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Catch and Release/Selective Harvest Poll...


Matt Johnson

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I'm doing a survey project titled, "Do Anglers Believe that Catch and Release or Selective Harvest Will Ensure the Future of Fishing?"

Feel free to answer the questions. If you want to add anything to any of your answers than please post it below.

Thank You and Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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Matt - In reply to questions 2 and 3:

The pros are that fish don't get overharvested in a certain body of water and thus good populations of fish should continue in the future.

The con is that stricktly catch and release can result in overpopulated fish. Also its tough to have a fish fry.

Certainly no species of fish is more important than another, but catch and release for certain species is more important than with others (reword this question, or is this what you meant, Matt?). Obviously more muskies and bass need to be released than bluegills or perch simply because of their place in the food chain and numbers.

I think catch and release is more important for larger predators and selective harvest for panfish, walleyes and such.

Good luck with the poll and study.

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The Pros of CR are being able to maintain good population of fish. That can be by either releasing good spawners or just nice healthy fish.

One con that sticks out is the one that cooter stated, "the lake may become overpopulated with fish" and haveing that said a stunted population of fish.

I agree that fish higher up on the food chain need to be released more than the fish lower on the chain. Selective harvest is a must. If you catch a fish and its hooked badly it would be wise to keep it, b/c its chances of surival or slim.

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Catch and release is a touchy subject but here is my mindframe. When I go out I go out to 1st of all fool some fish and catch them. Im happy with that. Do I keep some fish? Yes.

My favorite body of water only allows 2 walleyes to be kept. I usually keep only a few fish per week if that. Certain times of year more certain times less.

I believe certain lakes need to have a selective harvest more than catch and release. This also varies from year to year. Also from species to species.

Do I believe me not keeping my limit every time out helps? For Sure! I believe every fish I dont keep is 1 that some little boy or girl or elderly person could catch some day. I also have a set of limits on size fish that I keep. This also varies from one body of water to the next and of course species to species.

Some lakes can take a lot of pressure but not forever. Lake Of The Woods is living proof of this. Thats why new limits had to be brought up.

Im not saying everyone should do what I do because I feel its your choice to keep fish as long as its within the laws. A recognize that as much as I fish I alone could do damage to my favorite body of water at certain times of the year. One thing I will say is I am hugely in favor of slots and not being able to keep the BIG fish to eat. 1 for the wall is great but I also am in favor of reproductions with a picture under them to tell the story and from keeping people from just going out and buying a big fish that they never caught. Thats my 2 cents and thanks for letting me voice my opinion. Thats all it is. Good, Bad or Ugly. wink.gif

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i have to be the second to agree with cooter. i have seen the results of catch and release on l.m. bass in the lake i fish alot! many of the bass have been caught more than once. muskies, northern, bass, walleye; i agree with a size and limit on these. a limit on panfish is a good idea also. not size. my point; a guy that only gets to go fishing once in a great while ( say with the kids) would love to be able to take some home for supper. if all he caught was the jumbos and there was a size limit too he may have to go home empty handed. for those of us that get to fish a lot; yes a selective harvest controled by us, not the law. just my thoughts. del

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I am a strong believer of catch and release and Selective harvest. I think all gamefish can benifit from catch and release. The only con that I can think of right off hand is overpopulation in smaller lakes. I really see this a lot in Minnesota on smaller lakes with Pike, To many smaller pike and not enough mediem to larger size percentage. Slot limits helps in some cases but most special regulation (limit 6 fish) lake with hammerhandle pike, don't work because nobody wants to keep 6 dinky pike. Selective harvest is a great idea but there is not enough anglers out there that understand what fish should be released in a certain body of water. Some people think that all big gamefish ( bass, walleye, pike, etc.) should be release and I believe that but what about panfish? The reason why it is so hard to find nice panfish around here is because everyone keeps the big ones and throws back the smaller ones. I would rather keep eight 9" crappie then keep four 12" crappie and most people don't even understand this. The larger fish are the big egg layers not the 9 inchers. I also think that the DNR need to change some of there limits that have been around for to long, one example 6 limit bass, meaning someone can get on a school of 6 18" female bass and legaly keep them, this is not right.

