That's the beauty of fly fishing for trout, you can let them go. Why we fish for something that we intend to release is always a personal matter for the individual but I have not taken a trout form a stream I knew to be stocked since May of 1980. I took some because I was ask to do so by someone else. I have eaten a few while camped over the years but they had not been hatchery raised.
I practice Selective Release, an In Fisherman concept that essentially means that if you've no need to keep the fish, you do not, if the fishery is stressed due to overfishing or other reasons, you do not keep, but if you eat fish and the fishery is healthy, please keep a few and eat them as this is a far better, conservation wise, than buying fish that are commercially caught. Blindly Catching and Releasing can be against current mode of the day thinking to go native, and in many places now there's an active effort by Fish and Game agencies to remove non-native species such as Brookies, Rainbows and Browns in the west or Cutts in the east from the fishery.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Catch/release vs. Put/take
Originally Posted by kglissmeyer1
Just because a specific water is designated "put-and-take" does not mean we as anglers are obligated to participate in the "take" portion of the equation. There is nothing ethically or otherwise wrong with practicing catch-and-release on any and all waters where you choose to fish.
Kelly, 99.999 per cent of the time I'd have to agree ... until this morning. No kidding this morning. Here in Central Western Oregon we have Diamond Lake. 'Introduced species' forced the Game department to completely poison out this large lake and start from ground zero.
The were successful beyond their wildest dreams. Blurb this AM was from one of the Bio-Guys saying DON'T C & R we need to reduce the fish population! Don't recall ever seeing that in print before.
Fred, I agree with what you've said. Here on the South Fork of the Snake River the F&G have asked anglers to keep and/or kill all rainbows caught since they are now considered an invasive species and are competing with the native cutthroat population.
As the question was posted, I didn't really consider this a c&r question, rather I interpreted the question to be that if a certain water was labeled put-and-take and stocked regularly from hatcheries, did we have an obligation to participate in the 'take' portion of the equation. My feeling is still that we do not. One of my favorite stillwaters is populated by hatchery bred, born and raised hybrid cutt-bow trout. While many do keep many of these fish, many do not and these fish have grown to gargantuan size as a result. No, they can't reproduce, but they still bring enjoyment in allowing many of us to catch what may be the largest fresh-water trout we'll ever fool with a fly .
Just because we fish a put-and-take water doesn't mean we need to participate in the take part out of obligation, law or a sense of following some unwritten rule. Put-and-take is just the label the game folks pin on the waters where they regularly stock hatchery raised fish. They do expect a harvest of these fish by anglers, but they don't require harvest by anglers.
Anyway, just my feelings on the subject.
P.S.: Those bows in the South Fork of the Snake were planted fish years ago as the F&G considered that river a put-and-take water for years and years. Now, due to fear of federal regulation to protect the native cutthroat trout, it has turned into an entirely different beast where formerly prized rainbows are now considered a threat to the fishery. Go figure. The rainbows in turn began to reproduce on their own and then to mingle with the native fish thus watering down the native population and increasing dramatically in numbers. Should we have taken more out back when? Who knows, but those introduced fish from over decades are now a threat to the fishery...
I find that point interesting but have yet to convice myself to agree with it. I enjoy an occasional wild cutthroat but will take a Rainbow any day of the week for fighting ability over the Cutt, or an old Brown Trout over the Cutt for it's wileyness. Same goes with Brookies which I love to catch at times but these also pale in comparison to the Rainbow for fight. The Native fish thing is another thing that has gone overboard in too many cases, in my opinion. They were even talking about fishing out the brookies, or using other means of geting rid of them in the North Platte System where no salmonid is native!!!
This is great input. I appreciate the replies, as now I won't feel bad at all about releasing. Here in Cecil County, Maryland, there are only a few places that get stocked. And most of those are ponds. The rivers/streams do not. But I do take my son to the local 2 ponds in Elkton that get stocked.
Last time I went, we didn't catch anything - 2 hrs at the pond using good ole worms. Those that caught trout, were using powerbait. Go figure.
So I'll get my boy setup with some powerbait, but I'll use the time to get my skills back in fly fishing.
I think the C&R thing has been taken too far. Pretty much to the point that trout can live in liquid concrete if there is C&R regs. Keeping fish in a stream with a healthy population is not that big of a deal. Fish die every day regardless. It is the whole additive vs cumulative mortality thing.
As far as natives goes, I personally think natives are always superior, even if they don't fight as well. We muck up so much stuff, that catching fish that have always been there is refreshing. I think it would be great if the Gallatin was still full of graylling and cutts.
I just wanted to chime in and say the most important thing is to know your fisheries.
There are streams I fish where I do exclusive C & R. There are also streams I head to if I want to keep a couple for dinner. All the streams I fish are unstocked.
I try to understand the pressures on a stream, read the regulations and DNR reports on the stream, and see how many fish are in it and what size they are. Then I make an informed decision about whether I feel I can ethically keep trout from a stream without significantly affecting its population.
In my local area, it seems that streams follow a cycle. The streams seem to take turns having strong year classes. When the dominant year class is in the 8-12" range, I feel that I can harvest a couple without affecting the population.
My friends and sometimes my son and i fish hatchery supported streams since it runs though our property. i will keep those fish if some one wants them .we have a strong native population in this stream and only recently did they start to stock it until about 15 yrs ago all that was there was what we call speckled trout(Brook)then the rainbow came up when the old mill dam started to fall in after that some idiot pulled it down with a truck and now we have brown trout and the are getting big in the 20" range but not as many specks. My take is if the stream can support a native poulation then it does not need to stocked but maybe a wild water with a creel limit with a slot on it.