Anglers all over the country know the value of beautiful water full of active fish. We all have our favorite fishing hole, but have you ever thought about what it takes to maintain these areas? Conservation is more than just a government project; it’s an important subject that should have the attention of every single angler.
Before you head out on the water, make sure you are fully licensed for any fishing activities. All U.S. states require a license, and the penalty can be hefty if a conservation official catches you without one (including fines and the loss of fishing gear), but the real reason you should have your license is because the money goes to conservation efforts, including habitat protection, research programs, and anti-poaching efforts. In many coastal states, you need a different license for salt and freshwater, so make sure you have the right license for the area you’re in and do your part for the sport you love.
Now that you have your license, make sure you know all the regulations and stick to them meticulously. These laws are made for the sake of on-going conservation, and while you might not agree with every single law and limit, they help protect the population of fish and support a healthy fishing environment. Regulations not only change by state, but different counties or even bodies of water will have unique laws. Almost all bait and tackle stores will have a free regulations booklet that you can take with you.
Last week, we gave you some tips for handling and releasing fish safely. Keep these tips in mind every time you hook a fish, whether it’s big or small, and you’ll be returning fish that are healthy and active, giving you a better chance at catching another trophy. Always return fish as quickly as possible, and handle them gently to ensure they remain in top-notch condition.
This falls into the everything-I-need-to-know-about-fishing-I-learned-in-kindergarten category. Pick up your trash and never leave behind anything that doesn’t belong. Two of the biggest culprits are fishing line and bait containers. Not only do they trash the area, they give all anglers a bad name. Don’t give them a reason to ban fishing on your water; clean up the area so everyone can enjoy it.
If you are really serious about getting involved in conservation, you can go even further by volunteering with local conservation efforts. The easiest way to get involved is a simple donation to private conservation groups, but anglers are hands-on people, and most organizations would much rather have your time and energy than your money. Check your state’s wildlife organization and see if they are looking for volunteers, or email a local official to inquire about upcoming events. You’ll gain a deeper knowledge of conservation and a stronger appreciation for aquatic habitats and the fish that call it home.
If you are looking for top-quality fishing apparel that will protect your skin and keep you cool, you need to check out the large inventory from Huk. You’ll find a large selection of light-weight, comfortable fishing shirts that will keep you cool and looking good throughout the fishing season.