It’s hard for many anglers to understand why someone would attack such a noble conservation-minded activity, but catch-and-release fishing has suffered another successful attack. In Switzerland, the practice has been banned, as it has already been banned in Germany. “It is not permitted to go fishing with the ‘intention’ to release fish”, stated the Swiss government. All fish caught that meet size and bag limits must be killed. In my August column in the Alberta Outdoorsmen, I discuss how this came about and how it could come about in Alberta and Canada.
The issue reminded me of how I was verbally attacked several years ago for writing about how animal rights activists might use catch-and-release against sport fishing. Many couldn’t understand how attacking such a noble activity could ever get any traction with the general public. Well, traction it has achieved, at least in Europe. Could it happen in North America? It may be closer than we want to think. But we should think about it. Otherwise we may lose a lot more than a management technique.
So what’s wrong with that?