I never discourage people from keeping fish, for fish are surely good eating. But I do find it refreshing when anglers do toss back a fish or two, like I saw last week at Merritt Reservoir with tournament angler Steve Isom and then again a few days ago with Nebraska Fish and Game Association angler Alex Gonzales.
Isom caught a mixed bag of fish, including smallmouth, northern pike, largemouth and, his specialty, walleye at Merritt, including one ‘eye over 25 inches. “It’s not quite ready yet,” he told me while he toured me around the lake, “but it’s close.”
A few days later, I was bluegill fishing with Gonzales at Walnut Creek, and he caught bluegill after bluegill with both his fly rod and his spinning tackle. He made it look easy and quite enjoyable, for each fish he caught I wondered why I wasn’t fishing myself.
The best point was not the fact that they returned fish, but that they were considering if the fishery could handle some fish taken out. I think it’s a good point that all anglers could stand to consider a little bit more each time they remove a fish from the water.