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

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.






  1. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    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. Buffaloed Avatar

    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. frank Avatar

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

  4. Wyo Native Avatar
    Wyo Native

    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.



Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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