the waters I fish in are mainly populated by hatchery trout, although some spawning does ocurr. The trout here donīt have any enemies (such as ospreys) except for "cannibalism", and food sources are very limited (high mountain streams in very arid evironment) . Anyways, thereīs a debate going on between those who deffend absolute catch and release, who say it garantees the population of trout, and those who say overpopulation is decreasing the average size of trout (because food sources remain the same) and the "genetic" quality, affecting the trouts fight. Therefore they claim that total C. and R. is counter productive for the sport.
I tend to agree with the former for ecological reasons, but the latterīs argument does have some logic to it...
I guess it depends for each particular region, and there is probably no general rule about it, but does anybody know if there is any studies or real experiencies that support either of this views?
I think a lot depends on the trout species and the conditions in which they live. In the Sierras, there are many cirque lakes that were stocked decades ago with Eastern Brook trout. In most cases, especially at high elevations, the fish in the lakes are starved, stunted, and overcrowded. More catch and kill fishing on these lakes would probably result in better conditioned and better fed survivors.
Again, at high elevations, there are similar cirque lakes with healthy specimens of Golden trout, and catch and release of these beauties is most likely called for.
Rainbows in the cirque lakes also seem to do better than the Brookies, maybe because of cannibalism. Taking a couple for dinner in most circumstances would do little harm.
Cutthroats also seem prone to over-crowding and stunting, although they are such willing biters that it's easy to fish out an entire population (witness the wonderful cutthroat C&R fishery on the Middle Fork of the Salmon -- before C&R came into effect, cutthroat fishing on the Middle Fork was generally lousy).
From these few examples, I'm trying to argue that species, species origin, and local conditions probably determine the benefits of C&R over catch and kill.
thanks, very interesting info. I forgot to say that the trout I was speaking of were rainbow.
04-02-2007, 11:37 AM
(See my post below on the San Juan.) That's a river that would hugely benefit from some catch and keep fishing, and is a prime example of C&R taken to a surreal farce.
I am now convinced that acces control, and not mandatory C&R, is the best way to get and peserve a quality flyfishng experience.
04-05-2007, 04:18 AM
Last summer I fished the West Ranga in Iceland.
They encourage taking fish there.
All the males are killed and the females are kept for their eggs. For each female caught you are given a side of smoked salmon.
The reason for this is that all the fish in the river are hatchery fish and apparently because of volcanic activity several years ago there are no real spawning grounds for salmon.
My wife thought it was great that I came home from a fishing trip with some fish.
I am normally an exponent of catch and release but I do not have qualms about taking fish on occasions.