The Rats Nest

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Keep Em Wet, What Do You Think?

Circa 2012
Recently a pretty interesting campaign was launched in regards to the negative effects of air exposure on wild fish.  The "Keep Em Wet" campaign is spearheaded by the native fish society and has already begun to gain steam.  If you enter their season long contest you could actually win something.  It should be a fun year seeing all of the creative pictures that emerge from this campaign to heighten awareness to this topic.   Cameron over at the Fiberglass Manifesto has already introduced anglers to the idea, as well as several of others across the internet and social media.

Circa 2013
Personally, I didn't really have a definitive New Years Resolution for 2015, so I figured why not adopt the practice.  Although I will admit I am a repeat offender of the grip n grin from time to time, but the whole idea of keeping them wet really got me  thinking.  I know over the years my ability to rope a fish in and get a solid photo opportunity has become efficient and streamlined to the point that it is a very unobtrusive process, but there were times when I wondered if the time I spent to get that glory shot had negative effects on the fish that I was lucky enough to catch.   

Circa 2014
I think some would most definitely speculate that yes, very much so that many a nice fish have succumbed to stress as a result of anglers over handling them just to get that photo.  I think we'd all like to think we are doing things by the numbers and ethically, but I am certain we all could probably improve.  Now mind you, I am not going to sit here and blow smoke up your backside and tell you that I won't still take a grip or grin shot of a memorable fish.  I will probably just take less of them, and save them for that extra special fish or location to capture the memory.  I will however not post them on the internet because I can already see the internet trolls and kings of the popularity contest we call social media have already started spewing some of their negativity on this topic.  

Circa 2012
As you can already see, making this transition should be a pretty easy task as I've been taking part in for years now.   To be honest, some of my favorite pictures of memorable fish don't even involve my pasty white baldness anyway.  Guess I have a good start or maybe I was subconsciously more of a forward thinker, either way it is irrelevant as long as those guys in the pictures swim another day. 

Some interesting discussions have spawned as a result of this topic, I still wonder though are we as catch and release anglers doing enough to make sure we protect our resource?

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