Ethics of C&R
Very nice with a new forum. I would like to start a new discussion regarding Catch and Release. I will make clear that I do not intend for this to become a flame war or any kind of hostility. I'm just interested in sharing a dilemma which has come over me lately. I have done C&R since early childhood. I did it back in my native Sweden where I some times took home fish to eat while I was fishing with spinning gear. I graduated over to fly fishing and when I settled in TN i became a fly fisherman full time. I haven't picked up a spin rod in ten years plus.
The last decade it has become more and more controversial in Europe to practice catch and release. The argument goes that it is unethical to fish for the sole purpose of fun. It is also proven that catch and release will kill fish. It is by no means harmless to the fish. The fish gets all kinds of eye injuries and other harmful effects as well as stress etc. There has been an organized group of fly fisherman and some of them locally famous in Scandinavia who has taken a public view and wrote a letter to oppose fishing for C&R.
I don't know why but the last month or so I have become more and more troubled within myself about the whole thing. I am a member of both TU and FFF and they stress C&R and no one seems to think it is harmful. I really don't know where to go with this and I would like someone's else's input or thinking on this subject. I can't be the only one who struggles with this. I used to embrace catch and release without thinking about it. Now I still practice it but with reservations within my mind. Please, someone help. I will appreciate any and all opinions and I promise I will treat anyone with respect, regardless of your opinion. I'm not really looking for a debate, I'm more in need of counseling. I almost got to the point today, where I felt something was missing while fishing. I'm afraid that this heat we are having have gotten to my brain. LOL.