Endangered Fishing

Last weekend while playing the part of "Montana tourist," I went fishing for my first time ever... well, unless you count ice fishing, which I'm not going to for some reason. How did I get this far through life without ever fishing? Don't underestimate my other accomplishments... I've watched a lot of TV and memorized a lot of commercial jingles.

There were five people in our fishing boat that trolled the shore lines in the rain for two hours. Combined, we caught about 15 fish. Delicious? Not so fast! Every fish we caught was a bull trout, and that meant that every fish we caught was "endangered," and had to be released back into the lake.

Endangered? Who decided that? Clearly it wasn't anyone who has fished that lake. Despite their obvious handicap of biting on to every passing hook, bull trouts appear to be thriving. And if they are endangered, and the 15 fish we caught were the last 6 of their kind in existence, don't they deserve to die off? Discriminate, fish! No species ever survived while eating everything that sparkles!

If we keep throwing them back, rewarding their smug carelessness with a continued life of hook-biting, how will they ever learn? Someday someone's going to fish that lake who doesn't throw the fish back, and then they'll really be gone. It's time we hold these arrogant bull trout responsible for their hook-biting ways before they kill themselves off.

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