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Respect the Resource
The mark of a true angler is shown through how they respect the resource. Future generations should be allowed the opportunity to experience this sport we know and love! We have the opportunity and obligation to make sure our resource is protected so that it can thrive.
Travel where allowed. Obey signs and respect signs and barriers. If walking or driving to a fishing spot, try to cross streams only at fords, where the road or trail crosses a stream. If by boat, travel only in areas open to your type of watercraft, and don’t take your boat to unreasonable speeds!
Don’t go into your trip blind – whether fishing or just to scout. Study a map of the area you are going to be visiting and look for anything that may cause a trip to go awry. Share your plans with someone who is not going so that they know to expect you at a certain time – things happen. Always check the weather before-hand but plan for the possibility that weather can change. Bringing a First-Aid kit is one of the best preparations you can make – you’ll thank yourself when you need it!
Follow Fishing Regulations
Fishing regulations are there for a reason! Following the regulations is your responsibility as an angler – don’t be ignorant, take the time to read your regulations booklet before embarking on your trip. Regulations help protect fish and provide equal opportunity for anglers.
Don’t Waste Fish
Fish should not be wasted or killed for no reason. Rather, handle them with care and only kill when it is legal and ethical to do so – hatchery fish for instance. If you catch a fish that’s too small to eat or one that’s under the legal or minimum size, just release it quickly and carefully. Today, some species of fish exist in limited numbers. Because of this, many anglers practice catch and release, taking only what they need for food and releasing the rest unharmed. This makes it possible for other anglers to enjoy catching them again.
Leave your recreation site better than how you found it! If you pack trash in carry a trash bag to pick up litter, even if its litter left by others.This includes food wrappers, discarded fishing line, bait holders, empty cans or bottles, and plastic bags.If you are fishing from a boat, make sure to respect our waters and be sure your litter is put into a closed container so it can’t blow out of the boat. Sinking empty soda cans or bottles is worse than leaving them on shore – you are littering the bottom of the lake, river or ocean. Simply carry it out!
Be Aware of Other Boaters and Anglers
Good fishing etiquette means to respect and think of others that are fishing the same waters as you. Be considerate to everyone on and around the waterways or boat ramps. Leave ample room for other anglers, so you don’t disturb their fishing experience. Keep the noise down especially near shore and other anglers – you might scare the fish if you don’t.
Protect the Environment
Don’t destroy the area you are enjoying by putting graffiti, driving erratically or otherwise harming the area. When you travel by vehicle or boat don’t fly through sensitive areas such as shallow waters, shorelines, wetlands, reefs or spawning beds.. Natural areas are also home to wildlife that may be using these areas for nesting or breeding. Avoid spooking livestock and wildlife you encounter and keep your distance.
Share Your Knowledge
Good anglers share their knowledge with others and introduce their friends to the sport of fishing and the benefits of protecting the environment and our water resources.
Participate in Resource-Enhancement Projects
Probably one of the best things an angler could do to give back is to GET INVOLVED. There are fish conservation groups all over – find a local one that stands for the right things and help out. It could just be a few volunteer hours at a certain time, or something more. Whatever you can do to help is appreciated by us, the people and most of all…the fish!