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troutman

The importance of catch and release

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In my life,I have had the good fortune of some fantastic trout fishing.I'm talking many 15 to 30 fish days,all over 14",with several in the 20" to 26" range.This was water I quickly learned not to tread with ultra-lite equipment as,these big boys would tear it up.I know this is hard to believe and I'd be skeptical too had I not lived it.To top it off,this took place right here in Minnesota.This fantastic trout fishing spanned the better part of 10 years and in all that time and all those trout,only one was kept,a 24" brown that literally inhaled a # 9 gold Rapala and could not be revived. Sadly,this stream no longer produces fish like that anymore.A combination of factors,floods and the resulting habitat loss,upstream watershed alterations,but mostly,fishing pressure took it's toll on this stream.I know alot of the big trout that I personally C&R'd,now adorn someones wall somewhere or worse yet,ended up on the grill. I fish all over S.E.Minnesota and I know how truely rare a 20"+ trout is.The fact of the matter is,you can't have 20" trout,if you don't let the 14 and 18 inchers go and you can't have 20"+ trout,if you don't let the 20 inchers go.To catch a big trout is a thrill,to be sure and the temptation to take it home and show it off,maybe have it mounted is great.I encourage everyone to bring a camera with them and if you do get lucky and catch a trophy,quickly snap a picture of it and let the fish go.Have a replica made if you wish.You'll be amazed at what a good feeling C&R is and everytime you return to that spot to fish...and you will,you'll rememeber that fish and know it's probably still out there...only bigger.Sorry to get so preachy but,C&R is the ONLY way to bigger trout.Mike

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Troutman,
I agree!

In fact, one of my faves and the access has come under new ownership. The new owners I feel, might not have the conservation mind set as the previous owner did.
I felt I had established(after some good convincing) a great relationship with the past owner, lettng him understand why I fished and that it was my goal to preserve this "trophy" fishery.

The old owner wanted me to check in every time I would access the stream from his land. I didn't mind this in the least. This was to ensure a great relationship, plus I would find out if anyone else had been or was currently on the water. The new owner flat out voiced he didn't care if I stopped by. He did mention if the stream was littered etc. he would stop allowing access.
Doesn't sound bad, but I personally have a bad feeling this stream will get over-run in the near future!
I have released many 20+ inch trout from this stream. In fact I can only remember twice in quite a few years of keeping a few 11-12 inchers for the grill.

I guess all we can do is continue to help others come to the important understanding, what we do today on our waters will effect them tomorrow.

Good luck this season and let us know how you do!!!

Jim W

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I agree whole heartly UNLESS your fishing the stocked lake stream trout. Agree or disagree boys?

chunky

ps on some of those stocked lakes I've released 25" bows, 22" brookies , and some beautiful browns but only for the sake of someone else having the oppurtunity,

chunky

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Catch and release is the most vital part to a "healthy" trout fishery. They simply don't reproduce and grow like other species of fish in this region.

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CPR IS THE MOST important aspect of ANY fishing really, in regards to we laymen's role.

As for numbers of C&R...

The best day I have and probably ever will have was in Arkansas on the Norfork of the White River. This day I caught and released OVER 75 trout within 3 hours time. And all were in a 30 yard stretch of this Blue Ribbon water's wonder! grin.gif

Ya gotta love THAT! grin.gif

"LUND-MAN"

------------------
"Leave NO Trace"

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C&R is the most important aspect of maintaining any quality fishery...you're right.It is even more so on most trout waters simply because you are talking about a much smaller,much more fragile ecosystem then let's say,the Mississippi river.For example,a fuel oil spill on the Mississippi,in St.Paul,may have minimal impact on the immediate area and no impact at all further downstream,whereas,we have all heard about the sewage,manure and chemical spills that have devastated several different streams or,portions of,over the years.It only makes sense then that C&R(or lack of)on these smaller,more fragile waters,will have a greater impact than it will on larger,more diverse waters.Enough talk...let's go fishing.Bring a camera and C,P&R.Mike

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One more thing. I believe there needs to be a balance. Catch and Release is wonderful, but many stigmatize this practice. In turn, in a way, going out of their way not to practice C and Release! Make sense??

WHat I am trying to say is, as long as there are laws allowing people to keep there limit, there should never be anyone chastizing those who claim their State Given Right.

If we understand the importance and practice Selective Harvest, (which I believe is needed in streams as well) and Catch and release, we don't need to toot our horns all day about it. We need to go out of our way to help other make the simple transition in belief and practice!

anyway,
Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

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Chunky I do agree with you, I usually let all of the trout I get on the little streams and lakes go so I can come and do it again another day. I do like to keep the ones I get out of a stocked lake though, but only what I will use right away, the rest go back. ><>
deadeye

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I agree with Jim. There's nothing wrong with keeping a few for the grill.
I think it's wrong to only keep the big ones for the grill. I personally don't keep anything over 14 inches unless the trout has been hooked in a way that it won't make it.

I agree with you chunky. Natural lakes the trout go back. Stocked lakes I'll keep a few, but if it's a big trout it will go back for someone else to catch and enjoy.

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"Study to be quite"

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