Catch and release argument

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mridenour

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I recently got into an argument with my parents about my belief in catch and release. I said," I will not keep/bring home one steelhead trout I catch." The steelhead trout fishing has become so bad in my area American River that you are extremely lucky to catch three a week. My mother said," You won't even bring home one wild steelhead trout, even for me?" I replied with a stern "NO, but I am willing to bring home a hatchery steelhead trout as an alternative". She declined saying "They taste too fishy," (Yet on an annual charter salmon fishing trip we tasted a hatchery fish and it tasted minutely different). Then they stated how incredibly selfish I am, not wanting to a keep a fish over, fulfilling my parents wishes after all the things they have done for me (raising me and providing). Catching and releasing, especially wild steelhead trout is special to me because I want them to prosper. My parents think i'm crazy, because I wont bring home a wild fish; I love nature more than I love them. (Which is true). I was wondering if you can send me your thoughts on this argument.

Thank you,
Nathan Nguyen
Stand your ground. Your parents will respect you more for sticking with your moral stance than if you crumble to their desire to manipulate you. The end.
 

flysmallie

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I get tired of this argument. But that is the way America has become, to force your will on others.


I'll make you a deal. I won't judge what you decide to do and you don't judge me. As long as nobody is breaking the law then it's none of anybody's business.
 

runningfish

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Nathan, while I was reading your story I thought that your parents were just pulling your legs and giving you a hard time just for the fun of it. However, then I read your last name Nguyen, then I realized that they were serious in asking for a wild fish. My solution is to promise them 1 fish only and no more; they'll accept that. My parents don't really care about fishing but they are Asian too.
 

alt1001

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I see several problems with your philosophy, based on Murphy's Law.

Perhaps the best way to express my feeling is to have you read the "Starfish Story".

"A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”


Those of us who are older have seen what a philosophy based on "If I don't get mine first, someone else will," leads to.

Alt, because you cannot be responsible for what others do; DOES NOT MEAN, you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for what YOU DO. If you are not part of the solution, then you must be part of the problem. It takes some people a bit longer to realize that we either survive together or sink together.

If I may be so bold to suggest you read a discussion on another list, I suggest you read this one:

This "thread" should bring out even more bowls of popcorn....
Saying you won't keep a fish based upon ones belief in not killing is completely different than not doing so from a conservation standpoint. If that is your stance, then say so. That is a completely extremist stance in saying that everyone, everywhere, should practice catch and release. That would do more damage than good on my local streams.

2nd, what problem do I need to correct here? We have a healthy population of wild trout in WNC that continue to thrive because of correct conservation tactics. I'm not sure if you know it or not but healthy population management isn't solely based upon catch and release.

Fishing in and of itself was rooted in the very fact that people needed to eat. If you aren't prepared to one day have to face that, maybe you should never pick up a rod.

---------- Post added at 12:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:42 PM ----------

Fish populations turned out just fine?

If they turned out "just fine" why are there hatchery fish at all in the river of the OP?

We can't just hope everything will work out and turn a blind eye. Man has had a negative effect on Steelhead populations. This young man is trying to do the right thing and I am thankful for anglers like him using fly or conventional tackle.
You'll have to pardon my ignorance. I don't nor never have fished for Steelhead. I also do not know what it is like to fish in urban tailwaters. I was basing my generalization on keeping fish on my local area. In the same, he can't base he generalization for not keeping fish, on every stream in the U.S.

Man has had a negative effect on fish populations in certain areas but most of that is due to habitat degradation, not overkill from those who want to keep an amount within the set limit of the law.
 

comeonavs

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These threads usually have a tendency to unravel and go down the rat hole.

For no other reason than I am taking a few minute break here at work. The reason I am a C&R guy is the same reason as I don't hunt.....I used to and the story goes like this

Loved going hunting when I was younger but we lived in Southern Oregon and the family had 1500 acres so the black tail deer were abundant, to the point of nuisance. Some harvesting probably would have been a good thing. But with the abundance of deer I only was willing to shoot "a big one". I spent years out in the woods early in the morning all geared up to get a buck. One year about my fifth year hunting I see one I want. I snuck around , laid out my rifle , extended the bi-pod, zeroed in my range finding 4x12 scope. Pulled the trigger and I got it.

