Monday, January 09, 2012

Please Kill Hatchery Fish

When I say kill hatchery fish I mean just that! If you buy an angling license you are helping to pay for the rearing of hatchery fish. That cost has an astronomical price per fish so since you and I are paying for them we should utilize them by killing them and therefore removing them from the river.
Sound wasteful? Not at all! You are just utilizing a resource that was put in place for you to harvest fish. You say you just like to catch and release all fish and cannot bring yourself to kill any. Well that is fine and good for wild fish as they should almost always be released to propagate the species so good on you for being a good steward of the wild resource. On the same line of thinking, you are also being a good steward of the resource when you remove hatchery salmon, trout and steelhead from rivers with a wild fish population.Remember that hatchery salmon, trout and steelhead should never ever be allowed to co-mingle with wild salmon,trout and that? The effect on the wild population is devastating!
So here is my advice. Want to eat some fish? Kill your limit of hatchery fish! Did you catch a trophy sized hatchery fish? Congratulations! Kill it and then have it mounted or better yet take measurements and pictures for a replica mount then kill the hatchery fish to eat or give away or use as fertilizer for your wife's rose bed. The important thing is to harvest that hatchery fish.
How about if the fish is unfit for consumption from spawning? I kill it, tag it and release it back into the river for nutrients. I do that but you might not want to do it because it is considered wasting a game fish so do not do anything illegal! If you've caught your daily limit of hatchery fish then go home and come back the next day and kill your hatchery fish limit again.
You may get the warm fuzzies by letting a hatchery fish go and thinking you've done the fish a big favor, well you may have done that fish a big favor but you sure as hell didn't do the resource any favors! That fish could stray into wild salmonid spawning grounds and spawn with a wild fish thus diluting the wild salomnid genes. You've done a huge disservice to the wild fish by releasing a hatchery fish that you should have kept.
Remember this much. That hatchery fish is yours to utilize in whatever way you see fit. Give it away or plant it in your flower bed or use for crab bait or put it on the BBQ grill and have uncle Vern over for dinner.The important thing is to KILL ALL HATCHERY SALMON, TROUT AND STEELHEAD!!!!

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