Fishing ethics and proper fishing etiquette are core responsibilities of all anglers. Fundamentally, these ethics and etiquette can be distilled down to the "golden rule"- that is, treat others the way you want to be treated. Be respectful of others and be responsible for the area you're fishing.
If you're new to the sport, some of these practices may not be as obvious as others. For example, leaving an area better than when you arrived is one of the most important fishing rules anglers should follow.
Read on for more fishing etiquette or "golden rules from Take Me Fishing:
Remember, as long as you have a fishing license, that fishing ethics are not in place to restrict you, but to help build a positive angling community. If you wish to discuss fishing ethics best practices or fishing etiquette, join the conversation on the Take Me Fishing Community Forum.
How would you feel about being fined for taking your child fishing with you?
That’s what happened to Jack Pick early last spring, as he was ice fishing with his 3-year-old daughter on Saskatchewan’s Turtle Lake. A conservation officer charged him with having more than two lines in the water because he had four, two for himself and two for his daughter.
The officer alleged that the child wasn’t “able to set, maintain, watch, and retrieve fish on her own lines.”
Pick challenged the charge and, representing himself at trial, submitted one item in his defense, the 2014 Saskatchewan Anglers’ Guide. It features a father helping his young daughter fish.
In reviewing the rules, the judge decided that no minimum age limit exists to be an angler and found Pick not guilty.
“Just because an individual is three years of age, and does not have the ability to do everything required when fishing, it does not mean that he or she cannot legally fish,” he said.
Congratulations to the judge for showing common sense, a trait too often absent today in government officials, and to Pick for fighting back and winning, especially in such a simple but indisputable fashion.
To learn more, go here, and be sure to read the comments. My favorite:
“An infant is physically incapable of fishing, a 3 yr old is not (I have taken a 3 yr old fishing, so I know). Yeah they need some help, but so does my wife who won't bait her own hook.”
Wow. Researchers say that worldwide accounting of freshwater fish harvested for consumption is “inaccurate and grossly underestimated” and that the amount “could equal the current amount of marine fish caught.”
As a consequence of this, planning for dams and other river projects doesn’t adequately account for the effect they might have on fish populations.
That’s bad news not only for commercial harvest of freshwater fish, but recreational angling as well.
“It’s not a question of whether we should stop using water for other purposes, but we need to consider what harms are being created, and if they can be mitigated,” said one of the Michigan state scientists. “People are losing jobs and important sources of food because fish habitats are being degraded, greatly reducing fish production in these waters.”