Yakoda Supply is one of our Founding Partners and shares our love for both rivers and the wild fish that swim within them. As more river runners and fly fishers get on the water, we must ensure that we continue to care for the resources properly. The Yakoda guys have taken it upon themselves to share some info on how to help minimize your impact. Here are some tips on how to protect fish and our rivers. And if you haven’t checked out Yakoda yet, they make some of the best American-made, functional fly fishing gear on the market.
Use proper catch and release techniques.
Understanding appropriate catch and release tactics can help protect a fishery and ensure a healthy ecosystem.
Land Fish Quickly: The time you take to land and release your fish and how you handle it is critical to its survival. Try landing fish faster with a rubber net and heavier tippet to avoid exhausting the fish.
Proper Handling: Wetting your hands before touching the fish with other proper fish-holding techniques can help protect these beautiful and fragile creatures.
***Bonus points if you can remove the hook without touching the fish or taking it out of the water.
Use De-barbed Hooks: Hooks without a barb can help speed up the release, protect the fish's mouth, and are easier to get out of your own skin when your friend makes a bad cast.
Always leave it better than you found it.
Fish tend to live in beautiful places, and a quick way to detract from that beauty is litter and waste. If you see trash, pick it up! It takes almost no time or effort and can drastically improve the health of river ecosystems and the views.
Be a steward of the waters you fish and be proud of all the trash you remove from an area. Plastic pollution and fishing lines kill 13 million fish each year. It may not seem like a lot, but every little bit you pick up helps, and by doing so, you’re keeping the sport alive.
Be knowledgeable about the places you fish and invasive species.
Being able to identify fish species, aquatic insects, and other plants and wildlife can help you be a better steward. Knowing what species are endangered or protected, such as Bull Trout and the Colorado Pikeminnow, will allow you to be extra mindful and appreciative of getting these fish back into the water safely after your lucky run-in with these rare fish.
Knowing where invasive aquatic species are and how to deal with them prevents further expansion, helping to protect other ecosystems. One simple thing to do is to Clean your waders and boots carefully before moving to new waters.