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Beyond Ethics- Taking the fish out of fishing

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Ronan's report


Tuesday 10th of July 2012

What an excellent talk on ethics in angling. Wills front page was phenomenal, and pretty much sums up what I think too. I'll leave the specifics on this one alone, with the exception to stress that ethics can not be allowed to interfere with conservation. If that means that catch and release is required, or even the temporary closure of some fisheries (spawning season or alternate year closures), then so be it.

On a different ethical note, I believe all anglers, not just fly fishers, should be active in protecting the resource that we cherish. This might mean being aware of legislative changes that could affect the fish or your fishing or going out to physically work on something in the landscape.

This past weekend a group of us from our local fly club went out and helped a group of landowners with a weed pulling event along a local creek. The target was a invasive and noxious weed called Blueweed. I'm not sure of the biological impel cations of these introduced plants, the whole weed thing seems less cut and dry to me, especially with plant succession cycles, but I do know that the experts call it bad.

The great thing was that this group of 5 eccentric city-boy fly-fishers showed up to this cowboy filled shin dig to help them pull weeds on their property. We shrugged off the stereo types that ranches had and stepped up to the plate to help them with a problem that is not our concern.

By the end we had walked near a kilometre of prime trout stream, without lifting a rod (except a small lapse at the end) and we collected over 10 big garbage bags full of blue weeds and daisies.

Yes, five grown men picking flowers to impress a bunch of cowboys!

The great thing- we had fun, cleaned up invasive species from a stretch of creek, spent a hot sunny day outside, and got some good exercise. It also gave the guys a chance to meet some of the landowners on a fairly hard to access, mostly private creek. The best part was when one of the most respected ranchers sauntered over to the guys and sat on the grass with them to let them know that he was impressed and appreciated the work that they had done. Then he offered access to his land for fishing whenever they wanted! now that's a reward!

By the end of it we did a good thing for the landowners and the creek, we fished a beaver pond at sundown, and we went out of our way to earn our right to fish. A great way to show we deserve to fish and that we will care for the land.

Until next time,
Harps


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