I am all for a statewide c/r policy concerning our wild fish.With the Numbers of fishermen growing year after year I believe that it will be necessary for the survival of the wild gene pool.
I am also afraid of c/r policy being missed used.If a system is ailling it needs to be closed.I could care less who WANTS to go fishing.That is all it is a want.Itis not a need.Selfishness does not justify killing of the wild fish.
It amazes me how most sport fishermen refuse to admit there impact on the fisheries.If you do the math sport fishermen have taken a huge amount of fish out of the systems.It was the biggest impact the hood canal trib steelhead fisheries have faced.Plain and simple.They dumped huge amounts of hatchery fish in th e rivers and allowed too much retention.Wild stocks were all but wiped out in a short order and the sportsmen adhearing to state law were the culprits.
The state has deemed the canal tribs to not be healthy enough for retention of anything but hatchery steelhead.So the regs read c/r exept for hatchery steelhead.That means I can go fish the system with whatever method I want but have to release everything I catch.I believe this to be a large factor in the slow recovery of these systems.Way to many juveniles are being killed.You canot pull aworm hook out of a smolt and expect it to survive.This is a prime example of c/r fishing being miss used.The system needs to be closed but instead the state Dumps 10,000 smolt in the system pretends like it is all good.I wonder what the return expectancy of 10,000 smolt is??This kind of c/r policy scares me.
I took a godd friend of mine steelhead fishing for the first time this week end.Lucky son of biath got a trophy buck for his first fish.I had let him know that fishing with me was a c/r expieriance and he was unsure about that.He has teased me for years about fishing all the time but not keeping any.Well after fighting that trophy buck for a half an hour and realising the pure power and beauty of that fish he gladly released it and told me later around the fire that he was very glad that he released such a beautiful fish back to the gene pool.