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Wildcat4040 03-02-2009 04:50 PM

odd question
I had never come across this situation until I took up Fly Fishing and would like to discuss it. The question is catch and relaesa. I've fished in lakes since I was a kid. we abided by the rules and kept the keepers and threw back the small ones. My dad taught me to throw back fish with eggs no matter the size. Now I want you to understand, we took these fish home and ate them. That was the purpose of going fishing. So the old man who wasn't rich could go a day without springing for a meal.
Now I'm reading all I can on fly fishing and I start to hear about barbless hooks...what the heck is that all about, he'll be dead and in my stomach in a few hours, was I supposed to be making his last hours on earth as peaceful as possible? NO, I was supposed to release him back into the river....well if I catch a 14" trout, i'm eatin that bad boy. So the more I read about fly fishing the more I see these clubs promoting catch and release. My question is, who is sponsoring this? The lake I fished at as a kid is still full of fish and everybody takes home their catch and EATS them. I don't hear about anybody using rubber bullets when they shoot a deer! One club was promoting the strech of water they must use and take care of and talked about it like it was their river. I agree the waters need policed and taken care of because generally people have bad habits of leaving litter and the like and I appreciate and am willing to go out and help other people clean up an area. But this possesivness along with the catch and release thing I can't for the life of me understand. I pay money for a State license to hunt for food. With this economy if I can put a nice fish dinner on the table once a week for the cost of that license, I will. I've read some peoples opinions on this and they are die hard catch and release, what is the general opinion of it without starting a war over the issue. Also I don't fish everyday from morning til night, so i'm not cleaning out any rivers of their stock. Thanks for listening and I hope to hear a wide variety about this practice.

Shane Stroud 03-02-2009 05:47 PM

Re: odd question
Until recent years, I never even thought about wildlife management. For instance, I released the little ones and took the keepers home. And when hunting, I would shoot the first legal deer I saw. Same thing with turkeys. But I have noticed a trend in recent years. People let the little fish and the ones of "prime breeding size" go, keeping only the really big ones. They pass on a 3 year old deer and wait for one larger, maybe 5 years old. We even pass on the turkeys with short beards, waiting for that monster to come strutting along. Yes, people are acting responsibly toward nature. I know there are fanatics out there, and honestly, I think they may be going overboard. But they have a point. If we don't act responsibly, our children may not be able to enjoy the things we take for granted.

peregrines 03-02-2009 06:20 PM

Re: odd question

Personally I think your within your rights to catch and eat, where legal, but....

IMHO you should also give some thought to the resource too, so if it's a put and take, hatchery supported fishery, keeping fish may have a lot less impact than a fishery based on wild, naturally reproducing fish. In many cases, they just can't take the pressure if most people kept "their" fish.

It's not just fly fishing. Many gear guys do the catch and release thing- many LM bass anglers for one, and many others, including many surf casters here in the NE for striped bass, steelheaders out west that may keep a fish with clipped fins (stocked) but let the wild ones go.

There are whole fisheries based on catch and release, including tarpon and bone fishing in the keys, and many fisheries have bounced back after closures or more restrictive limits, including redfish, striped bass, and many trout streams.

So if you want to keep a few, fine, but just be aware that doing so can have a bigger impact on some fisheries than on others.


rmooney 03-02-2009 06:34 PM

Re: odd question
this is a great topic, i always enjoy a nice friendly debate. i love to eat fish, it is by far my favorite food! but...i only keep what i eat. i do not keep bass because i dont enjoy eating them. also, smallmouth arent as abundant in the areas around me as they used to be. i am an avid flyfisherman, releasing what i wont eat. but i am also an udergraduate student going into limnology/aquatic science and fisheries management. i believe in catch and release, but there is nothing wrong with keping a few fish IF the body of water you are fishing on has a solid population of fish in it. and the people that sponsor catch and release are most likely members of the department of natural resources or other organizations.

Wildcat4040 03-02-2009 06:40 PM

Re: odd question
Thanks, Those were two good, valid reasons for catch and release. I appreciate your time to explain it. Some people get totally involved in a sport like fishing that they know stocked lakes from a lake that isn't. I don't, I just go fishing without a thought of the lake being stocked by someone or not. I'm not a club member nor do I plan to be so this type of conversation is important to people like me that just fish to catch a few once in a while.
Who is it that determines what waters gets stocked and what are their goals for stocking them (mainly I'm talking about trout)

rmooney 03-02-2009 06:49 PM

Re: odd question
im from wisconsin, so im not sure about other places. but i know here, the department of natural resources will stock lakes with public access. people that live on private lakes need to contact fisheries to stock thier lakes. i wanted to get yellow perch and walleye in a lake i live on, but the lake wouldnt support the walleye without harming the bass population. i learned that after contacting the DNR and local fisheries and talking with them. so im pretty sure public lakes are stocked by DNR or other agencies and private lakes are stocked by seperate fisheries. i might not be 100% correct though.

