Re: Keep or Release????
The references to the effect of over populating these streams is true and I have seen the proof. Besides the plus side of flood effects I have seen what a forced harvest can do to a stream. As part of the Parks brookie restoration effort they tried to fish out Tremont one year. They removed the size and creel limits on rainbows and browns and required all who fished the river to keep all trout other than brookies. Prior to this most of the fish caught above the forks were generally 6-7" on average. The next year the fishing was unbelievable and most fish were in the 8 inch range. The last couple of times I have fished up above the cascades there were a lot of those little 5-6" bows. I spent most of my childhood summers roaming these mountains following my grandfather and uncle while they fished. I have enjoyed many a meal of those small , sweet fish. This was also during a time when there was a stocking program in the park...the hatchery used to be at the Chimney's picnic area. I do not see where an occasional couple of fish kept to eat is a matter of life or death for these streams. What I think has had a bigger impact on the fishing is the budget restraints on the Park service which has made rule enforcement almost non-existant.