I know the antis want to ban fishing anyway, but is there any point in giving them extra ammunition by saying that all we want to do is 'play' with the fish for a little while? Killing fish to eat them at least has some purpose.
With regard to the subject of predators. If the control of predators is what it takes to help conserve the salmon as a species, then I must support it. Sooner or later the pendulum must swing. If the populations are allowed to spiral ever upwards the way they are then they are going to start to starve any way. What bothers me is the possibility that the salmon may well be gone by the time that mother nature sets the balance. I am not advocating the eradication of any species, but salmon, without a doubt need more help than catch and release affords them. What do you suppose the odds are on salmon returned by anglers to smolts devoured by goosanders? I know that I personally have shot a goosander (legaly) which had seven salmon parr in it's stomach and I would be willing to bet that this is no record. I know one beat on the upper reaches of the Dee which supports several pairs of these birds. Simple arithmetic paints a devastating picture!