Would you keep?

J

Johnny Southpaw

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Caught this buck on the Alsea two weeks ago; after a hell of a fight I let it go only to have a couple people see the pictures and mention they would of kept it. It looked a little past good-meat stage to me but I'm still fairly new to steelheading so I wanted to see what any OFF members thought.
 
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G

GraphiteZen

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I prefer smoked fish over cooked. By a long shot, so my rule is if it isn't sored up and I'm there to retain a fish or two, BONK! A super chrome fish might make it to the stove, but not usually. :D
 
L

luv2fish

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People have different choices and opinions and i believe thats why we all are so unique. I personally won't keep it and will let it go.
 
M

mikeredding

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Springfield, Oregon
People have different choices and opinions and i believe thats why we all are so unique. I personally won't keep it and will let it go.

I agree. Everyone has different opinions and standards. As for if it were me, I've been known to throw a dark one in the smoker here and there!!:D
Dark or not it is a nice fish. Congrats!:clap:
 
G

GreenDrifter

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Last Friday I let on go that's whole tail was almost rotten. I will go ahead and let the hatchery have one. On the other hand my buddy got one and I gave him hell for keeping but it cut bright red...
 
H

Hawk

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Have You Kissed a Bass Today???
Beautiful Fish Bro.............................he looks like he should be Free to me.................................:D:D:D...........................:cool::cool::cool:.........................:clap::clap::clap:
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Please release me......

Please release me......

I would have released it, like was said above "a beautiful fish". I have to admit I have eaten a few Steelhead over the years and the meat is quite good, but I think I have harvested my last Steelhead.. On that note, when you purchase your license you also get the right to harvest any legal fish you catch, so the answer is; and should always be, its up to the angler period.. Very nice fish:clap:

Chuck
 
K

Kodiak

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Mill City, Oregon
Tough Call!

Tough Call!

First OFF, nice fish! It is so hard to tell what the sword will reveal. I think you made the right decision in turning him loose. I personaly believe in taking only what my family will use. Why are we as anglers so wrapped up in having to kill every fish we do the dance with? Is filling our tag up all that important? What does keeping a "limit" do other than tell us we are good fisherman? In the end killing a fish is the anglers call.
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Eugene, Oregon
First OFF, nice fish! It is so hard to tell what the sword will reveal. I think you made the right decision in turning him loose. I personaly believe in taking only what my family will use. Why are we as anglers so wrapped up in having to kill every fish we do the dance with? Is filling our tag up all that important? What does keeping a "limit" do other than tell us we are good fisherman? In the end killing a fish is the anglers call.
When you don't fill your tag (and I'm assuming most of us, aside from a few, don't fill it), every fish is prized and used, and whacked with a smile.
 
Y

yellowjacket

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Eugene
My 2 cents worth

My 2 cents worth

First OFF, nice fish! It is so hard to tell what the sword will reveal. I think you made the right decision in turning him loose. I personaly believe in taking only what my family will use. Why are we as anglers so wrapped up in having to kill every fish we do the dance with? Is filling our tag up all that important? What does keeping a "limit" do other than tell us we are good fisherman? In the end killing a fish is the anglers call.

I’ve been fortunate enough to get a few hatchery fish this year and I see a couple sides to keeping some fish. The state plants hatchery fish for anglers to have the opportunity to keep some of their catch. They also plant the fish to maintain populations that aren’t self-sustaining to keep the run from going “extinct”. So they have biologists who determine limits, lengths etc to support the populations & maintain the revenue that anglers put into the public & private sector. So each individual has to make their own decision on their take looking at how often they get limits, how often they get out, and how much fish is in the fridge. I see that some systems now have regs allowing retention of wild fish over 24”. Personally I don’t /won’t keep wild fish because I want that gene pool to continue. On the other side of the coin that indicates to me that those systems have strong populations so keeping some of the hatchery “hook n cook” fish doesn’t cause me too much concern. Shoot they even trap & re-release fish just so it gives anglers more opportunity to catch them. So it looks to me that a few factors come to play whether you should take your limit or limit your take. Been common for me over the years to cut the line on fish hooked deep only to catch the same fish a few weeks later perfectly fine with the partially dissolved hook still in it.
I’ve had a few Native American friends over the years share some philosophy with me & told me to share it with others, so if you’ll allow me to fulfill my promise to them; a poem and a proverb.

The Circle of Life
I have killed the deer.
I have crushed the grasshopper.
And the plants he feeds upon.
I have taken fish from the water.
And birds from the sky.
In my life I have needed death
So that my life can be.
When I die I must give life
To what has nourished me.
The earth receives my body
And gives it to the plants
And to the caterpillars
To the birds
And to the coyotes
Each in its own turn so that
The circle of life is never broken.​

Arapahoe Proverb​
Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it.​

I guess my 2 cents worth turned into a buck & a quarter!
 
J

Jig'n

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Cottage Grove, OR.
The hatchery fish are there to catch and will keep being recycled back into the system until they are caught or killed by the hatchery. The hatcheries donot want these fish to pair up and mate with Native fish, so by removing the hatchery fish you are preventing this cycle from happening. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people are against hatcheries. So really, it's not about filling your tag to make you look & feel like a better fisherman. I'm not saying you have to keep everyfish you catch, I have been picky myself and only taking mint brite fish from time to time, but people need to remember that hatchery fish are there for one reason, to be killed.

