Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
Over the weekend my wife and I ventured north to Erie to scout out some steelhead streams. The weather was sunny and mid 50's so we assumed the crowds would be unbearable, and boy were we right! Anglers had invaded every pull off and parking spot within a half mile from each tributary. This isn't altogether surprising because it's still early in the year and rifle season for deer hasn't started to draw fishers away from the steelhead. Nevertheless I found myself feeling sorry for these fish who were facing a firing squad of flies, skein, and lures.
We drove over to Trout Run, a popular spot to view steelhead in their upstream migration. The stream itself is strictly off limits for fishing so it can be used as a nursery water to ensure generations of fish will follow these bright chrome wonders from the depths of Lake Erie. Sadly, there were about five anglers standing right in the middle of the stream fishing. In a fit of rage I dialed up the Fish and Boat Commission to report the egregious violation. They said they would be sending someone presently to deal with the matter.
"I speak for the fish, for the fish have no tongues!!"
It made me feel good to be a hand of justice on this day, and it got me thinking about the role we should play as anglers. There were no less than 40 other guys fishing near Trout Run, and no one confronted this group about spitting in the face of the regulations, and more importantly, the fish? Were they all Once-Ler's hellbent on squeezing everything they could out of the fishing so much that they couldn't be bothered to make a quick phone call to the authorities? Did they not care? Did they not know?
As anglers we can all have a little of the Lorax in us. It's possible to enjoy the fish and still care about their well being and protect them. You don't have to confront anyone or get into physical altercations on the stream, just be good stewards of the resources in front of us and make a phone call to the proper authorities when warranted.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."