Catch and Keep vs. Catch and Release: Which One Are You?
Tyler Morris, a local fly fishing guide, says he catches and releases all of the fish that he catches except for a select few species like brook trout.
This is only because brook trout are a non-native species and are very prolific and can be invasive. He only does this in areas where the fish have populated so much they've stunted themselves.
Tyler says that perch and crappie are other warm water species that he would keep. But not cutthroats or rainbow trout. These kinds of trout aren't able to reproduce quickly and keeping them can be detrimental to the population density. Tyler like this quote by Lee Wulf:
The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?
Catching and releasing is important to preserve our native species population here in Colorado. As our population grows, if every fisherman were to keep a fish, we'd have no fish left at all.
I'm a catch and release type myself, I feel like you need to understand the ecological impact of keeping fish before doing so. Think about it like this, some lakes only get stocked 100 fish and if 20 people keep their limit, then the lake is pretty much depleted.
Tyler says you need to ask yourself before keeping a fish "am I going to eat this fish today?" and if the answer is no -- don't keep it.
Local lakes around the Grand Valley are stocked on a consistent basis for the purpose of catching and keeping, Tyler says. This is because they're stocked with fish like rainbow trout, who aren't able to survive in warmer weather. Always be sure to check local regulations before fishing anywhere.
Are you a catch and keep or catch and release type? Let us know in the poll below.