Wildcat4040 03-02-2009 06:53 PM

Re: odd question

Originally Posted by rmooney (Post 51258)
IF the body of water you are fishing on has a solid population of fish in it. and the people that sponsor catch and release are most likely members of the department of natural resources or other organizations.

How the heck am I supposed to know how many fish are in the water. I think you mean 'Paid employees of the DNR' and as far as the organization go. They to me play an important rollin keeping the waterways clean and the surrounding residents happy to see fishermen come. I know they have people come out there with a six pack and a bag of chips and toss it all on the ground when he left, but people like that are everywhere. I also have seen these clubs get a bit possesive of these 'public' waters when they main them. That's not right, but then again if it weren't for them I probably wouldn't stop to fish there in the first place because it wouldn't be as appealing. Everything has it's good and bad points when people are involved.

Ronnie z 03-02-2009 08:20 PM

Re: odd question
I think fishing is a great sport.If you pay for a fishing licence catch and release is up to you.This is why they designate areas as cacth and release.

peregrines 03-02-2009 09:39 PM

Re: odd question

Originally Posted by Wildcat4040 (Post 51259)
Who is it that determines what waters gets stocked and what are their goals for stocking them (mainly I'm talking about trout)

The state DNR will determine that- with input from individual citizens, groups like Trout Unlimited, sportsmen's, enviro groups... and chambers of commerce/local business groups. They'll usually open to receiving input from the public, but have to balance many different points of view and try and manage to the best interests of the resource. It's hard to please everyone, so they'll usually end up taking a lot of heat from somebody regardless of which way they decide.

At least around here, there are a lot of water where access to spawning grounds, or high temps, or fishing pressure makes it unlikely that trout will hold over from year to year, or be able to reproduce.

There are some excellent fisheries that depend heavily on stocking- the Great Lakes salmon and steelhead fishery, many tailwaters and impoundments, and we even have some in urban areas where trout are stocked in the spring and fall where people are encouraged to keep fish because high water temps in the summer will kill them anyway. In addition to encouraging kids and others to get interested in the outdoors, it also can be a big boon to local economies-- some incredible fishing on the Salmon River in NY draws loads of fisherman spending bucks on motels, restaurants etc etc in a basically economically depressed area.

But there are some streams designated as 'wild" where stocking isn't done and catch and release is either required or encouraged to protect naturally reproducing populations. These streams typically have good spawning areas, and stocking is discouraged to protect the genetic strain of those fish so they aren't diluted by genes from hatchery fish. And in some cases native populations can get pushed aside by introduced non-native fish that have been stocked. That has happened a lot to Brook trout here in the East and to cutthroats out west after introduction of rainbows and browns etc. Stocked fish can also be a source of disease that can spread to different watersheds very quickly if diseased fish are introduced. We recently had a problem in a hatchery here in NY, that was spread to a lot of different watersheds through stocking, and one not far from me is shutting down for at least 5 years to ensue adequate decontamination.

It can lead to pretty animated discussions about "native" fish (that occurred naturally in specific regions like brook trout east of the rockies and rainbows and cuts west of the rockies) vs "wild fish" (brown trout, originally from Europe, and rainbows originally from the west but introduced in eastern waters that have established populations from natural spawning), vs "stocked" fish. It leads to some interesting questions like whether wild nonnative brown and rainbow trout should be deliberately poisoned for a stocked native brook trout reintroduced into waters where it originally occurred. This has been a controversy in the Adirondacks where hatchery "heritage strain" brook trout have been reintroduced (by airdrop) into remote ponds.


rmooney 03-02-2009 10:50 PM

Re: odd question
great information peregrines! i believe that many of the problems with fish population can be solved by simple aquaculture. many freshwater fish are relatively easy to breed (compared to marine ornamentals) and the dnr employees around me take advantage of fisheries to keep the populations up. so a mixture of stocking lakes with cultured fish combined with moderate catch and release regulations would be the ideal way to keep fish population at a good level.

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