Eat that fish, or release it?

How often do you eat/release what you catch?


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mridenour

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C&R.... It's not black and white. "Most" of the responders on this thread who are adamant about c&r are referring to trout. I applaud this. I'm 100% c&r on trout. Here in MO our "blue ribbon" waters limit anglers to the harvesting of 1 trout that is greater than 18" per day. This... I don't get. I try to tell people if you want to catch a 20" trout you have to let that 18" fish go.

I think that we are rather fortunate here in MO. We have four trout parks (three State run) that cater to those who want to harvest fish on a regular basis. They grow them, they release them, u can catch them then eat them. Me? I avoid fishing in the parks. There is too much better water to fish.
I agree that we should make the Blue Ribbon areas C&R and the areas below could be Trophy areas. Sadly, I think a lot of the big browns run up into the park and get caught by someone fishing with minnows and then they are gone.

I also don't understand why treble hooks are allowed on the Blue Ribbon water.

Once in a while I go into the park to catch a few stockers when I get a hankering for some trout but that isn't very often.
 

dhayden

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They're all wild fish here

Some rivers will have targeted fish they'd like the anglers to keep

It could be to suggest you keep rainbows between 12" and 14", if the studies show there are too many of those... and they adjust during the season

Works out well for everyone

Never keep the big ones.. let the next person catch it too
 

05harleyrider

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Release it and allow somone else the enjoyment of the catch.

Only thing that ticks me off is seeing people harvesting fish during what is known to be delayed harvest season, or on catch and release streams. Report it to a passing game warden and they act as if it is nothing to be concerned with.
 

wolfglen

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I hardly ever kill a fish, other than in my own ponds where they breed like welfare families.

Well, I shouldn't say that, in places where there are way too many rough fish like gar, hard head catfish, I bring them home to feed to my chickens.

Jack
 

glenn_herwig

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Depends on species. Large mouth bass always throw back. Crappie depends if I'm feeling a fish fry. Bluegill always throw back. Unless I'm ice fishing then I keep everything except pike and bass. But when it comes to trout fishing where I live there are no wild trout streams in NJ. So it is solely stocking. So I keep them. But if I catch a breeder I'm throwing it back. The reason I keep every trout is because you have idiots that keep them and use them for catfish. I feel I rather limit out and catch 6 trout then let some one use it for bait. I admire the trout species and by any means I'm not one of those guys that does not care about conservation.
 

wolfglen

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Isn't that something like well, everyone is looting, so I might as well do it?
Releasing a trout is an unselfish thing to do.

A released fish is going to be harder to catch the second time and the third and on.

Just because the state says fish don't reproduce there doesn't mean it's so.
There are many streams which hold over fish and while they don't reproduce in that stream it'self, they do go up the little tributaries and spawn.

Remember, often the states want a reason to continue put and take stocking and if they say there is no reproduction, it must be true, right? Lenin about 1905 "Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it". The politicians want the votes of the hatchery crowd. Hatcheries have their place, I am in full agreement with that, but not as a political boondoggle.
 

wee hooker

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Interesting topic!
First, it should be noted that fishing, any fishing is a blood sport. It's origins come from people fishing to eat. Catch and release as a relatively new concept in the timeline of it all.
I myself have eaten hundreds of self caught fish since I was a kid. Back then it was a badge of honor to come home and feed my family with what I caught. Fast forward 40+ years and I have lost my interest in this aspect of the sport. I just have no great love for eating what I've caught and even less for cleaning fish. Couple that with a ever growing sense of conservation and I can count the fish I've killed on one hand in the last 10 years.

That said, I don't begrudge anyone who fish's of keeping any fish within the limit of applicable game laws. I believe it's part of how we grow with the sport.
 

klunker

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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.


Frank
This is incorrect.
You have no idea why they are small, is it because of lack of food or is it because of high fishing pressure and fish never get a chance to reach potential.
WI is currently looking at reducing the bag limits on 100 lakes because of this exact problem. Different lakes, different amounts of feed, different growth rates. You should hear the squawks from the "meat" hunters (panfisherman), all they care about are themselves, not a concern for the resource.

Frankly anybody that keeps everything they catch are not "sportsmen" they are selfish meat hunters. Be honest and admit it if this sounds like you.
 

left field

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Just because the state says fish don't reproduce there doesn't mean it's so.
There are many streams which hold over fish and while they don't reproduce in that stream it'self, they do go up the little tributaries and spawn.

