We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
With trout season on the way, a useful chart. ("Exercised" means you played the fish a bit before netting):
Event, Seconds out of Water, and Survival Rate
Fish caught, exercised but not taken out of water 0 secs. 88% Fish caught, exercised and taken out of the water 30 62% Fish caught, exercised and taken out of the water 60 28% Fish caught, exercised, placed in boat, handled and flops around 60+ 0%
Good reminder. And, if anything your chart is overly generous, survival being even less in warmer water, and with lighter tackle and larger fish (both lead to "playing" the fish much longer). I recently read a study that suggested for a larger fish, no more than 10 seconds out of water. In reality, there is absolutely no reason to take the fish out of water at all; just cradle it with your hand while removing the hook, and then snap your trophy pict with the fish held just at the surface. After many years of fishing and fish caught, I can honestly say watching a healthy fish swim away is as rewarding as catching it.
Trout are delicate little things. I prefer my warmer, red dirt rivers and lakes with large and small mouth bass. They can handle catch/release much better. Plus, I've never reached the limit for crappie (37 per day) and sand bass have no limit. It's not uncommon to see 50+ carcasses floating in the water.
We have a few rivers that are stocked with trout. It stays cold enough for them to survive, but they won't reproduce. It's totally stocked. Six per day per fisherman, no culling and no restrictions on lures or bait. It's not really fishing. Like hunting deer at a corn feeder, I call it ranching. About a mile down river they are gobbled up by the stripers. People catch trout to use for bait fish on the stripers.
I keep and eat per catch & possession regulations. Streams I fish hold 1000's of fish per mile when shocked. A half dozen or so twice a month has little impact & others kindly return the results of their labor.
Stocked fish should be caught and kept and eaten. That's what they are created for. A huge number of near clones, bred and selected to grow efficiently in the hatchery. A completely different creature from a wild fish - whether native or "invasive", which describes most of the wild trout in this country. While I know that keeping and eating a few wild fish does not affect the big picture, they are such beautiful and completely wild creatures, I have to let them go.
Back in the day, there was a Girl Guide (read Girl Scout for the USA) badge for fishing. Our nephew tested his sister for the badge: she had to catch, kill, clean and EAT the fish before he would pass her.
Fly fishing...just another excuse to get outside...along with bird hunting, bird dog training, deer hunting, elk hunting, rabbit hunting, target shooting--the list goes on. Need an accommodating spouse.