Letter: Let’s take care of our local fish
Thanks to Michael Salomone for his fly suggestions for autumn fishing. The fish in the Eagle River get a lot of pressure, and many of them get caught more than once. Let’s try to keep them healthy by following a few simple guidelines.
- Mash down the barbs on your hooks, especially on the large flies. The barbs on a streamer can do a lot of damage to a trout’s mouth. Yes — you will lose a fish every now and then. It’s worth it for the health of the fish.
- Use a net. It allows you to handle the fish more quickly and avoid squeezing the fish.
- Avoid taking the fish out of the water for any length of time, and particularly avoid taking photos of fish when they are out of the water. Imagine if you were to run a 100-meter dash at full speed and then be forced to hold your head under water. How long would you survive? It’s no different for a fish after a hard fight. The fact that the fish swims away after you put it back in the water does not mean it will survive. If you want to measure the length of the fish — first measure the length of your hand when fully extended from the tip of your pinky to the tip of your thumb. Then you can estimate the length of the fish by putting your hand near or against the side of the fish. (My hand fully extended is 8 inches wide. So if my fish is two full hands long, I’ve caught a 16-inch fish.)
If we all practice good handling of our local fish, we will all enjoy the resource more.