Research shows the wisdom of keep the smaller fish and throw back the big ones-

Want Sustainable Fishing? Keep Only Small Fish, And Let The Big Ones Go. Science Daily.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Want Sustainable Fishing? Keep Only Small Fish, And Let The Big Ones Go

  1. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    when fishing in the Califormia Sierras a number of years ago, I caught a 12 inch golden trout. For a golden, it was huge. We cooked it for dinner that night. It was tough and the meat was stringy, not at all good. Since then, I have been fishing catch and release. That old fish was a turning point in my angling ethic; toss them back for someone else to catch.


  2. avatar Buffaloed says:

    There is another thing to consider here too. Larger fish also tend to have more mercury and other toxins in them so smaller fish are healthier for you too.

  3. avatar frank says:

    Serious bass fisherman have been doing that for a good while.

  4. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Although I am a very strong catch and release fisherman, this concept does not apply to all species, especially trout.

    It is sometimes good to reduce the biomass of species in certain waters in order to allow smaller fish to take over. This holds true especially for Trout or Char. This is the approach that both Wyoming and Utah have used in creating sustainable trophy fisheries for Lake Trout, Brook Trout, and now the ever popular Tiger Trout.

    Here is a good article from the Utah Division of Wildlife concerning this topic.


December 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: