CPR (Catch Photo Release)

Catch Photo Release.  Why?  If we don’t practice CPR we are destroying the systems we fish.  By taking the larger fish we are removing the genetics from the lake and setting a chain of events into action.  It takes many years for fish to grow to trophy size.  When we remove larger fish in a system we make the fish in a lake smaller.  I’ve seen it first hand and been a part of it.  I used to fish Pleasant Creek for big gills on the beds during the spawn.  I would take the boat out on a sunny day and spot hundreds of beds, anchor off of them and catch the big bulls.  It wouldn’t be hard to take 100 to 150 gills in one outing.  This was years ago before catch and release entered the fishing community.  It was practiced more with the bass fishing crowd.  It gained a lot of steam in the 90’s and has science to back it these days.  I’ve been back to Pleasant Creek and couldn’t believe how small the bull gills had become.  You get a bruiser now and then but most I would consider medium.  A far cry from the 9 and 10 inchers I took years ago.  So, what happened?  They are gone.  We are seeing more and more evidence every year to support how effective Catch and Release or Selective Harvest can be.  It can save and revive a population of fish.  I’ve learned my lesson now.  I realize that a limit is a suggestion not a must have.  I enjoy taking a few fish to eat and I no longer freeze fish unless I’m planning a get-together.  I don’t think panfish are protected well enough and there should be limits set on individual bodies of water to protect them.  I still see it today…..buckets of fish doomed to freezer burn in the freezer to be thrown out the following year.  A picture is proof of your day on the water.  Do your part and only take what you can eat and let the bigger fish go.  You can still brag with a picture and you won’t have to clean all those fish.

If you would like to have a picture of a fish you caught and released posted on We Fish Iowa please submit it to:
CPR
Please include what you would like to see included in the caption.

CPR Wall of Fame

15inchers taste better.

15inchers taste better.

2 many, 2 easy, let'm go!

2 many, 2 easy, let'm go!

How much can a guy eat?

How much can a guy eat?

Thanks for the fight....see you when you hit 50lbs.

Thanks for the fight....see you when you hit 50lbs.