Fish Responsibly!

New fisherman, lured by the promise of spring, often head to the lake with the hopes of catching the big one on their first outing.

Here are some tips to make sure you fish responsibly!

Permit

First, make sure you have the proper permit or license. The fees you pay are put back into the fishing programs in your state. This also serves to limit the number of people fishing in your area. Some states require higher fees from tourists. Children under certain ages, typically 12, may fish without a license. Most states allow for “free” fishing days to encourage people to get some experience before obtaining a license.

Size, Species, and Location

Next, make sure you are fishing when and where you are allowed. Your state will also limit the number and size of the fish you catch. Also, make sure that the species of fish you are catching is a legal catch. Every state will have a list of the species that you are not permitted to keep.

Bait

Use appropriate bait. Enthusiastic newbies are often excited about the prospect of fishing that they become irresponsible in their choices of bait. While trout may bite at the plump kernel of corn you stuck on the end of the hook, they can also get sick. Refrain from using bubble gum, candy, or other non-organic items that prove harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Although some native populations, such as certain fisherman in Alaska, have been granted exceptions at certain times of the year to use spears, this practice is typically illegal in every state. It is also illegal to use explosives, nets, and stun guns.

Finally, never release bait fish or pet fish into the lake. This practice can wreak havoc on the native fish and flora of the lake.

To maximize the fishing experience for all, it is important that you adhere to these guidelines! Happy Fishing!

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