Originally Posted by Rog 1
Simple supply side economics...there is a limited supply of food...the more fish there are the tighter the competition becomes and with less food for each fish the growth rate is stunted. I fished the park about four times last year and caught bigger fish than in the last four years...and the reason everyone gives is the drought of three years ago...so you have fewer fish with the same food supply. More food per fish makes for bigger fish..In the past years there were a lot of locals that fished the park for food...never knew of the term catch and release...just by looking at the general fisherman in the park these days you can tell that they are not locals...this fishery will sustain keeping fish to eat and the result will be larger fish...if you don't practice population management then there is no grounds for you to complain about the small size of the fish...
Interesting. So you (and perhaps David) would be a proponent of keeping a fish or two each time out?
I was reading up on Yellowstone NP's policy last night, and Yellowstone is catch and release for any native fish. Is the fear that the waters (in the GSMNP or other NPs) will get fished out unfounded?
Related to this, and borrowing from my conversations from Ian Rutter again, Ian's thoughts were that (again, paraphrasing), fishermen are the least likely to affect the fish population. There are a number of other threats to the fish (drought, flood, otters, raccoons, kingfishers, snakes, etc.) that rank far, far higher on the predator list than a fly fisherman taking a fish or two home to munch on.
That said, when Ian is your guide it is strictly catch and release.