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As cons, Straight C-N-R eliminates the old fashioned shore lunch, and some traditions that we have all been part of for our whole lives. I also believe that there are times when people aren't careful enough with their fish when handling them, and have seen a few flosting belly up.

As for Pros, the obvious would be that it allows fish to swim, grow, eat, and hopefully be caught again (and again, and again). I saw what it could do while I was living in NC. There was a local lake that had been all but fished out. THey made it C-N-R only, and in a few short years, it was a very vibrant fishery again.

I prefer selective harvest, as it allows some fish to go back to be caught, but I can also give my family a meal of healthy, fresh, unprocessed food.

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This one will be interesting in a day or to. I feel certain species should be strictly c&r (ie. Muskies).

I also feel (I know I'll probably ruffle some feathers with this) slot limits are the way to go. I don't think it's going to be to long before the dnr has a state wide walleye slot. That way you can have fish to eat and still save the ones that put fish in the lake for next year. Just my .02

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In my opinion, polls never tell the whole story and polls can be munipulated pretty easily by the questions asked...or not asked!

There is also nothing that says the members/participants in this forum, are a true cross section of the American angling public, just because someone says we are, does'nt mean we are...people can pretty much say what they please, it does'nt mean that it is true.

I would have to say, from what I have seen, that the larger majority of immigrants that fish, have no desire to practice catch and release and we have a significant number here in Minnesota. Alot of older American anglers enjoy catching a fish dinner, as they have done all their lives and I would have to say they are selective harvesters.

When only one answer can be given to a multifacet question, I would have to say that the question and the resulting hypotheses is skewed in favor of the desired results of the poll!

Do I practice catch and release? I put down no, because I do keep fish, but I also let fish go, lots of them, so where do I fall in the one answer only catagory?

This wholesale catch and release thing that some people try to shove down other peoples throats, is a fairly new development, as fishing goes, at least that is my opinion.

It may be that alot of people don't like the taste of fish, don't want to get there hands dirty cleaning them, maybe feel that it is below their station in life to process fish for the table, maybe they are'nt very good at it to begin with? Whose to say?

In this sped up world, it is easier to let the fish go, no muss no fuss, pat oneself on the back, tell oneself what a peach they are and that everybody should be like them and go on to something else.

It is like anything else, catch and release is for some and not for others, selective harvest the same. If it is a legal situation, there is no problem, do one or the other and leave each alone! Totally one way, or the other? No way.

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I am all for C&R... I usually only catch and release. I will keep some fish for the table once in a while, but I never take more than I need. The pros and cons of catch and release go hand in hand. If you release a fish that is injured, you acomplished nothing. However if play a fish correctly and use the right hooks, It doesn't a ffect the fish too much. I've caught the same fish twice in the same day, so it can't be too bad for the fish. I love to fish just to fish. It relieves stress for me and doesn't always have to do with getting some fresh fillets on the table.

I believe C&R is a very good thing if done correctly. If you know your going to release your fish don't let them suck down the hook. Practice quick hook sets. Yah, you're going to miss some fish by doing this, but you won't hook as many fish in the throat! I think the angler can either make catch and release good or bad.

That's just my two cents.

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Re question #2: Catch and release provides a better chance for future success of a fishery if widely used. Although Fish mortality does occur even with catch and release

#3 I think more prolific fish do not have to be as selectively harvested or always caught and released. Such as panfish. However in the successive question about selective harvest used in conjuction with catch and release can cause the overall size structure of a specie in a body of water to increase. It has been proven in the south with Bluegills, Crappies and shellcrackers. If selective harvest and catch and release is practiced the size of the fish increases if the fish kept are in the middle size class and the large ones are released to ensure genetics for a larger sized fish are passed on. I would endorse selective harvest regulations to improve the size structure of our Minnesota lakes for ALL FISH.

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Disclaimer - I am in no way a profesional in the area of fish and wildlife this is simply my opinion. grin.gif

I have to agree with The Grebe on most of his points. This poll seems somewhat subjective. "Are you for catch and release?" I think that most people see the merit in C&R but at the same time you have people preaching it like its the gospel and making moral judments on people that keep ANY fish.

"Is one spiecies more important than the others?" - It is the food chain. Most fish depend on other spiecies for either population control or for food. I think there is a balance that needs to be maintained. (whether or not this balance can be maintained by humans I don't know)

"Is selective harvest more important than C&R" - I think both have there good points, so is one more important than the other? It depends on the situation. An injured fish is a good candidate for selective harvest and not a good choice for C&R. Of course if it is a leagal fish. I do have a problem putting fish back that are obviously going to die but some times you have no choice.

"In your opinion, what percent of anglers practice C&R?" What percent of fish that you catch do you have to release in order to proclaim yourself as a C&R fisherman? If I release all the 6" walleyes that I catch but keep some fish over 14" does that make me a C&R fisherman? Or if I keep or have kept one fish in my life, can I no longer say that I am a C&R fisherman?

Please don't take this post the wrong way. I am not trying to be a jerk here, but these are just some questions that I have and simply my OPINION.

I look forward to hearing others opinions. Have a good day.

arbuck

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Matt: I had to answer NO to C N R even though 80% of the fish I catch go back in the lake or river I'm fishing at the time. I practice selective harvest. I cannot remember the last time that I kept a limit of any specie of fish. A slot limit on a body of water is basically forced selective harvest, and because some fisherpeople cannot or will not use intelligence, regulations are a must.

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I think that slots limits are the may to go. If setup properly they will help maintain a balanced fishery. A good, balanced fishery allows some fish to be kept, but will maintain a good base of mature fish for reproduction. I also think that not all lakes are equal. For example a put and take trout lake, why not keep some fish, they are not there to reproduce. There are alot of variables to this, I think that each lake and species needs to be looked at indivdually.

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Matt-A few of my answers may scew the pols... I for one voted no for the last question. Yet, most of my fishing is catcha nd release, I on occation do keep some fish for table fare. Expecially in the winter time. I am much more a fan of selective harvest. If we never remove species from the lakes, they over populate and stunt growth. Keeping some fish, not your limmit everytime is the key to a healthy fishery. Slot limmits, and selective harvest are best in my opinion!

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In my opinon different fish need different types of regulations, I'd like to see muskies become a catch and release fish only. I can't agree with the theroy that total C&R will stunt a population in a system. If that were true, why do the lakes in Canada that get so little pressure, have big fish in them?? smile.gif

Under that theroy, all systems with little or no angling pressure would have stunted populations.

The less the effect of angling is on a system the better the fishing, C&R lessens our effect on the fish populations and it's the reason we have the fantastic fisherys in MN, that we now enjoy. smile.gif

As a professional guide I also get to see more of the wide range of anglers that visit our state.

I think you'd be very suprised to see how many of these tourist want everything they catch in the livewell. Not that only out staters are the ones guilty of over harvest, there are many more that live in MN. Without self regulation I think there is a need for strickter limits and perhaps slots where it will make a difference, especially when it comes to walleyes.

When it comes to fish that people enjoy eating I always say, "Please remember to put some back".

