Friendly fishing

Make fishing even better using eco gear and lake-friendly tactics

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Friendly fishing

Photo by Panther Martin

"Big Belly" Salmon Spinners courtesy of Green Tackle

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Let it break down

Fishing line spun from biodegradable polymers will dissolve in water (certain brands after three months, others after two years), decreasing the amount of lost line wildlife might ingest or get tangled in. Some lures, too, biodegrade in water, while others are made from fish food or recycled beer-bottle caps. Since lead is a persistent pollutant, opt for lead-free sinkers, such as bismuth ones and others, some of which break down over time.

To the limit

Restrictions on the number and size of fish you can catch and the time of year you can harvest certain species are there to protect fish stocks. Limits vary by area; check with the Ministry of Nat¬ural Resources for the rules in your region and don’t forget to get your fishing licence. In some waters, you have to use artificial lures rather than live bait, to prevent the spread of fish viruses and invasive species. In other areas, only fly-fishing or barbless hooks (to promote catch-and-release) are permitted.

Please release me

To minimize damage to the fish’s jaws and gills, stick to barbless hooks. When taking out a hook, grab the fish using a damp towel and avoid touching the gills; too much handling can remove their protective layer.

This article was originally published on September 17, 2009


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