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Friday, November 18, 2005

Catch and Release

In the past several years the “Catch and Release” craze has grown in popularity. While I certainly agree that releasing fish is a nice idea, it seems to me that some C & R proponents have elevated the practice to that of a mystical experience. I am sure you have all heard the term, “a fish is too valuable to catch only once”. Again while C & R is a noble practice, catch and keep is certainly another approach that is also very acceptable.

Sometimes I think about which practice is more humane, catching and eating or catching releasing, catching it again and releasing, and on and on and on.

If you “google” catch and release you will find dozens of write-ups on the practice. Just about all articles agree on one thing, and that is that catch and release will result in mortality if fish aren’t released quickly and properly. Survival rates increase when fish are landed quickly and do not suffer severe hooking injury. Survival rates decrease when light tackle angling techniques are employed and minute long photo shoots are held. So what is my point? If you catch a limit of two fish and keep them both you will have killed two fish. If you practice C & R and catch and return 20 fish (which practically everyone says they can do) and 10% do not survive, 2 fish have been killed. Different practice, same result Why not apply similar guidelines to catch and keep and catch and release by placing a limit on both methods.  I think that would be fair as both fishing practices would be allowed to catch a specific number of fish resulting in a true all around conservation effort. It might entail a larger limit for C & R, but at least there would be a sensible cap on the amount of fish caught and the resulting amount of fish killed.

I’ll bet everyone agrees with my thoughts on this. YEAH RIGHT!!!!

Posted By: Capn Gerry Bresadola @ 4:39:06 AM


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