Monday, September 15, 2008

Do the Right Thing

Did you ever get that advice from a parent? Make sure you do the right thing and you will be okay. It's good advice and I have given it to my own children. We as fly fishermen and quasi-conservationists need do the right thing when it comes to our precious resource maybe above all other sports anglers.
What do I mean by doing the right thing out on the river or lake or woods or wherever we find ourselves in our outdoor pursuits?
The following is my unofficial responsibilities list or "doing the right thing"

Fish barbless hooks! It's proven that a barbless hook is less harmful to released fish.
Avoid the use of non-biodegradable fluorocarbon lines. Pretty simple really. This type of fishing line, while desirable because of the stealth factor, does not break down like monofilament line does.
Do not ever wade through spawning redds. This is self explanatory but we hear tales of careless anglers stomping through active redds way too much.
Practice safe catch and release! We fly anglers get a lot of flak by conventional anglers about catch and release. We need to make sure we do it right in order to insure the survival of the fish.
Get involved in the conservation of wild salmonids! I've said it before and I will continue to say it! If we don't set aside our desire to catch a "Nice mess of fish" and get active in saving wild fish then what will our children and grandchildren think of us. Apathy has killed more fish than any commercial net ever did.
I know that I may be preaching to the choir and this is all elementary stuff to many of you but the hour is late folks!
This Friday, September 19Th is the day the the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife commission decides on the fate of the last remaining populations of wild coastal cutthroat trout. If our efforts fail to convince the commission of the need to protect these wonderful fish then we very well may see the doom of these trout and very soon. A two fish a day with an eight inch minimum will decimate these fish and they may not survive not to mention the effect this kill fishery will have on pre-migrant wild juvenile salmon and steelhead.
Sound like doom and gloom? Well I can just say that I am not optimistic as to the decision that will be made this Friday.
ODFW has an agenda and protection of wild salmonids is not a part of that agenda.
I will keep you posted of the outcome.

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