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« Stocking Exotics Is Thoughtless and Selfish Act | Main | Grass Carp Also Threaten, Damage Fisheries »
Friday
Aug032012

Catch-and-Release Should Be Outlawed!

That headline is from the first sentence of a comment regarding my recent post about proposed tournament regulations in Minnesota (Minnesota ‘Bass’ackwards in Tournament Management.).

Here it is:

Sport fishing to catch & release should be OUTLAWED!

We are working to keep fish for real fishermen who enjoy the taste and food. We need to keep these so called "Sport Fishermen" out of Minnesota lakes! 

It’s no different than "Sport Hunting for Coyotes or Wolves.” If there is a legitimate reason to rid our lakes of fish, then offer a tournament to Minnesota fishermen.

I am not alone, and I vote.

And here is my response:

Outlawing catch-and-release fishing would be a giant step toward banning recreational fishing in general. That's exactly what has happened and what is happening right now in Europe.

If you don't like tournaments, that's one thing.

But to say that catch-and-release fishing should be outlawed is playing right into the hands of those anti-fishing advocates who want to keep all of us off the water.

Here is what’s happened in Switzerland, starting in 2009:

The new legislation states that fish caught should be killed immediately following their capture, with a sharp blow to the head from a blunt instrument. Under the new regulations, the use of live bait and barbed hooks is also prohibited except in certain situations . . .

The new Swiss law makes it obligatory for anglers to take lessons before being granted a fishing license.

And the following is what pastor Martin Niemoller said about the failure of German intellectuals to oppose Hitler’s rise to power:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

In the case of recreational fishing, it seems they'll come first for those who practice catch-and-release.

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