When you think about fly fishing, a particular
trip or outing, I wonder how many of those memories are of
When I read an article about great fishing somewhere,
the mental picture I have is of running water, streambanks with vegetation and
probably overhanging evergreens. Maybe some soft moss in the shade,
and sweet riffles and deep pools.
The actual fish, ('tho I do see trout) don't
need to be big. But it helps if there are enough of them to make
the fishing a challenge rather than a frustration. The 'promise'
of a big fish once in a while is enough.
So imagine my surprise - or shock - when I
read the lastest issue of the Trout and Salmon Leader
which is the publication of the Northwest Council of Trout Unlimited.
There on page 5 is an article with the headline, "Southwest Washington
offers many opportunities for trophy trout fishing."
Reading the article it does mention
many of the high mountain lakes some of which one can
drive to, but most ". . .require many miles of hiking."
However, here is the phrase/s which
stopped me cold. "The area I am talking about is Clark,
Cowlitz, Klickitat, Lew and Shamania counties. Within
this area, there are lakes managed for planted catchable
Quoting again, " Hatchery trout
such as browns, eastern book, rainbow, cutthroat and
golden trout are also found in abundance."
Again, "Many of these lakes are open
year-round and planted throughout the winter and spring" . . .
"You can find information on fish plants and the waters
stocked on our website . . ."
In the entire 12 paragraph article
there are six references to stocked, hatchery, or planted
Ok, I realize not everyone can travel
far enough to get away from streams, rivers, reservoirs which
have stocked or hatchery fish. And I realize that some places
have made fabulous fisheries from either eyed eggs or full
hatchery programs which probably would not have existed
without the eggs or hatcheries. Chili and Patagonia come to
mind on the former, but their fish reproduced naturally.
And we do live in a society where it
seems the government feels it must provide recreation for
everyone, spin and bait fishers included. But in this case
we are talking about Washington state, with more water,
shoreline than practically anywhere.
Unfortunately, what is the truth here is
the fisheries in this state have been horribly, criminally
mismanaged. To cover their backsides, the state puts
out the "spin" that all of these wonderful fishing
opportunities are there. And is so eager to sell fishing
licenses they will put up a website listing
when and where the hatchery trucks will show up!
What happened to quality!
Does every fishing "opportunity"
have to be about numbers of fish? Is this what the memories
of our friends, children and grandchildren will be? Following
Old Rupe's column last week was
about how we draw from our fishing memories to sustain
us through the winter (and life.) Hatchery fish, and for the
most part the really accessible places they are planted,
are not the places for memories. Nor places of peace and
reflection or renewal of spirit.
Something is wrong when TU is
putting this stuff in their publication. What happened to
protecting the water, encouraging stream enhancement,
At what point has TU become the
spin tool of this state? And is it happening where you live?
Promoting the wonderful opportunites of fishing for
"catchable" hatchery fish? Give me a break! ~ The LadyFisher
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!