Preserving The Resource
By Tom Lester
As a professional angler, though not full time, I find it difficult to harm, kill or eat that which helps put food on the table. I can't tell you how long it has been since I put a bass to the knife that eventually ended up on my plate. It's been years. I just can't bring myself to destroy something that I earn part of my living on. But, lookout crappie, trout and white bass!
Preservation and conservation has been a tool of outdoors men and women for many years. Our parks and wildlife departments throughout the country place size and bag limits on the game that we harvest. They do so in an attempt to make sure that there are adequate supplies of game for our children and their children.
There are numerous organizations that support and finance the preservation of our game animals such as; Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, Wild Turkey Federation and so on. These organizations raise money to purchase land, thus protecting the habitat for these species of game animals. Each year millions of dollars are raised by these groups to ensure the future of the species.
Likewise, many years ago, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) began using a catch and release program for the bass caught by anglers in sanctioned tournaments. Once the fish were caught and weighed in, they were released back into the lake or river from which they came. It is now mandatory prior to the start of each day during the tournament, that every boat is equipped with working live well aerators to help keep the fish alive during the tournament. Additionally, any angler bringing a dead fish to weigh in is penalized. Most bass fishing tournaments around the country follow the standard established by B.A.S.S
As an avid angler, I really like the concept of returning our resource back into the habitat with as little damage as possible. It only makes sense to care for the fish as best we can so they will be there to be caught again.
Remember, I we don't take care of our game and make sure there will be some there for our kids and their kids, who will?
Until next time, enjoy the outdoors.