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Old 07-12-2010, 09:29 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 992

duckypaddler--Looks like some fine fixin's to me. It isn't blasphemy. Park biologists will readily tell you that keeping a limit of fish doesn't affect populations at all (except possibly giving overpopulated streams a slight boost). Specks in the Smokies, where present, almost always overpopulate.
As for males vs. females, same basic situation. It won't affect things. Also, I'm not sure you can always distinguish between sexes; at any rate, I can't outside of spawning season.
When it comes to your wife's dislike of heads, I wonder if it is actually the eyes which bother her? If so, they are easily popped out when cleaning the fish by pressing with your thumb at the edge of the socket. I've always done this when cleaning trout. Also, while it is tiny on fish this size, there's an especially tasty tidbit of meat in each cheek.
At any rate, from my perspective, there's no sacrilage here, and that's why I included a chapter of cooking your catch in my book.
Jim Casada
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