To Harvest or Not To Harvest?
Great article by Les Palmer:
I've been wanting to start a thread about discussing the thought processes behind harvest vs. anti-harvest ideologies. As a sport/commercial fisherman who just put in for a bunch of cow hunt tags, there's no hiding where I stand, but I know there's many out there who feel that the sport/trophy value is more important than the harvest. Not trying to generalize or be assumptive, but I've found that many of them are the most bent up about the size/age/abundance issue we currently face with Kings.
Strictly personal opinion to follow....
I fish for two reasons. First, it is pleasant. The occasional hook-up is gratifying, and landing or breaking off the fish is usually short. Putting the cast where it belongs on the intended trajectory is a reward. If I can combine that with a boat ride, so much the better. Many years I am driven to fish as an accommodation to visitors to show them how the reds or pinks or trout are fished, and ensure they land at least one to add to the Alaska adventure.
The second reason is harvest for consumption. It is a much weaker reason, and often tempered by the generosity of more passionate or more accomplished folks who give us fish. Some years it has no place, and some years it rises to nearly duty. The general rule is that 2 or 3 fish over the season will suffice, to be eaten fresh. Rarely will I consider freezing or smoking. It's a "just the way it is" thing.
In pursuing the fish it is important to me to minimize or eliminate the snag or foul hook, so drifting jigs or flies or using circle hooks is the usual approach to salmon. For lakes and trout or char a fly trolled while rowing is preferred.
Some years (most) I get the full year $150 NonRes license, some years I just skip it. Your reasons are different, so take a minute to elaborate.
Flashback to 2002….
"Instead, with an aim to make the fishery more “stable and predictable,” the Board of Fisheries slashed nearly all of the early-run harvest. Together with a non-retention, 40- to 55-inch “slot limit,” the board slashed the annual early-run harvest to one-sixth of what it had been in prior years, from an average of 6,900 fish to less than 1,200."
Could 2014 be the year that such a strategy might actually bear fruit?
A 40" slot limit….
Removes virtually all (99-plus %) ER5-o bucks from the bonkable pool of fish
Removes 94% of ER5-o hens from the bonkable pool of fish
Removes the largest 64% of ER4-o hens from the bonkable pool of fish
Leaves 50% of all ER kings in the bonkable pool of fish
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
The KeenEye MD