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Thread: Angling ethics

  1. #1
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Ethical Mouth Snagging

    Remember those old cabins at Sportsman landing? I rented one once. the sheet rock was falling off the walls, and the mold was growing in every dark corner. I went to the auction when they cleaned up the place 15 yrs or so ago and bid on one of those cabins. They sold for 500 bucks, and that was to much for the lawn mower shed I needed. I remember those days years ago too. I have a photo of that same stretch of river in 1977,, and guess what?.. It was packed just like it is today... We called it combat fishing back then too.
    My point was... You are Snagging a fish in the mouth,, He didn't get tricked into going for it, and then you are going to play it for a while on lighter tackle. Or you can Snag the fish in the mouth, and harvest the fish for your dinner plate....
    either way.. what is Ethical?
    I mean down river 50 miles, the same fish could have been snagged in a commercial fishermans net, or a Dip net... It depends on what part of the river you go to, and the permit you carry that determines how you harvest these fish... some people want to make it more than it is... and it makes someone money...
    what makes it ethical? good question. If you are there just to fight a fish on light tackle, and someone else is there to harvest food, who is right?

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    Cool

    “The enjoyments of catching fish for sport, in large measure, consist of purposely inflicting...suffering on fish by forcing them to violently express their interest to stay alive. (...) The very real challenge to anglers, then, is to find a justification for their cruel treatment..."

    "Professional hook-and-line fishing for food is similar to hunting. The goal is to capture, or kill quickly and efficiently. Wounding or prolonging the kill is not strived for. The difference between the above and "sport" fishing is the intent. Most recreational fishers are interested less in the kill or catch as in fooling the fish often by a weird type of bait, or in prolonged, 'skillful' landing by means of the finest line possible, or the smallest hook....Such fishing is viewed as 'sport' done for pleasure, recreation, and competition with the excitement of an unknown outcome an added attraction."—"Defending fishes against recreational fishing: an old problem to be solved in the new millennium (editorial)," Eugene K. Balon, Axelrod Institute of Ichthyology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, 2000

    "We can not live harmlessly or strictly at our own expense; we depend upon other creatures and survive by their deaths. To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of creation. The point is, when we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament; when we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration.."
    —Wendell Berry

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeser
    As far as fighting reds... You're snagging them so I don't understand the sport in fighting a snagged fish. Seems akin to hunting at a petting zoo and chasing the critter around the paddock for a while before shooting it. Personally, the "sport" exists only if there's a "hunt". Tossing a hook in until it happens to snag a fish doesn't qualify as a "hunt" in my book. To me it's not even fishing, it's just a harvest. Something to get thru asap so I can move on to "real" fishing.
    BINGO!

    “Never say playing. You are at best torturing and at worst killing a creature you may or may not eat. Playing at one end, dying at the other -- if playing is what it is, it is sadism.”—John McPhee

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    Default I hope you are joking

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus
    BINGO!

    “Never say playing. You are at best torturing and at worst killing a creature you may or may not eat. Playing at one end, dying at the other -- if playing is what it is, it is sadism.”—John McPhee
    You are joking with this quote right????????

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    Red face

    Why would I kid? The quote is from "The Founding Fish," John McPhee(McPhee was a Pulitzer Prize Winner in 1999),Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2002, page 321

    The Founding Fish, John McPhee's twenty-sixth book, is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume. McPhee is a shad fisherman. He waits all year for the short spring season when delicious American shad -- Alosa sapidissima -- leave the ocean in hundreds of thousands and run up rivers heroic distances to spawn. He approaches them with a catch-and-eat philosophy. After all, their specific name means "most savory."