Standing over my deer I thought , wow all that for this, this sucks.

Magically my desire to hunt (harvest animals) subsided. It just isn't for me.

I hunt all my fish and meat in the butcher shop. Now if we lived in 1850 and there wasn't a mega store on every block that would be different

Ahhh to each their own, and now you know why I don't keep any. My satisfaction comes in snapping a pic of a Elk, or releasing the fish
 

alt1001

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These threads usually have a tendency to unravel and go down the rat hole.

For no other reason than I am taking a few minute break here at work. The reason I am a C&R guy is the same reason as I don't hunt.....I used to and the story goes like this

Loved going hunting when I was younger but we lived in Southern Oregon and the family had 1500 acres so the black tail deer were abundant, to the point of nuisance. Some harvesting probably would have been a good thing. But with the abundance of deer I only was willing to shoot "a big one". I spent years out in the woods early in the morning all geared up to get a buck. One year about my fifth year hunting I see one I want. I snuck around , laid out my rifle , extended the bi-pod, zeroed in my range finding 4x12 scope. Pulled the trigger and I got it.

Standing over my deer I thought , wow all that for this, this sucks.

Magically my desire to hunt (harvest animals) subsided. It just isn't for me.

I hunt all my fish and meat in the butcher shop. Now if we lived in 1850 and there wasn't a mega store on every block that would be different

Ahhh to each their own, and now you know why I don't keep any. My satisfaction comes in snapping a pic of a Elk, or releasing the fish
I agree, to each his own. I did get out of hunting for a year or 2 about 10 years ago but I found myself very worried about what I actually buy from the grocery stores these days. There is no question what I am getting when I harvest it and I feel that my body and mind are much more at ease.

I do feel a little sadness in every harvest I make. Not out of regret but out of respect for the animal.
 

comeonavs

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but out of respect for the animal.
I will make this my last post in here since I don't want to derail the O/P

The portion I quoted to me says it all, whether you harvest or not, this is the key ingredient to either choice.


To the O/P buy mom and dad a rod and reel and invite them to tag along if they are capable, then the choice is theirs not yours.
 

guest61

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Saying you won't keep a fish based upon ones belief in not killing is completely different than not doing so from a conservation standpoint. If that is your stance, then say so. That is a completely extremist stance in saying that everyone, everywhere, should practice catch and release. That would do more damage than good on my local streams.

2nd, what problem do I need to correct here? We have a healthy population of wild trout in WNC that continue to thrive because of correct conservation tactics. I'm not sure if you know it or not but healthy population management isn't solely based upon catch and release.

Fishing in and of itself was rooted in the very fact that people needed to eat. If you aren't prepared to one day have to face that, maybe you should never pick up a rod.

---------- Post added at 12:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:42 PM ----------



You'll have to pardon my ignorance. I don't nor never have fished for Steelhead. I also do not know what it is like to fish in urban tailwaters. I was basing my generalization on keeping fish on my local area. In the same, he can't base he generalization for not keeping fish, on every stream in the U.S.

Man has had a negative effect on fish populations in certain areas but most of that is due to habitat degradation, not overkill from those who want to keep an amount within the set limit of the law.
Wild steelhead are in extreme rapid decline. They are a whole different ball of wax than resident trout in the US. They are effected by negative elements in their natal rivers as well as the ever changing adversity of the ocean. We as concerned fishermen feel good about not killing wild fish. Tho recreational angling has very very little to do with their alarming decline. Habitat degradation from logging and wildfires. Dams causing unsurvivable temperatures in tail waters. Overfishing by commercial harvesting. Hatchery introduction resulting in escapement and spawning with wild fish, causing an inferior gene pool (This is the "hatchery conundrum"). Quickly changing oceanic conditions effecting food sources. And then theres the seals. If you've ever had the displeasure of watching a massive pack of seals, clogging an estuary during salmon and steelhead runs, it is a travesty! You wonder how a single fish can make it thru the gauntlet as they eat til their full and then continue to kill for fun. The seal populations have exploded for debatable reasons.

All these things rank WAY up the list from recreational angler mortality.

So what it boils down to for anglers is, why kill one when the species is under this type of strain? Are we that hungry? And yes, it is illegal to harvest a wild fish on many western rivers.

