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Thread: Catch, Photograph and Release
08-05-2008, 04:58 AM #1
Catch, Photograph and Release
Right up front, I will say that the purpose of the Carolina Catfish Club has been to conserve our trophy catfish fisheries. This was in our charter when we started the club in early 2001 and is still one of our primary objectives. It does not matter to us whether it is a blue, flathead or channel cat, a trophy cat is a trophy cat.
Also, it was our collective opinion that we would not force our objectives on others. It was agreeded upon at the offset, that only thru education could we reached the public and inform then of the need for preserving a trophy fisheries on Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, High Rock, Badin, Lake Hickory and other lakes in the Catawba and Yadkin chains.
Over the years we have been successful in converting a lot of catfishermen/women to the idea of CPR for those catfish which could be classified as trophy cats. We have done this thru club meetings, fishing seminars at Bass Pro, Gander Mtn., local bait shops, catfish tournaments, the BOC and other on-line connections. Also, individual club members have informed others that they have met fishing, on fishing message boards and elsewhere of the benefits of preserving our trophy fisheries.
We also realized early on that CPR was not for everyone for various reasons and it would not be in our best interest to condemn them. Some people will keep whatever they catch for food or to show off thier prize. If the truth be know, we were all guilty of that early on in our fishing careers. You can not fault a person for keeping a trophy fish if he needs it for food for his family. But there are two sides to every coin, such as why would someone spent $50 to $80 for gas (boat and truck), plus the prorata cost of boat and fishing equipment to catch and keep a trophy cat for dinner, when he or she could go to the fish market or grocery store and buy catfish filets for $5.99 to $6.99 a pound. Also, there are more eater size fish in our lakes and rivers than trophy cats and they contain less Mercury and other chemicals than the larger cats. Again, only thru education can we correct this situation to a degree.
I go out every week and catch cats for one or two meals every week and select those in the four to eight pound class as food. These size cats are good eating and good for my family from a health standpoint.
In closing, I want to say that, if you went fishing, from the bank and or your boat and you only caught one catfish and it was a trophy catfish and you wanted to take it home for food, I would not fault you. CPR is a choice, not a law made by man or political parties.
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