If we look back at recent history we see that it’s the ones who use nature most fight the hardest to preserve it. That’s right, historically the true fisherman tend to be some of the strongest for the conservation of nature and the wildlife that inhabit it.
As our outdoor community grows I think it’s important to help people understand how and why it is our responsibility to take care of the places and things we love the most. Here are a few guidelines shared directly from the National Parks Service that I think we can all agree on and follow when it comes to fishing.
- Know the rules and regulations of where you are fishing. Each park's regulations are different, so make sure to check before you go.
- Know what you are fishing for (the type of fish), know the difference between native and non-native species.
- One that I’m personally big on...practice catch and release as often as possible.
- Avoid sensitive areas like marine protected areas, or places recovering from damage. By avoiding fishing in these areas, you are allowing fish and biological communities to bounce back and flourish.
- Do not use live bait, this reduces the risk of introducing non-native or invasive species.
- Wash your fishing gear, before and after your trip. Cleaning your gear and watercraft will reduce the spread of invasive species that can cause damage to fish and their habitat.
- LEAVE NO TRACE. It’s simple...pack it in, pack it out. In fact I would go,as far as trying to leave the place you visit better than when you found it whenever possible.
If we all take the time to understand why the regulations are the in place, we would know it’s not about suppressing freedom, rather educating the masses so our freedoms are assured to last.