Hatchery fish are a completely different animal. Their like potato chips. "Go ahead and eat them. We'll make more!".

If I clicked 'submit reply', it means Ive slipped into my flack jacket ;););):D:icon_lol::cool:
 

silver creek

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You said:

I believe in Murphy's Law in that 'if it can happen, it will happen'. In other words, if you don't keep said fish, somebody or something else will. So don't believe for one second that if you don't keep that fish, that is in some sort of conservancy or safe haven. I agree fishing is tougher than it used to be in the past but I do not believe it is due to declining numbers in particular streams. I personally believe it to be more along the lines of pickier fish due to the sheer number of catch and release fisherman today. 40 years ago there were no regulations and catch and release was rarely heard of. Fish populations turned out just fine. Me personally, I keep a few wild trout every year. I hate stocked fish because they taste terrible and are mushy (not firm) due to the lack of swimming in the resistance of a stream. Wild trout are firm with much better taste.
I said:

I see several problems with your philosophy, based on Murphy's Law.

Perhaps the best way to express my feeling is to have you read the "Starfish Story".

"A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”


Those of us who are older have seen what a philosophy based on "If I don't get mine first, someone else will," leads to.

Alt, because you cannot be responsible for what others do; DOES NOT MEAN, you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for what YOU DO. If you are not part of the solution, then you must be part of the problem. It takes some people a bit longer to realize that we either survive together or sink together.

If I may be so bold to suggest you read a discussion on another list, I suggest you read this one:

This "thread" should bring out even more bowls of popcorn....
You said:

Saying you won't keep a fish based upon ones belief in not killing is completely different than not doing so from a conservation standpoint. If that is your stance, then say so. That is a completely extremist stance in saying that everyone, everywhere, should practice catch and release. That would do more damage than good on my local streams.

2nd, what problem do I need to correct here? We have a healthy population of wild trout in WNC that continue to thrive because of correct conservation tactics. I'm not sure if you know it or not but healthy population management isn't solely based upon catch and release.

Fishing in and of itself was rooted in the very fact that people needed to eat. If you aren't prepared to one day have to face that, maybe you should never pick up a rod.
I won’t keep a wild steelhead fish from a conservation standpoint in Nathan’s fishery.

I am not saying that everyone everywhere should practice C&R. Nathan’s question was about his belief that all wild steelhead in his fishery should be released.

You said, ”I believe in Murphy's Law in that 'if it can happen, it will happen'. In other words, if you don't keep said fish, somebody or something else will.

Nathan titled this thread, “Catch and release argument.” So Nathan was clearly asking us whether his C&R stance for HIS FISHERY was the correct one. You replied that he should go ahead and keep wild fish because someone else would. Clearly, this is a let me get mine before someone else does type of philosophy.

You seemed to have forgotten about that and applied what you do in your fishery directly to what Nathan should do. You admitted as much when you wrote:

You'll have to pardon my ignorance. I don't nor never have fished for Steelhead. I also do not know what it is like to fish in urban tailwaters. I was basing my generalization on keeping fish on my local area. In the same, he can't base he generalization for not keeping fish, on every stream in the U.S.

Man has had a negative effect on fish populations in certain areas but most of that is due to habitat degradation, not overkill from those who want to keep an amount within the set limit of the law.
I did not read Nathan as applying his C&R belief to other fisheries. Nor did I. I was responding directly to his question about his fishery.

My response to you was because you seemed to apply what you call Murphy’s Law across all fisheries included threatened wild steelhead populations.
 

siskiyoublues

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In California keeping a wild steelhead is a no-go. period.
Explain that it is selfish and ignorant to try to coerce someone into breaking the law so one of these fish can turn into table fare.
We are not talking about sustaining populations of inland resident trout, we are talking about decimated runs of native historic fish desperately clinging to relevance that need every last ounce of help that they can get.
The fact that this still comes up as a current issue is astounding to me.
 

alt1001

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You said:




You seemed to have forgotten about that and applied what you do in your fishery directly to what Nathan should do. You admitted as much when you wrote:
And that was because he asked for generalized opinion on the subject. Knowing now that aside from personal opinions, his personal circumstance would have been completely illegal anyway, maybe this entire thread was poor planned.

Anyway, it's not right nor wrong, nor here are there so long as laws are abided.

