Ethics or Conservation or Both? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Ethics or Conservation or Both?

10-07-2003, 03:02 PM
Well' I've pretty well put the trout rods away for a few months. At this time of the year the Browns are stacking up to spawn, some sections of my home waters are closed as a result but other sections remain open. Ther are many Rainbows still around and actively fatttening up but there is also a good mix of Browns.
I take a leave from fishing the rivers that hold Browns primarily as a matter of my personal fishing ethics. I don't beleive that the risk of affecting spawners is worth the thrill of hooking up with a few large Rainbows and the "incidental catch argument" (of spawing Browns) is the same issue as the "incidental catch" of steelies that I have argued against. Clearly the result is to improve the spawning run effectiveness and as such a conservation matter. Worst of all and a point that I actively disagree with is the active targeting of spawning Browns (or Rainbows in the Spring).
What are your views?
P.S. I also focus on large Pike at this time of the year as a very acceptable substitute!

Dble Haul
10-07-2003, 03:08 PM
I agree with you. Although I haven't done much trout fishing this year, I have made it a point in the past to not target spawning fish. At times it can be like shooting fish in a barrel, and when anglers get into the water there can be unintentional damage to redds and such.

I also don't target bass when they are on their beds. There's really not much challenge to it, and fish that are landed and released have been seen to take up to thirty minutes to return to the bed they are protecting, thus leaving it very vulnerable to predation. Now on the other hand, big post-spawn female bass are prime targets....but I digress.

It's a personal decision, and one that I don't take lightly. I don't condemn others that target these fish, but I don't condone the activity either.

10-07-2003, 07:31 PM
Fishing for fish that are ona a spawning run is one thing.. fishing for them as they are in the act of spawning that is something else.. It is WRONG to mess with any spawning fish!! period !!! thats it and there ain't no more !!! end of story!!!

I don't care if they are bass trout salmon marlin or whatever.. If they are spawning leave them alone..
This isn't an elietist view. it is the view that everyone who considers themselves a sportsman should have. It is an absolute NOT a matter of opinion. Even if the spawn is the only time the fish is available for flyfishers. Once they start to spawn leave them alone!!!

10-07-2003, 07:52 PM
I'm with you Pete.

Here on the east coast, there is a growing fishery for spawning stripers in their wintering grounds south of here that has me a little concerned.

Of course I would love to escape to go catch huge stripers down there in the middle of the brutal New England winter, but every time I see the big females distended with eggs being held up for photos in boats it makes me feel pretty bad and I've never done the winter fishery.

In the pacific northwest most areas with redds are closed to fishing but even when they are people aren't interested in bothering them for the most part.

The deliberate fishing on redds in some midwestern lake runs (steelhead) is very concerning, in fact that fishery is predominately focused on taking fish from the redds. Even guides bring their clients to redds, anchoring to position next to redds with fish visibly sitting on them.

I like your approach of letting them take care of business!