Attitudes on keeping fish have changed over the years however, I think we still have a long way to go before all anglers understand how important it is to make the right choices, when it comes to keeping fish for the table. smile.gif

"Ace" smile.gif

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Matt, I pretty much go fishing for fish to eat. Musky and Bass are the exception. I would rather catch a two pound walleye than a ten pound walleye anyday. I have caught and released a 10 plus walleye one time and she was so wore out when I released her I doubt that she made it. That took all the fun out of catching big walleyes for me. I've done it and that is good enough for me. I have the picture. Now a good eater walleye is a different matter altogether, that gets me excited. I think there are still way to many meat hogs out there thats for sure. I know I have seen them "blasting" off URL with pails full. I do not consider myself one. I like to keep couple of bags of frozen fish around though if possible. Fish is good for you, you know!! I really do not like the people "preaching" catch and release everything. It burns me up. I think these people probably kill more fish than I do consistantly. They are probably giving the anti fishers food for fodder so to speak. Why allow fishing just to harrass fish for our enjoyment would be the case used against us.

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Interesting survey. With regards to one fish being more important than others, the answer is yes. In Minnesota, that has to be walleye based on angler popularity. But all game species are important, cpr benefits them all.

Should cpr be mandatory: YES, but only in those situations where it's needed to recover to sustainable yeilds.

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I think C&R is an important idea because it creates a new kind of discussion about our resources and our motivations. For example, I want my children to understand both kill and release fishing because neither is exactly what it seems to be; killing fish isn't necessarily cruel and releasing them isn't necessarily humane. It raises the key questions about whether released fish live and live well and improve the fishery, and whether stocked fish are equal or valuable contributions to a fishery. I worked for a long time in the fly-fishing zone and there are a lot of fantasies about catch-and-release among fly anglers that have not improved fisheries or fishing. So more power.

By the way if you'd like to read a piece of light fiction on the C&R theme, e-mail me at [email protected]

Ice

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Love to fish but am certainly no pro. I like a meal once in awhile but fishing's gotten to be more of a way to relax after putting up with people who drive me crazy for much of the year. For example, 2 years ago my brother and I fished a lake near Itasca and caught oodles of big sunnies in the fall. For some reason, we released all of them. Dunno why but just enjoyed jabberin' and catchin' up since we live on different planets these days. This past fall, we fished together again and our luck on a different lake near there was not as good. But, I managed to tie into one large northern and on light tackle our last nite out & it put up one heck of a fight around all the snags in the water surrounding us. After boating it, noticed the big daredevele I had on was nowhere to be seen. Opened the mouth and one of the treble hooks was around a gill rake. No blood but, dump, I thought. Really didn't want to have to butcher this fish as big northerns aren't my favorites. All of the sudden it flopped around and out popped the daredevle! Ironically about an hour earlier, since fishing had been slow, I had taken my first digital camera that I had not yet learned how to use out and read the instructions. Practiced on the scenery so I knew how it worked. Handed the camera to my brother and we photo'ed the fish then released it. Made me smile to see it swim off easily and gracefully. A week later another with a different crew, we caught lots of nice crappies and sunnies. They're awaiting a fish fry. Catch and release? Sometimes. Selective harvest? Sometimes.

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I'm a selective harvest guy. I keep fish within my own personal slot. I read up on fish studies to decide what the slot should be and I change it when I decide I need to.

Eating fish has never been the first priority with me. If I get a meal, great. If they were all too big or too small, oh well, I grill a great burger too.

It's interesting that this survey shows a clear majority favors catch and release but only narrowly supports laws supporting it.

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Quote:

Fish is good for you, you know!! I really do not like the people "preaching" catch and release everything. It burns me up. I think these people probably kill more fish than I do consistantly.

Amen Brotha............. I fish for the meat. If I wanted a lecture I would go to church! Okay.. you guys are better men, I can live with that. I have my own ethics and do not give two $hit$ what anyone else thinks. I stay within the letter of the law and have a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!

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While I don't pratice 100% of the time the fish I keep tend to fall into the DNR's guidelines of selective harvest. Now comes the question of mandated c&r or slots, well I'm not going to pretend I have the answer but we better do something fast or there won't be many fish left in 10-20 years due to the pressure there is now.

I suppose if enough people where against slot limits the DNR could always double or triple the licsense fees to pay for the stocking??

Something has to start, whether it's at the sportsman level or the state level, but the size and number are down on most lakes.

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