    McPhee presents his obsession in bold and spirited prose, laced with humor. His research illuminates the sometimes surprising relevance of this fish in seventeenth -- and eighteenth -- century America, and its unique appeal to imaginative historians. George Washington was a commercial shad fisherman-in 1771, he caught 7,760 American shad. The fish had a cameo role in the lives of Henry David Thoreau and John Wilkes Booth. Planked shad (shad nailed to a board and broiled before an open fire) was invented by the Colony in Schuylkill, a Philadelphia fishing club founded in 1732, which now considers itself the fourteenth of the fifty-one united states.

    McPhee fishes with and visits the laboratories of various ichthyologists, including a fish behaviorist and an anatomist of fishes, he takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and he cooks shad and shad roe in a variety of ways, delectably explained at the end of the book. Mostly, though, he goes fishing for shad in various North American rivers -- in Florida, in Maritime Canada, but especially in the Delaware River, nearest his home, where he stands for hours in stocking waders and cleated boots, or seeks pools below riffles and rapids in a canoe. His adventures in pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writing -- expert and ardent -- at which he has no equal.

    For all you Alaskans, McPhee also wrote "Coming Into the Country."
    Last edited by Webmaster; 06-14-2006 at 07:18.

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    Default Marcus

    Save the drama for your mama and read the forum rules!

    2) We are pro hunting and pro fishing. If you are not, we respect your right to an opinion, but post it elsewhere on the `net.
    Last edited by Wyatt; 06-13-2006 at 20:28. Reason: In bad taste

  7. #7

    Red face McPhee eats crab bait

    "McPhee is a shad fisherman."

    I have caught shad most of my life too, but only the desperate would eat them. There is something wrong with McPhee right there.
    They do make good crab and halibut bait though.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    Exclamation Angling ethics

    These posts originally came from another thread. While I don't think it was the intention of the posters to "hijack the thread" that was the effect.

    So, at Marcus' suggestion, we'll try again here with the concepts that were being discussed. Sorry the order is mangled.

    David
    Last edited by Webmaster; 06-14-2006 at 09:06.

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    Smile

    "A few years ago, while sorting through a box of old fly fishing magazines ... I set aside ten covers from the late seventies, and ten covers from the late nineties, all chosen at random.

    "Not surprisingly, each of the covers from the 90's journals depicted one of the "beautiful people" draped from trendy chapeau to gravel guard in the latest (spotless) logo-beribboned apparel, tenderly holding an enormous fish (usually a salmonid) and smiling engagingly for the camera. ... always the fish and always the posed smile.

    "In contrast, the earlier covers included a distant shot of a lone angler leaving the water of a western river, a young couple holding hands-- and fly rods-- as they waded, laughing, out of a high mountain lake, a pair of parkas (little else visible) fishing from a driftboat in a snowstorm, two still-lifes of tackle, a lone fisherman framed in autumn leaves, and, finally, a placid John Voelker, crouched on a log in thick pine woods, his rod leaning against a tree, quietly smoking a cigar in the rain. ...

    "I'm not certain what, if anything, this tells us about the sport itself. To the cynical, it may suggest that the magazines get a kickback from fishing tackle makers for highlighting their gear on the cover, or from the American Dental Association; either of these may be true, but, it is more likely that the magazine is responding to changes in prevailing attitudes toward the sport of flyfishing. Perhaps flyfishing is now success related --- the largest fish, or the greatest number of fish --- rather than the mere opportunity to be fishing. The word "Fishing", if we believe the magazine covers, is synonymous with "Catching", and catching is a numbers game.

    "The act of fishing (not necessarily catching) has traditionally had a backdrop of "wildness" that was an intrinsic component of the day astream ... If you must encounter another angler there was a formula that permitted each to maintain their world apart. ... Of course, conversation between anglers might take place, but the very acceptance of the buffer zone that each afforded the other strengthened the sense of isolation.

    "A second equally important element of fishing is leisure. Fishing offers the opportunity to step outside the timestream of faxes and emails, of conference calls and thrice-rescheduled meetings, to a place beyond time. The third item in the mix -- observation of the natural world -- depends in part on the two previous. ... The fisherman who has a warbler land on his rod-tip is doing something right." -R. Curry (edited)

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    Default wow........

    some people are thinking out the act of fishing way to much.Go out and fish,have fun,be decent ,respect the land and the fish.Maybe we shouldnt mow the lawn either.maybe the lawn is feeling the pain of being cut..LOL

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    Default Marcus

    Last I checked this was the Alaska outdoors directory. Not the Guelph Ontario directory or the Philadelphia historic fishing society, how about some quotes from influential Alaskans about sport fishing?
    I do respect my catch and eat what I can harvest like my ancestors in this land.
    Good luck
    William

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by nielsenwa
    ... how about some quotes from influential Alaskans about sport fishing?
    I do respect my catch and eat what I can harvest like my ancestors in this land.
    Good luck
    William
    Here, in response to your request, is a quote from an influential Alaskan about sport fishing. Mr. Vincent-Lang is Assisstant Director of Sport Fisheries Division of ADF&G:
    "It (catch-and-release) is a tool which enables managers to continue maximizing the opportunity to participate in recreational fisheries while reducing mortality to what can be termed 'catch-and-release mortality.' In this way, the economic value of recreational fishing is not jeopardized as the opportunity to participate is not reduced." — Doug Vincent-Lang, et al, "Mortality of coho salmon caught and released using sport tackle in the Little Susitna River, Alaska, 1992"
    Last edited by Marcus; 06-14-2006 at 10:38. Reason: Repair quote

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    Default

    Ok, you certainly know your stuff about sportfishing. Now the question everyone wants to know...
    Do you Marcus, without a tidbit from a book or someone else.
    1.) ever catch and kill to eat.
    2.) catch and release.
    3.) not fish at all.
    4.) despise fishermen or women.
    This way we know where you are coming from.
    William

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by nielsenwa
    Ok, you certainly know your stuff about sportfishing. Now the question everyone wants to know...
    Do you Marcus, without a tidbit from a book or someone else.
    1.) ever catch and kill to eat.
    2.) catch and release.
    3.) not fish at all.
    4.) despise fishermen or women.
    This way we know where you are coming from.
    William
    Gosh, guys—have a heart. This thread is supposed to be about the ethics of angling. However, in an effort to accomodate, here are the answers to the questions above:
    1.) Yes, and have been killing and eating fish for over 50 years.
    2.) If by "c&r" you mean "go fishing with no intent to kill a fish," the answer is "no." If by "c&r" you mean letting a humpy go when I'm trying for a silver, then the answer is "yes."
    3.) We currently put up about 100# of salmon annually.
    4.) I despise neither being a fisherman myself and have been married to the same woman for 43 years.
    Gimme a break. . .

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    Default

    Sorry, didn't mean too sound harsh. I just take fishing serious enough not to let it get slandered. once I re-read some of the quotes I can actually appreciate the Wendell Berry one. It reminds me of a time I was cleaning a silver in Seward and taking my time and doing a careful job. This GI from the army camp there told me I was too slow and he would show me a "better way", at which he grabbed one of my silvers and eviscerated the belly off and jaggedly cut off the filets and said "done!" I said thanks I'll finish the rest my way. Cleaning your catch is part of the fishing experience.
    William

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    Default

    Could someone please tell me what actual good comes from debating personal ethics? Has anyone actually stood back and actually changed their ethical viewpoints?

    My point being everyone is going to have different ethics when it comes to something like fishing and worrying about them and getting all bent out of shape when on the river or lake is only going to ruin your experience and maybe someone else's. Really who gives a darn if someone uses a king rod with 80lb pound test to fish on the Russian as long as they are obeying the regs and the laws.

    Sorry I just get a little worked up when people start looking down their noses at other fisherman on the rivers. And for the record I DO NOT fish for reds with a king pole with a 80lb braid, but have no problem with anyone who does.