Remember, often the states want a reason to continue put and take stocking and if they say there is no reproduction, it must be true, right? Lenin about 1905 "Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it". The politicians want the votes of the hatchery crowd. Hatcheries have their place, I am in full agreement with that, but not as a political boondoggle.
wolfglen, call this a hunch, but I'm beginning to think you have issues with the government.

First, it should be noted that fishing, any fishing is a blood sport. It's origins come from people fishing to eat. Catch and release as a relatively new concept in the timeline of it all.

That said, I don't begrudge anyone who fish's of keeping any fish within the limit of applicable game laws. I believe it's part of how we grow with the sport.
Just to clarify, as this was a recently discussed topic, a "blood sport" more properly refers to a sport where the infliction of pain or death to an animal is done for the enjoyment or excitement of the participants or viewers. Which is why - if you believe that being hooked creates pain - C&R could be considered a blood sport whereas C&K is better defined as dinner.
 

scotty macfly

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I don't always keep fish, but when I do, it's maybe 2 or 3 fish. Just enough for supper. Not only that, but the only fish I keep are walleye, cause I like walleye. The only trout I keep are brookies. They are like rabbits and they will over populate a lake and actually hurt it if not taken out from time to time.
 

nickj

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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.
Yep, I agree. Another question for those that do take fish- would you drink the water they're living in?
 

gatorgrizz27

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I've always released wild trout, and a good point was made about stocked trout too. Just because they will die in a couple of months doesn't mean people shouldn't be able to keep catching them until then.

Most of my fishing is for panfish and in saltwater, and sometimes I will keep a fish or two. Fishing has always been similar to hunting for me, in that it is a way to directly acquire a natural food source and be connected with it. Unfortunately, I haven't been fishing very much the last few years, hopefully I will change that soon :D

People do need to realize what they are doing however, and I believe the more that you fish, the more aware of it you need to be. A casual fisherman who fishes once a month and keeps a fish for dinner isn't going to have the same impact as the guys that are out on the water every single day keeping fish.

If an area is truly in need of management, perhaps moving to season bag limits would be a good option. Tags would have to be included with fishing licenses, but in addition to keeping 2 fish per day, you would only be allowed 6 per season or whatever. Personally I'd rather see education about stewardship, but there are always those who don't care...
 

argail

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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...
A second for me. I always let go the fish for a other day! But, when the wife says she wants fried fish, I save a few...
There are places where ban on catching certain species of fish!
Or example, on the salmon - trout rivers, if you has caught burbot, keep it & eat that fish (good fried or soup) he is a dangerous predator for juvenile fish!
If think deeper, what about invasive species of fish ?! (piranha, snakehead, brown trout heh)
 

fredaevans

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Fishing reg's need to be fluid, changed yearly if needed based on State run survey's and above all else communicated and enforced. All anglers have an inherent responsibility to manage our resources, whether they are bait chuckers or fly fishers.
You would LOVE Oregon; Number of changes every year is silly. Only good they print in blue ink so you can easily pick them out. That said OFG can change them any time so best go on their web site and look (or give them a call).
 

factor

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While I probably release around 95% of the trout and salmon I catch each year, I have no problem keeping these fish to eat on occasion. Unfortunately, many fly fisherman have bought into the idea that killing a trout is always in "poor taste"...couldn't be farther from the truth. I know a couple different state biologists up here this way and have had this discussion with them more then once. Many watersheds would actually benefit from having more trout TAKEN from them each year- and in so doing, would create a better food base for the remaining fish.
 

nevadanstig

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I used to keep a few trout now and again. Until I descovered the mountain whitefish. Way better tasting in my opinion. Milder and sweeter than trout. Still prefer a bucket full of crayfish over anything with fins though.

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346xp

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Growing up eating only wild, mostly native trout.............

I've eaten a few stocked trout, even well acclimated trout...........Yuk Mushy fishy.....If I was going to eat a trout it would be 7-12" wild trout, that being said, I will never eat that kind of fish from my home water so I will probably not be keeping any more trout. I mainly fish CR water, but its obvious some people keep those fish too.
 
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mka

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People ask my wife all the time if I bring home fish to eat...she tells them that I'm a "kiss and release only kind of a guy".
 

marshel

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Probably 99.9% of my fish are released. The last time I kept fish was bluegills, from a private pond that the owner wanted to decrease the population in 2013.
If I were to hook a fish that wouldn't survive from the river I would keep it.
My home waters has mainly Brownies and I release all of them. The other waters I fish is heavily stocked with rainbows in the fall. I have released all that I have caught. I can't say that I wouldn't keep one if I have a hankering for baked trout that night. As far as "filling up the freezer", not interested.
 
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