Let’s celebrate catch and release fishing on the LA River

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CATCH AND RELEASE fishing helps sustain a healthy fish population. (Courtesy Freddie Wiedmann)

By Freddie Wiedmann

Guest Contributor

I am a fellow carp enthusiast, living in L.A. I love reading your blog, especially how you suggest treatment of the fish (barbless hooks, catch and release, etc.).

I haven’t met a single person in the U.S. who is an advocate of caring for the fish like this. I am from Germany and we are all used to very good fishing practices in handling fish — in fact, it’s the law. So thank you for spreading the good word.

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LANDING MONSTER GOLD at Lake Balboa in 2014. (Courtesy Freddie Wiedmann)

In Germany, everyone who wants to fish must acquire a fishing license that involves three-to-four months of classes with a practical and theoretical test. You need to learn everything about every living organism in the water, frogs, algae, etc., and that includes human treatment of the fish. If you are caught fishing without a landing net, you pay a fine.

 

 

 

William McCann says:

Thank you for another great post. I went to England some years back and marveled at the care and reverence shown to Carp fishing. As we have magazines devoted to Bass fishing, they have almost as much about Carp. From the few Carp that I have caught I have learned that they are twice the gamefish that a Largemouth Bass is. It is wonderful to see a resource like the LA River and the fish that live there treated with the respect that they deserve. I live in the Bay Area and remember when the Bay and it”s wetland system were treated with the same scorn that a lot of folks have given the LA River. To move ahead and fix some of the short sighted actions of the past we all have to work at keeping our eyes fresh for the hidden beauty that is always there. We have some creeks up this way that are in need of the kind of creative thinking that is going on in LA, and you are inspiring to get involved. Keep up the great work. Thanks again.

 

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Pack trash out … all the way out

ImageTramping through the San Gabriels today with my son was a wonder: we caught 16 trout, rainbows and browns, in a half-day’s work. I even foul-hooked a rainbow, which is certainly nothing to brag about, but was fun all the same.

But the point of this post is, please, don’t trash the wilderness. I walked through some brush, only to be snagged by old line that someone had left carelessly near a stream. Attached to it was an old-school wet fly, around a No. 4, so I guess I’m a fly richer, but that could have also tagged me in the eye. Not cool.

I also found a discarded spinning reel (!), more line at another part of the stream, and a Sports Chalet receipt that didn’t looked great against the wildflowers. I mean, come on, if we want to keep our resouces safe and sacred, we can’t treat them like a public toilet.

Remember: pack it in, pack it out.

And, if you are fishing in areas that don’t get stocked, please release your catch. One hole I’ve fished for many seasons with success contained only two small trout. I doubt that my other friends fell prey to cranes or other feathered pros. If you take out the fish, they are gone, Period. Once the fish are gone, what’s the point of our sport?

Sorry for the rant, but as you prepare to get out there for a fantastic season of fly fishing, let’s respect what we have. Please repost.

See you on the river, Jim Burns