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The Wrong Way To C&R


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 28th January, 2009

Seems like there has been a flurry of activity lately regarding Catch & Release (C&R) here on Sexyloops.

First, in this thread on the board

Then, Paul's FP from Monday, which explains how to C&R a trout properly.

C&R is definitely a major component of fisheries conservation and management programs in many areas around the world. Often C&R is required by regulations, but more and more we see anglers releasing fish because of personal ethics. I'm a believer in C&R. It works in MT where I used to fish, guide, and live. It works in Oregon, where I release every wiild steelhead I'm fortunate enough to catch. Several of the wild steelhead I landed last year had tiny pinprick scars on thier jaws - evidence that another angler before me was furtunate enough to also catch lightning in a bottle.

Then today, Justin started a C&R thread based on a news story out of Portland, OR with a bit of a different theme.

This news story is about one of the most blatant examples of inappropriate fish handling in the name of C&R that I've ever seen. Take a look for yourself. You won't believe it.

Sturgeon, a prized sport fish and survivor from prehistoric times, are being "Released" off the top of a 60 foot high cliff and expected to swim away unharmed. Our states fish and game group, ODFW, looks on as it happens.

This news story is just a first step in bringing this issue to light.

The next step is for us, the anglers, to demand that this completely unacceptable practice be stopped.

According to ODFW's 2009 regulations booklet, "All oversize, undersize, and unwanted legal size sturgeon must be immediately released unharmed into the water." In addition, ODFW makes these recommendations for properly releasing a fish.

From the 2009 ODFW Regs

Certainly, unceremoniously hauling a sturgeon up a 60 foot cliff, removing the hook, and then pitching them back off the same cliff does not meet what I consider to be the spirit of the law, and it's not even close to an appropriate way to release any fish.

I'd like to see some of take action and write an email to ODFW. Link them to this FP if you want to and tell them how you learned about the issue. Demand enforcement of proper fish handling and ask ODFW to shut down the Wall. I'd love to hear from some of the European coarse anglers who go to great lengths to gently handle and release non-native carp, generally considered trash fish here in the USA.

Send your comments to ODFW via one of these links...

And let us know what you think on the board.

Until next time...

Fish On,

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