Sunday, September 27, 2015

We Just Don't Get It!

The following was posted by Country Pleasures Fly Fishing. Given the subject, we took the liberty of including a photo from Keepemwet along with the the CP logo. We hope that neither will mind. :-) 

We Just Don't Get It!

This has been getting under my skin since early in July this summer..... with water levels running at about half of normal for most of the late spring and summer, and the resultant high water temperatures, why do we continue to see excessive handling of fish on the Bow River before they are released?

Since the temporary closure, water temperatures have been continuing to drop below critical and have been as low as 12 Celsius recently. But before the closure, when temps were approaching, and exceeding 20 Celsius there are guides/outfitters and recreational anglers posting all sorts of photos with fish held out of the water. What the heck are we doing? Do we want a healthy fishery in the future? Is it really that important to have that type of photo of a fish we have caught?

Given the tribulations that the Trout inhabiting the Bow River have endured of late, even with cooler water, shouldn't we be as careful as possible to quickly play, keep in the water, and then release these fish as quickly as we can?

I pretty much reached the tipping point on this on Tuesday of this week. While floating the Policeman's to Mac section we were overtaken by a guide/outfitter/shop owner who I thought was a proponent of proper fish handling and conservation practices. You would certainly think so by the sentiment expressed by this individual on multiple avenues of social media.

On two separate occasions, before moving on ahead and out of sight, I saw this individual land fish, pull over to the bank, and proceed to photograph the fish in different poses and angles for several minutes.
The second of these instances resulted in the fish being photographed for 14 minutes after it had been landed until it was released.

What the hell are we doing? As a group involved in this sport have we become so obsessed with our 15 minutes of social media fame that the fish that give us this enjoyment have to suffer the consequences?
As shop owners, shop employees, and guides, should we not take the initiative and knock this off?

Don't get me wrong, photographing the beauty of a fish is no different than photographing beautiful scenery, it's great to be able to go back and appreciate something special. But can't we do it quickly?, and photograph these fish while they remain in the water?

‪#‎KeepEmWet‬ | ‪#‎BowRiver‬ | ‪#‎flyfishing‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬

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