Catch and Release: Always or Sometimes? And How C&R Changes Things On The Water

October 30, 2022 Domenick Swentosky Season 5 Episode 5
Catch and Release: Always or Sometimes? And How C&R Changes Things On The Water
Show Notes

Is catch and release a good idea all the time or just some of the time? In this episode, we consider the ways that the practice of catch and release changes the experience of fishing for us — how our approach shifts when the goals are different.

A lot has changed in the last fifty years. Releasing the trout we catch has become commonplace, especially in the world of fly fishing. In many regions, on many rivers, C&R has become the expected norm. We’ve come a long way. And it’s fair to say that the average fly angler for trout doesn’t fish for meat as much as they do for the sport — for the challenge of fooling a fish.

Catch and release often takes hold in the ethos of an angler because they are forced into it. Because specially regulated sections of a river might require it. And for many anglers new to the sport, or those coming from another fishing background, releasing a trout first feels comfortable because there’s no other option. After a couple of dozen fish are returned, and maybe after a few return trips to the same water, the effectiveness of catch and release becomes obvious, and it eventually feels more natural to let the fish go than to put them on a stringer.

We release trout to catch them again — so that our friends might catch them again, and so the next stranger to the river, hoping for the same experience that we were chasing, might catch that same trout that we just put back.

Catch and release works. There’s no doubt. But is it always the best choice? Is there also a place for catch and keep? And if we do decide to kill a few trout, how does that experience change the way we fish?

That’s our discussion here. . .

We Cover the Following

  • When is it okay to keep a trout?
  • Mandatory killing of invasive species
  • Does killing trout allow room for growing bigger trout?
  • Kill wild trout or stocked trout?
  • The hunter's mindset applied to catch and release
  • Put and take streams
  • How keeping trout impacts your own waters


READ: Troutbitten | Are We Taking the Safety of Trout too Far?
READ: Troutbitten | If You Have to Revive a Trout, It's Probably Too Late
READ: Troutbitten | Podcast | How to Handle a Trout
READ: Troutbitten | How to Hold a Trout


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