake to release the pan fish if there are a lot of them and they are all small.

Trout is a different situation. I don't think that any wild Trout should be killed. This is especially true with any trophy fish. I don't think any trophy fish (trout, bass or what ever) should be killed. With modern day Taxidermy you don't need the fish to get a super wall mount if you are into that short of thing. It doesn't make sense to kill the biggest, strongest and probably the smartest fish in the water.

Frank

MBWCC 04-29-2008 11:34 AM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doubletap (Post 27379)
I fully realise that those folks had every right to keep their fish, and as long as the limit is adhered to I don't have much of a leg to stand on - but I'm definitely well on my way to becoming a grumpy old man (at 39!) and don't hold back my tongue much. So please be a little patient with me should I approach you after a fish bonking, on my home waters. I may come off like a holier than thou purist - but honestly, my heart is in the right place. Just nod and smile and I'll soon go away.

Thank you.

I believe it was Lefty Kreh who commented that state fish & game departments should "stop managing rivers & streams like they are grocery shelves". My apologies to Lefty if the quote isn't exactly correct, but you understand the point.

Every time someone takes a game fish (trout or other) out of a river, whether it be a stocked fish or a wild fish, there is one less opportunity for everyone to catch a fish. Game fish are too precious to waste in this manner--they should be left behind for the next fisherman, fisherwoman, etc.

Frank Whiton 04-29-2008 11:57 AM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MBWCC (Post 27436)
Thank you.

I believe it was Lefty Kreh who commented that state fish & game departments should "stop managing rivers & streams like they are grocery shelves". My apologies to Lefty if the quote isn't exactly correct, but you understand the point.

Every time someone takes a game fish (trout or other) out of a river, whether it be a stocked fish or a wild fish, there is one less opportunity for everyone to catch a fish. Game fish are too precious to waste in this manner--they should be left behind for the next fisherman, fisherwoman, etc.

Hi MBCC,

I like your thinking. Game fish is the key here and I may change my perspective on taking planters.

Frank

Wyatt 04-29-2008 12:20 PM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
We release in all rivers and areas that have natural fish, the only time we keep any it is from one of the stocked lakes that end up nearly dry by end of summer where most of the stocked fish die by then anyway, then its only a couple of fish for supper, last year that was a total of 6 fish.
Wyatt

MTskibum 04-29-2008 12:37 PM

Re: Eat that fish, or release it?
 
I keep very few fish a year, as i am allergic to fish. However once or twice a year i bust out my smoker and smoke a bunch of fish. I keep anywhere from 0fish a year, to maybe 10-15 if i am going to smoke up fish for a party.


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