Re: Keep or Release????
This is a hot potato and it can get ugly. I have been doing 100% c/r the last ten years or so. I am starting to have doubts. I know from biological sources that these creeks in the mountains have very low nutrient levels and therefore produces a stunted population due to overpopulation. The same thing happens in a lot of cold lakes up north with pan fish such as yellow perch. If you remove some of the smaller ones you actually enhances the fishery. More chance for the remaining fish to grow. If you take only the big ones away you might do more harm. In other words slot limits might help. I.e. keep 6" to 8" fish and no kill on the other sizes. The problem is that it's hardly worhwhile to clean and cook a small fish and you don't want to catch fish just to trash.
On another note: It has to my knowledge become a big political debate over in Europe if it is ethichal or not to play a fish to near exhaustion just for the fun of it and then release that fish to maybe death and or suffering. This is not PETA stuff. This debate is raging among noted fly fisherman both in Scandinavia and England. They are basically questioning the whole Lee Wulff thing about the game fish (you get the picture). I have to say it kind of get you thinking. Why do we fish? I understand the whole concept of enjoying the sport but does make you think about it. I know for a fact that many people play their fish way too long in warm water and or abuse em in other ways. Letting them flop around on rocks etc. I'm not trying to be holier than thou on this but I have seen this happening. I once got a fish on a mountain stream hooke real bad and I got the hook out but the fish was bleeding. Sure enough it died soon after that. In this particular instance I had to release the fish due to size reg. Still that was a fish that died needlessley. Enough of my ranting. I do feel mixed about this and I belong to Trout Unlimited and FF. They both advocate Cr and FF more so than TU. It's kind of hard to be a member of these organisations and then throw back fish that probably won't make it. Please don't take this the wrong way keep it civile I'm just interested in healthy debate. Like I said I c/r 100% but I'm thinking about keeping some fish especially on tailwaters. Opinions anyone?