Besides fishing according to the regulations, responsible anglers have a personal code of ethics, an "angler's creed."
Among other things, this creed includes respect for fish, respect for fish habitat and respect for other anglers.
Respect for fish
While you may not ordinarily release the fish you catch, sooner or later, you'll have to release one. It may be one you hooked elsewhere than in the mouth, or one that's too small, or one caught during a closed season.
An ethical angler knows how to release fish unharmed.
Use an outfit capable of landing fish quickly, before they are exhausted.
Leave fish in the water. Never kick them or let them flop on the rocks.
Handle fish gently and avoid touching the gills.
Back the hook out quickly with long-nosed pliers or a hemostat.
If the fish is hooked deeply, cut your line close to the hook.
Face the fish into the current and cradle it with your hands until it swims away.
Respect for fish habitat
The grasses and bushes growing along the river provide food and cover for rearing king salmon. An ethical angler fishes without damaging this vital habitat.
Stand in the water or on a boardwalk while fishing.
Keep to designated trails.
Never walk along or fish from a vegetated bank.
Fish from anchored boats, but don't let your boat touch the bank.
Obey bank closure signs.
Respect for others
Fishing road-accessible salmon streams hasn't been a solitary activity for years, but if anglers will treat one another with respect, the fishing can be enjoyable for all.
Follow the unwritten "rules" of each place. Watch others and ask questions.
Be patient and courteous. Ask permission before taking another angler's spot or netting their fish.
When you hook a fish, yell "Fish on!" When you hear "Fish on!" reel in your line and make room.
Land your fish quickly, so others can get back to fishing.
If someone has a fish on and your line becomes tangled with theirs, cut yours.
When you hook a big fish anywhere other than in the mouth, don't drag it upstream against the current. Point your rod at it and break your line.
When fishing in a crowd, be careful of flying hooks and sinkers. Always wear a cap and protective eye wear.
Be sure to have a current fishing license and to read the Sport Fishing Regulations for the water you intend to fish.
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