Good day to you.
 

silver creek

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I was coming at the discussion from the point that Nathan was NOT opposed to taking a steelhead as long as it was a hatchery steelhead. He offered that as an option to his parents.

That indicated to me that Nathan's position was not C&R in every situation but ONLY for the threatened wild steelhead in his river. It also indicated to me that his question was specifically about his personal situation. I did not take it as a general question about C&R but rather, a question whether his position on C&R, relative to his parents desire to have him take a wild fish, a proper position to take?

It seemed to me to be a very personal and sensitive issue and that was why he was asking us for a consensus opinion. He has a very strong ethic about releasing wild steelhead and also a desire to please his parents. He was asking us if his refusal was proper, given his parents' request for a wild fish.

I thought his position was not only reasonable but totally proper. Hence my reply to him about Asian mothers using the guilt card. I also have Asian parents, and value systems clash. I thought his offer to keep a hatchery fish a reasonable compromise to meet his parents half way.

I think now that we interpreted his posts in two different ways. I am certainly not for total C&R in all situations. We'll have to rely on Nathan to clarify what he meant by his C&R argument.
 
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GrtLksMarlin

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Okay......So who here is a state DNR Fisheries Biologist and for what state in that all states have their own unique set of conditions?

Can we see a show of hands please?

B.E.F.

p.s. Not I.....So I rely upon the rules set down by the experts (being those DNR FB's) for their specific regions to determine what I may or may not do.

Past that I am a grown man, like all of you, who makes my moral choices based on what works for me, what I know, and within those guidelines mentioned above.....and just like all of you, I am enough of a grown man that my choices are not going to be swayed by another trying to shame or bully me into conceding to their viewpoint.

Statistics and information generated by those experts mentioned above is available to argue it either way to any extreme. If you really want to change peoples minds one way or the other then may I suggest doing so with documented proof from recognized and respected sources.....not "I feel or believe".

In the end I would suspect the OP's question has been answered.
 

tyler_durden

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Keeping a wild steelhead from the American River is poaching. I believe the fine is $1500 and loss of license.

Steelheading is not trout fishing and it's difficult to compare c&r practices from one discipline to the other.

It is true that the wild steelhead in the American are not the original native population. I believe they are descendants from the Eel River hatchery from further north (at least the winter fish are). But if the adipose fin is not clipped then it means that the fish was not reared in a hatchery and is considered wild

Catching a wild steelhead it truly a gift. They fight so much harder than their hatchery cousins and it would be such a shame to remove them from the gene pool.

I second the recommendation to watch "The Lost Coast" about steelhead and salmon fishing in CA. It is easily the best fly fishing film I've ever watched. A few months ago I watched it free on my tablet with an app called SNAGfilms. I have no affiliation with the film or the app.

---------- Post added at 07:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:39 PM ----------

Keeping a wild steelhead from the American River is poaching. I believe the fine is $1500 and loss of license.

Steelheading is not trout fishing and it's difficult to compare c&r practices from one discipline to the other.

It is true that the wild steelhead in the American are not the original native population. I believe they are descendants from the Eel River from further north (at least the winter fish are). But if the adipose fin is not clipped then it means that the fish was not reared in a hatchery and is considered wild

Catching a wild steelhead it truly a gift. They fight so much harder than their hatchery cousins and it would be such a shame to remove them from the gene pool.

I second the recommendation to watch "The Lost Coast" about steelhead and salmon fishing in CA. It is easily the best fly fishing film I've ever watched. A few months ago I watched it free on my tablet with an app called SNAGfilms. I have no affiliation with the film or the app.


Sent from my BNTV600 using Tapatalk
 

nathanvn

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Thank you everyone for posting your thoughts! I am blessed to hear the removal of wild fish in the American River is illegal, which I was not aware of before this posting (Which solves my problem) . I watched "Rivers of a Lost Coast" when it was on flydreamers.com and it has left me speechless. To clarify my position; I would like to practice catch and release for endangered Steelhead trout. It was a rough time arguing with my parents because what i believed seemed plain realistic. A major factor in my behavior now I can think clearer, was the farewell of Bill Lowe. He was my role model and friend that I've never met, yet I heard stories and watched his video so much that I felt I knew him. I planned to take a spey instruction class with Bill before the week of his passing, and the regret has caused me to act in the less rational manner.