Jig'n
 
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J

Johnny Southpaw

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Portland
Having grown up on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, I deeply appreciate the philosophy encompassed by the poem and proverb that yellowjacket shared in his post. I believe humans, like other animals, belong to the earth and not the other way around. I realize not all people share this viewpoint, however I think the world would be better off if they did. Plus, the fishing gods cast greater rewards for those who fish with respect and pack out MORE than they packed in---next time you head to the river spend 5 minutes picking up trash (take a grocery bag to fill) and you may find more fish on the end of your line.....KARMA BABY!!!
 
F

Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
Justification

Justification

Bonkage. To all hatchery fish. I have 5 mouths to feed. (EDIT): And though its real fun to fish for salmon and steelhead, when I do, the plan is to get some grub! Just like hunting. Its fun and all, but at the end of the day, if I dont have meat for the freezer...(end EDIT) And Jig'n summed up the rest of it: "The hatcheries do not want these fish to pair up and mate with Native fish, so by removing the hatchery fish you are preventing this cycle from happening....So really, it's not about filling your tag to make you look & feel like a better fisherman." I know some who would say its your responsibility to remove these hatchery fish when you get the chance.

As far as picking up trash goes, Ive got at least 5 harvest cards worth of karma that got shipped to the wrong angler or something....:lol:
 
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Green_Tackle

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Portland, OR
First, to Johnny Southpaw, nice fish. Congrats. Personally, I would not have kept that one if I were going to be keeping fish, but that's preference.

This post took a turn away from Johnny's fish towards a more general catch and release philosophy which I feel is an important dialog to be having (even as we have it again and again).

I remember trout fishing with my father when I was young and the goal would be to "limit out". We'd strive to come home with 10 dead trout apiece hanging on a stinger. Very needless. We'd try to give them to friends and neighbors and they'd ultimately go bad in the freezer. The point is, many of us were taught to fish with concepts and practices that are damaging to fish, fishing, and the environment.

While people on this forum seem quite knowledgeable and show tremendous respect for fish and fishing, many people aren't as dedicated to the sport and therefore may not have given the topic much thought. So, I would like to share a couple of resources on the topic...

From Recycled Fish (A non-profit dedicated to promoting stewardship among anglers) ...

Selective harvest isn’t just a matter of taking only the fish you personally plan to use/eat. Rather, it is the knowledgeable taking of fish when removal will improve a fishery and releasing them when releasing will improve or sustain a fishery.

From an article in eHow's Responsible Fishing Library Should fisherman always catch and release?

So should you always catch and release? Not necessarily. It's acceptable to fish for your dinner as long as you abide by the limits imposed by the state agencies. A lot of research goes into the kinds of limits imposed, and the governing bodies have a good hold on what kinds of fishing practices are best for any given region. Limits are generally imposed on the size of the fish and the total number of fish you can take from a body of water. If you fish within these limits and during the allowed time frame, then you aren't doing anything to decimate the fish population.

For me personally, relating specifically to Salmon/Steelhead here in Oregon, I will keep a fish for dinner but only if I will actually eat it instead of letting it go bad in the freezer. A more important aspect in my opinion, is to improve the mortality rate when you do hook up with a wild steelhead (and thus release it). There are some practices I like to follow:

- Avoid exhausting the fish (lactic acid from oxygen deficiency can kill the fish days later). I try to land it quickly.
- I never handle the fish with dry hands and use a rubber (no knots) net so as to minimize damage the fish's slime coat or scales.
- I use single siwash hooks. This is a personal preference. Where single hooks might not tear up the fishes mouth as much (ripping out 2 points does more damage than 1 point) many people believe siwash hooks have a higher incidence of "deep hooking" due to the longer shank. So it's a legitimate debate with pros and cons each way. I prefer the single. I get a good solid hookup and it's very quick and easy to remove.
- I de-barb my hooks when fishing for smaller trout (I keep 'em on for steelhead as they seem quite gifted at getting off the hook). I can release a trout just by letting the line go slack.
- If I see the fish is wild, I don't take it out of the river if possible, and minimize it's contact with me, the air, and the bank while removing the hook.
- I give the fish time to recover by gently facing it upstream to allow oxygenated water to flow through the gills.
 
K

Kodiak

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Mill City, Oregon
Hornets nest!

Hornets nest!

Sorry, didn't mean to imply we shouldn't keep hatch fish. I just see so many fisherman that have a "need" to limit, or need to fill their cards. I understand putting fresh flesh in the freezer, my wife and kids get tired of it. I guess I was wondering where do we get this mind set from? I see guys on the river all biligerent and rude trying to kill a pair of fish. Why on earth do we get like that? I'm not saying at times (read most of the time) I try and tag a pair of chromers, but is it to prove we are better than anyone else, to prove we can provide for our families, or is it I paid for my fish and I'm going to get them? I'm just wonder where we get the mentallity from.
 

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