Yet another reason to switch to C&R

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
I just caught part of an NPR story about an EPA warning against eating freshwater fish due to high levels of contamination. The reporter mentioned Montana and Washington fish as having particularly high levels of mercury and other contaminants. The story cautioned that this shouldn't be interpreted as an increase in pollution, but that more efficient and reliable testing is identifying sources of existing contaminants which are know to cause birth defects and developmental disabilities.

Here's a link to the AP version of the story:


Old Man

Just an Old Man
I think that these fish have always had these contaminates in them and they just have come up with a better way to check for them.

I used to eat all I caught.And when I was younger it was a lot. But since I have switched to Fly Fishing only my catch ratio has gone down. But Bob,you can be sure I won't eat anymore as I'm into the CnR thing big time now. And when I fish lately you won't find many fish with holes in their lips.


Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?

You got it just right.

One of my mentors when I got back into flyfishing told me about keeping a big Dry Falls fish he'd caught perhaps twenty years ago. He was so proud of the fish, he took it home, showed it off to all his neighbors before his wife made it the centerpiece of a wonderful meal. Problem was, it tasted like mud and was mushy-textured.

If I want to eat a fish, I'll buy one at Larry's or order one at a restaurant. And I won't glow in the dark or be any more developmentally disabled than I already am :-D


Old man said:
I think that these fish have always had these contaminates in them and they just have come up with a better way to check for them.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member

I keep some (not all) of the fish I catch. BUT, I DO NOT fish lakes and inland rivers where the fish get pretty old. For the most part, the fish I'm catching are fresh from the salt, if not so fresh they still have sealice. So far, haven't had a "bad tasting" salmon, steelhead, or sturgeon. Only fish that I've had that tasted like mud or bland were landlocked fish or ones that are on rivers that are "locked" in by dams and the likes. I'd personally rather catch a fresh from the ocean fish then eat one from a farmers market that have the "farmed fish, colors have been added". But I respect the resource, and only take what I'll eat (and I do take some to smoke and vacuum pack to send to relatives in Nebraska as a Christmas gift).

I don't find anything wrong with keeping fish. I find it wrong to keep fish after fish after fish and stockpile your freezer. Then never eat them. I started out fishing for fish to eat and still like to keep some of what I catch. I keep what I can use. Funny thing, most "year round" gear fisherman are same way. It's those who are meathole fisherman that come out of the woodwork during high fish flows that draw all the negative attention.
It was gear fishermen not fly fishermen that first taught me to catch and release fish with a minimum of handling over 20 years ago. Still fish with both those guys once in a while and they still release 99.5% or more of all the fish they catch. Fly fishermen do not hold all the cards when it come to catch and release by a long shot.
Both these guys use nothing but single hook lures and keep from handling or removing the fish from the water any more then needed. Both still are as happy catching perch all day as going after Salmon. Both still have a child like love of fishing. Neither one of them have I been able to convert to the fly and with neither do I feel a strong need to so.
They fish with me their way and I fish with them my way. We are quite happy in fishing together when we are able to.

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