How anglers interact with a trout or salmon fishery can be, in and of itself, a conservation consideration. Questions like “How much pressure does a river get?” “How many fish are kept?” and “How are released fish handled before they’re let go?” all factor into the sustainability of recreational fisheries. While quality habitat is, by far, the paramount consideration, if we pound the daylights out of the fish, we’re making an impact, even in a pristine environment. How much is too much? Well, it depends.
“Catch-and-release” is the crux. Done well, it helps to ensure game fish live on to fight another day and a fishing community can optimize and share a resource. Done poorly, it’s a misguided rationalization for some anglers to be unwitting game hogs. It’s just that simple.
What’s not so simple, however, is understanding exactly what constitutes good catch and release procedure. Most anglers want straightforward, black and white guidance that helps them navigate simple issues like, “How much time is okay to hold a fish out of water to take a photo, (if any)?” or “Should I use a net or not, and what kind?”
Continue reading at TU.org.