Monday, October 13, 2014

When Catch and Release Becomes Catch and Re-Catch

pike leaps on shore from Scott Lake Lodge on Vimeo.

I got this from a facebook post that linked to this article declaiming catch and release because of possible post release mortality.

This doesn't bother me that much. Sure, catch and release inadvertently kills some fish. Catch and keep always kills the fish.  As long as managers are keeping reasonable track of mortality, this can be figured in to the catch statistics and then regulations that control the population. Certainly that is true with Atlantic Striped Bass, where C&R mortality is a significant fraction of the overall mortality.

Moreover, an occasional dead fish from catch and release is not necessarily wasted in an ecological sense.  Take this video. The larger pike is taking advantage of another at a disadvantage. If it eventually succeeds in eating the smaller pike, it will likely spare some other fish the same fate. That big pike is going to eat one way or another. While it's digesting that small Pike, it won't be hunting.

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