I recently read an article that was published a million years ago in 2010 but the message seemed as relevant and time sensitive as ever. The article was written by Robert MacDougall-Davis and featured in an online journal called The Ecologist. It is titled, “Fishing and the environment: why the two are inextricably linked.” I really enjoyed Robert’s thoughts and figured some of you conservation minded anglers might also want to give it a read.
The general theme of the piece is how anglers play such an important role in protecting the aquatic environments and fisheries that they like to enjoy. The following quote is one that stuck with me after I finished readying, “Anglers play an important role in protecting and conserving the aquatic environment. They act as custodians of the waters they fish..” When reading that, I smiled and immediately thought back to my high school custodian (sounds better than janitor.) He always was the one to clean up the big spills, but he was also often the first one to notice the problem or the mess that needed to be fixed. As fisherman, if we notice something negatively affecting our fisheries, we should do our best to fix or improve them.
Remember this going forward. If you see a piece of trash along the river bank, toss it in your net and throw it away later. See someone unknowingly fishing a spawning redd? Take a minute to let them know why that can be harmful. Have a cause you want to support? Check out local conservation organizations that are involved with the issue. You never know if there is something you can physically do to help or if there is a worthy cause the could use some funding. Regardless, try and remember that we only have one planet. We are not getting any new oceans or rivers here and we should feel at least a little obligated to protect it.
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