Conservation means protecting and preserving the ecosystems, environment and wildlife that we enjoy so they’re around for years to come. As anglers, it’s important that we protect native fish and the waters they need to survive by practicing low impact fishing and by contributing to conservation efforts in a variety of ways. Here are six ways that anglers can practice native fish conservation.
1. Practice Catch and Release
Catch and release is a humane way to enjoy the sport of fishing while ensuring native fish species are released unharmed, promoting abundant and healthy fisheries.
2. Understand and Abide by the Regulations
State agencies, national parks, and even local parks have fishing regulations in place to protect native fish and their habitats. Get informed before you go.
3. Purchase a Fishing License
A fishing license is required in most states and license fees help fund fisheries management, education, restoration programs, native fish research, and other state aquatic conservation efforts. Purchase your fishing license online.
4. Support Conservation Organizations
Find a reputable fishing conservation group and get involved, whether by donating time or money. These organizations often have the capacity to lead effective, environmentally-beneficial projects and are a good way to stay informed on native fish conservation efforts.
5. Take Precautions to reduce Fish Stress
Ensure a healthy release by using a landing net, barbless hooks and fishing equipment that is appropriate for the size of fish you’re targeting. Proper gear helps you to reel in the fish efficiently and avoid working it to exhaustion.
6. Leave no Trace
Never leave trash behind, including scrap fishing line. Be mindful that you take out what you brought in and maybe even pick up a few extra pieces of litter left behind by others.
Read more about fishing and conservation tips for anglers so you can help preserve native fish and their habitats for future generations to enjoy. Now, get out and fish!