"Billy thought for a bit and then said “They are tasty but you’re really eating my business partners. Without the fish I’d have no work.” Not that I hadn’t thought that way before, but that expression really hit home. Billy taught us that every fish mattered. No matter what size, each one was important. He released his fish with such care. If you want a photo, get ready and do it quickly. Too slow and the fish goes back in the water. Sorry, you’ll just have to catch another."- Kurt Colgan (Tightlinescafé | Great Food and Great Friends are Recipes for a Great Life)

This quote written by Kurt Colgan about Bill Lowe was a factor that brought me to the position for which I believe. I have come to common ground with my parents from rehabilitation on the water, and will hopefully soon have that empty void slowly repair itself. I cannot thank you enough for putting in your efforts to aid me in my time, it shows the community side of fly fishing that I have come to treasure!
 

guest61

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^^YEP^^

This opens a VERY important can of worms. The regulations are in place for a reason. If you aren't completely certain of the rules of the river, you should not be fishing there at all. Be careful out there.
 

silver creek

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I've heard the argument that if it is legal to keep a wild fish, it is OK to do so because the fisheries biologist must have OK'd the regulations. In many cases this is true.

Unfortunately, in some cases this is not the case. Sometimes the decision to allow the public to keep fish is a political decision and not a decision based on what is best for the health of the fishery. In Wisconsin, we went from a multiple optioned regulation trout fishery to a more simplified regulation system because the special regulations to protect the trout on some waters were deemed “too confusing” for fisherman and license sales were down.

Sometimes regulations would change at a bridge so that above a bridge on set of regulations applied and below, another set of regulations. So if a harvest of 5 fish was allowed on one side and only 3 fish on another side, a fisher who legally harvested 5 fish on one side but then stepped on the other side of the bridge, they were legally above the limit. The regulation change was clearly marked but this argument was used as a reason to simplify the regulations

The trout streams in my area are diverse. There are small creeks that need to have trout harvested. Others require restrictive harvest if they are to reach their potential to grow large trout. Others are best protected by using slot limits. Unfortunately, that is no longer possible because (1) the public wants to harvest fish for food, so there is no political support for a more restrictive fishery, and (2) the DNR policy does not allow for tailoring the regulations to the biological needs of the river.

Now with our cuts in the fish stocking budget, very few of the streams in my area are stocked. Almost every fish we catch is a wild fish. Although this spring has been wet, we have had a long period of drought. Although the regulations allow for harvest in my local streams, if you were to ask the fish biologist about the health of our main trout stream, he would say the trout population is down. So although it is legal to keep fish, I do not and none of my fly fishing friends keep trout.

The point is that the regulations may or may not reflect what is best for the trout population. What is best can vary from year to year especially when drought conditions are present. Being a good steward of the resource is not only just to obey the regulations but to do what is right by the resource.
 

GrtLksMarlin

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Silver Creek;

Living right next door in Michigan know our Trout regs are the confusing type like you state, but also know our DNR though part of the government dictates to the government policy.

Now I think it is GREAT that you and your friends choose a "sporting preservation" stance in that you feel (right or wrong) that "sporting conservation" overseen by your DNR is corrupt and lacking........However.......The trouble with such an argument is that wherein you state it is one way, joe blow will state it is the exact opposite, and of the thousands of joe blows it is doubtful that a single one is qualified or informed enough to make that decision.

But......due to the equivalent level of authority of both sides, each side has an equally justified argument (right or wrong).

To that end, it falls upon the concerned citizenry to support their regional conservation organizations that lobby and pressure state government to perform sound fact based environmental and wildlife control, by hiring the qualified people to make those decisions, and then granting them the wherewithall and authority to act on them with autonomy from legislative influence.........and most of all voting to replace those government officials that do not support such standards.

Otherwise, the vocal minorities dictate the policies be they "kill em all, whack-em and stack-em and let God sort it out" types or the other end of the spectrum like PETA/AHS who would have you set up day spas for the fish.

Somewhere there has to be a single entity that logically and soundly determines the best course of action to maintain yet more so enhance the fishery. Otherwise it really is every man for themselves to whatever end.

Yet to make that happen depends on the citizens.

B.E.F.
 
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