Originally Posted by Jim Casada
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.
Wife is an x vegetarian and the heads are just too much for her. I'll have to use my thumb for the eyes next time as the last time I used a knife and just managed to cut up the eye taking forever to get it all out. A question - is it OK to leave the eyes in if I'm cutting the heads off when I get home? I always take them out when gutting, but may just be doing so in vain. Thanks for the tip. As for the Brookie Blasphemy name - I thought it was a humorous slant on how some people get almost "religious" over their favorite or sometimes any Brookie stream. Look at other fourms where you are told in Red letters not to post stream names, etc. You also see sa little bit of that on this fourm. Yes I agree that taking that female was also beneficial to the stream, but I am always somewhat regretful when I kill something that is in the process of propagating, especailly when I really don't need the fish. Yes I also agree that taking males won't help either overall, but it did keep me from finding anymore eggs though which made my head feel better. Does anyone eat trout cavier?