Fish mortality overlooked? A recent item in the Clarion has been echoing of the stone walls of our Fish and Game regs for years. A fisherman retained a red illegally hooked. What a ridiculous statement, illegally hooked! What should be illegal is this rule; it adds to the mortality rate of fish in the river without harvesting that fish. This rule does nothing but allow our citizens to be preyed upon bye the Department of Fish and Game for revenue above their license fee. It does nothing to address the problem of bank erosion. In fact it adds even more impact to these delicate river banks bye forcing release of a fish which makes it take longer to get the limit of three fish.
This snagged or illegally hooked law is a sham and should be thrown out! It is another clear example of the predatory rules designed to extract revenue while under the disguise of resource protection. This rule is great example of policies going unchallenged until they are entrenched, more dogma than good fish and game management. I don't care where you hook a fish, land that fish and you should have to add him to your bag limit. Prop cut, seal bit, net burnt, does not matter, you hooked him he is yours! No, not any hook and release for reds period.
I have hooked huge reds and pulled them in like little Dolly Varden. I marked that fish and when I filleted it found nearly every blood sack hermoraged the length of it's spine. That fish had destroyed itself fighting the hooks broken off in previous anglers' attempts to land it. How many hundreds of fish are injured in this manner and don't survive to spawn?
This is a food source fish for most families on the Kenai and elsewhere in Alaska. You want cooperation and respect in enforcement of our Fish ans Game regulations, make some very basic changes. It's easy to hook a fish in the wrong place, it's not a willful act. Forcing a fisherman to release a landed fish is wrong! Fining him for keeping it is revenue enhancement at the cost of our valuable resource. The next time this matter comes to court some good judge should simply say to the Deprtmanet of Fish and Game it is wanton waste to force these anglers to release these sometimes mortally wounded fish. It adds to the problem of bank erosion and should be thrown out!
Then this ridiculous, harrasment of our anglers and fish stocks could be brought to a halt. Wonder if there are any judges facing retention looking for a few votes? Well here is mine!
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