Leier: North Dakota Fisheries Managers Focus on Responsible Fisheries


For many here in the Midwest, it’s hard to fathom a legacy going back to our ancestors using every part of a slaughtered pig.

“Everything but the cry”, as my father’s generation would say.

In a similar post, there is a sign on some North Dakota fishing destinations reminding anglers of the value of the resources they are about to exploit.


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The message is simple: “Fish responsibly. Keep only what you will use. Fish are too precious to waste.

“The message is meant to get fishermen to think about the value of our fisheries and our natural resources which belong to everyone and are loved by everyone,” said Greg Power, Chief Fisheries Officer of the Game and Fish Department. . “If the fishing is great all summer, do you really need to keep 50 to 100 walleye when you only use 20?” We try to draw attention to the sometimes unconscious waste of fish.

This waste goes beyond burnt fillets in the freezer that have been stored for too long.

“If you’re making the effort to buy a fishing license, load your gear and set a line, you should have a plan in place when you catch fish,” Power said. “Anglers can’t set the hook first and then worry about what to do with the fish later. We don’t want this precious resource to be thrown in the weeds or burnt in the freezer.

Scott Gangl, head of the department’s fisheries management section, also said in the article that this mindset should target all fish, regardless of species.

“One step in getting people to think about all of this is to place a value on fish, whether it’s a walleye, pike or catfish,” Gangl said. “It doesn’t matter what you catch, because all fish are valuable. “

A related issue that is particularly relevant at this time of year is when game fish are caught in water at depths greater than 30 feet. The deeper the water, the less a captured fish will survive if released due to the extreme changes in pressure from depths to the surface, which can cause the swim bladder to expand. A fish under these circumstances can no longer control its balance in the water column.

Gangl said the message to anglers in these situations is that they should plan to keep what they catch. And if anglers just want to fish for recreation and have no interest in keeping anything, they should target shallow water fish.

“We want fishermen to understand the effects of catching fish in deep water,” Gangl said. “The key to catch and release fishing is that you have to release the fish safe and sound. This is often not the case with fish caught in these depths and then released. “

Leier is an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Contact him at [email protected]

Doug leier

Doug leier


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