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Old 05-30-2012, 09:40 AM
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Default Zero bag limit accidental kill

I often fish water with a bag limit of zero - mandatory catch and release. Fortunately this has never happened to me, so, What do you do when the fish accidentally dies while your playing it or as you land it, etc.?
Seems to me it should go to some use. Do you return it to the river to decompose or be eaten by wildlife? Eat it yourself? Any ideas?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

It's crawdad food.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

I agree with Dennis, leave it there. Although I am not fishing no kill rivers & creeks on occasion I have trout that get hung on a large salmon fly. The results are often ghastly with the big hook point piercing the skull or destroying an eye. When this occurs I quickly dispatch the fish and take them, however were I on a no kill water I would have to let them go and deal with the guilt........
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

The fish won't go to waste. Something in the ecosystem will use it. Accidents happen. If it happened to me, I wouldn't beat myself up over it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

I have to agree with the others. I also don't fish any no kill waters, but the majority of the fishing I do is catch & release.

You have 3 choices IMO, don't fish for fear of this happening, take the risk of getting caught with the illegal fish, or just let it go to whatever fate awaits it.

Personally, I would only go with the last option. I know that this might happen, but it won't keep me from fishing, and I won't take the risk of breaking the law, not worth the issues.

Death, like it or not is a natural occurrence, regardless of whether our actions initiate it or not and nature has it's way of dealing with it.

Do the best you can to minimize it happening by your actions, but when it does you just have to live with it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

I've had the unpleasant situation of facing that decision. My son hooked a LM bass of about 14" in our local lake which requires releasing all bass under 15". This fish had a hook rip it's gills and was bleeding, obviously not going to survive, but back in the water it had to go.

Thankfully it doesn't happen often, and the fish will not be wasted. The turtles, crawfish, and other scavengers will feast on it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

The river I am fishing this weekend has three different bag limits, 0, 2, and 5 depending on which section. I have never killed a trout on that river and hope that streak continues! Thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

One thing about it, the moment you decide to take the fish so you can use the resource is the moment the DNR shows up. How in the world do you prove that it was an accident?
Even if it went to waste (which it wont) its better to leave it rot then have all of your gear taken and your license revoked.

Maybe they aren't as strict there, but they don't mess around here.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

Quote:
One thing about it, the moment you decide to take the fish so you can use the resource is the moment the DNR shows up. How in the world do you prove that it was an accident?
Even if it went to waste (which it wont) its better to leave it rot then have all of your gear taken and your license revoked.

Maybe they aren't as strict there, but they don't mess around here.
Well, even if they aren't strict or do believe your story, every time they see you after that they're be scrutinizing everything you do. Here in MD, there's been a lot of media attention & public outcry over poaching, the majority of which is alleged to be by commercial watermen. I'm sure there's enough of it that goes on by recreational anglers too. Fly anglers in particular, being a much smaller group, tend to police the waters they frequent better than other angler groups, so it's not as prevalent. Still, some of it goes on even on the trout streams.

The DNR has been doing a good job, but still they can't be everywhere or catch every poacher. There's just not enough officers. With that kind of attention being placed on the issue, it's not worth taking the chance. Once you get caught, if convicted, in the eyes of the law, and likely most who find out about it, you'll always be a poacher!
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Zero bag limit accidental kill

I release all the fish I catch....when I wound one which very seldom happens not more than once or twice a year...I get really angry against myselfand leave it there...
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