If we are talking about steelhead, which we should be, the issue in my mind is about respect. The law is dumb. We are the only state/country to have it. Is it necessary? Does it save lives? No. Anadromous fishes are amazingly tough. Holding a strong, physically fit, ocean tough animal out of water isn't gonna factor into the equation (unless it starts getting extreme of course). Comparing it to holding an angler under water after sprinting a mile isn't a fair comparison because the average angler I see on the river couldn't sprint to the corner store without puking up their breakfast burrito. Steelhead are at the height of their fitness when they enter the river. They have been training for this day their entire lives, their spawning journey is the Super Bowl of their existence. This is where, in regards to steelhead and other wonderful wild anadromous critters of the PNW rivers, respect enters the equation for me personally. Photography is awesome! Steelhead take my breath away. The gods created something truly amazing when they waived their wand (or trident?) and *poofed* the first steelhead into our waters. I love looking at them, and I love taking their picture. However, as a steelheader, I think you should always be mindful of their journey and try to minimize your impact. Hold that fish and think about how far its come, how everything in its life has tried to stop it. Think about what a miracle it is, that in all the chaos of chance that one wild fish found your fly/lure/bait/bead, ate it and brought you that connection you traveled so far for. Respect that steelhead. It's life is literally in your hands. By all means take pictures but remember what you're holding. Steelheaders are on a journey just like the fish they chase. Not everyone is on the same page you have to put in your miles to understand. I'm a guppy out there that's for sure. But the more steelhead I see and the more miles I put on my boots the more I respect them and handling them and appreciating them doesn't always mean a good picture is taken and sometimes mean I lose them before it gets there... My favorite shots, the ones I drool over, are a simple head shot. The chrome blush of the fish with my fly in its lip. Hero pose is wack to me. But I remember when I loved em!