Thread: Ethics of C&R
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Old 08-26-2007, 08:44 PM
appalachian angler appalachian angler is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Harriman, Tn.
Posts: 152

I practice C&R 95% of the time and it is almost an involentary action. Perhaps Habit is a better word. I try and play fish as quickly as I possibly can. No "showboating" here. I use barbless or pinched down barbs on all my flys. I loose more fish that way, but I too enjoy the hook-up more than the fight. I have no problems with folks killing fish within their legal rights. I will occasionally take home a few stockers, or an injured fish. If I don't catch enough to feed the family (ie. taking 1 injured fish home) I will boil the trout and feed it to my cat. No waste that way. One of the reasons I practise C&R is to leave the fish for some youngster who might just be catching his/her 1st trout! At least this is what I like to tell myself and others. I would rather that fish go home in a kids' creel than my own.Most of the fish we catch have origins in the hatchery. Notice I said origins, not that they were stocked as adults. Non-native species thrive where native brookies can't. I see no problem with this since many will be killed for food...either by Humans or by otters, birds, or snakes. In the park and on the tailwaters, nature seems to find its balance despite human intervention. I only have a problem with C&R when it is practised with negligence and/or indifference. I must confess that I do wince from time to time when I see some nice "breeder" size fish on a stringer. I have been there and done that. I chose not to do that anymore because I prefer to fish on and not have to fool with a stringer! For the record I believe that ALL members of PETA are idiots. If our future generation loses interest in fishing because some quack has convinced them that fish have feelings, then conservation as a whole will become third rate, and the greed mongers will just continue to rape this planet till it becomes a total wasteland. Lets keep a few fish around for our kids to enjoy, and teach them stewardship and management of our precious resources. Fishing is's supposed to be! I don't feel guilty about releasing fish anymore than anyone should feel guilty about killing one. Personal choices should be respected as such.

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