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    Smile

    Couldn't agree more, Nielsenwa, with your comments about cleaning fish. To my mind, every step along the way—how we take, kill, butcher, cook, and finally eat—the fish is full of meaning for us as individuals and as a society. If you liked the Berry quote, check "The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfection of Our Nature" by Leon Kass. Dr. Kass is or was a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. Amazon.com or Bookfinder.com are possibilities for the book if you're interested.

    As for what good debating personal ethics does, depends on what one means by "debate." If "debate" means mean-spirited jibes, condescension, or profanity, that is simply bad manners, which accomplishes nothing of value. If "debate" means a polite sharing of ideas, that kind of exchange can change minds, sometimes making the world a little bit better.

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    Default Clarification

    on the 4 questions I asked you the last one should have read:
    4.) despise fishermen or fisherwomen.

    I wasn't insinuating anything else, just fishing.
    I didn't mean any of the comments in mean spirited fashion, they could be read that way or not.
    William

  19. #19

    Default ethics...

    Tough topic because, as a previous post pointed out, (to paraphrase) there is a wide range of personal ethical/unethical behavior that fits within the category of "legal behavior".

    The only time I speak out is when I see something illegal. Which, unfortunately, is just about every time I go fishing. First, I find it amazing anyone would need to break the regs because it's so gosh darn easy to catch fish in AK. You have to work really hard to not catch fish up here. Second, when you extrapolate that one person into the thousdands of others who are breaking the regs it'll eventually come back to bite all of us with tighter regs and/or limited/closed seasons.

    If you don't like the regs, that's fine. Go try and change them. But this "I'll do whatever I want" attitude I've found so prevalent in AK is just plain sad. I've heard the "we Alaskans are an independent type" ad nauseum. What that translates to is "we're too stupid to understand the reasoning behind the regs". And, unfortunately, "one" bad apple does affect how the rest of us are treated.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    “The enjoyments of catching fish for sport, in large measure, consist of purposely inflicting...suffering on fish by forcing them to violently express their interest to stay alive. (...) The very real challenge to anglers, then, is to find a justification for their cruel treatment..."

    "Professional hook-and-line fishing for food is similar to hunting. The goal is to capture, or kill quickly and efficiently. Wounding or prolonging the kill is not strived for. The difference between the above and "sport" fishing is the intent. Most recreational fishers are interested less in the kill or catch as in fooling the fish often by a weird type of bait, or in prolonged, 'skillful' landing by means of the finest line possible, or the smallest hook....Such fishing is viewed as 'sport' done for pleasure, recreation, and competition with the excitement of an unknown outcome an added attraction."—"Defending fishes against recreational fishing: an old problem to be solved in the new millennium (editorial)," Eugene K. Balon, Axelrod Institute of Ichthyology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, 2000

    "We can not live harmlessly or strictly at our own expense; we depend upon other creatures and survive by their deaths. To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of creation. The point is, when we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament; when we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration.."
    —Wendell Berry
    I have a lot of problem with people who equate the pleasure of fishing with sadism. I strongly disagree with the above quotes.

    Sadism is a emotional disorder. Fishing, on the other hand, is enjoyed the world over by normal, well adjusted people.

    I like to explain our enjoyment of fishing from an evolutionary point of view. The argument goes something like this. We, humans, eat to stay alive. And we have evolved to enjoy the pursuit of hunting and fishing because if we didn't we would not have survived as a species. The enjoyment is there whether you kill the fish or not. The killing is irrelevant in terms of the pleasure. I believe that natural selection far back in human history made us enjoy the pursuits of fishing and hunting.

    It's a simple argument. I can't prove it because there is, as yet, no gene associated with the pleasure. But it's there. The idea that all of us are somehow sick because we like to fish - is preposterous.

    If we take their logic further we shouldn't enjoy what we eat either. After all something must die for that pleasure also. So, eating should be done with no apetite (there's an idea. How did we get apetite?) and the pursuit of food should be done with no passion. Thank you, but not thanks. That's not my world.

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