Angler Ethics – Fish Responsibly
Protect Rights and Resources
Angling ethics, or rules of conduct, protect your rights and the rights of others, and help protect our shared resources. Teaching a youngster to fish for the first time (or an “oldster”) is the best time to introduce proper angling behavior. Here’s the rules and why they are so important:
• Be aware of, and respect, the rights of others—anglers and property owners.
• Know and follow all fishing rules and regulations where you are fishing.
• Pack out what you pack in.
• Except when otherwise noted, no fish can be taken or killed except by angling.
• Do not take more than the daily limit, under-sized fish, or unwanted fish.
• Unlawfully taken fish (fish taken in excess of your limit or undersized fish) must be returned immediately to the water.
• Fish taken alive should be returned very gently, allowing the fish to slide into the water from as close to the surface as possible.
• When using live bait, do not throw remaining bait into the stream, lake, reservoir, etc.— bait species can reproduce and cause harm to aquatic ecosystems.
• Do not alter the habitat by building, for example, makeshift dams across streams.
• When looking for critters (for bait) under rocks, return rocks to original position before leaving.
• Do not move fish between waters or introduce fish to waters from which they did not come. Doing so can have far-reaching consequences, posing threats to native fish from predation and competition, perhaps infecting waters and spreading disease that may harm native fish recovery.
• Carefully wash and disinfect waders or other boots that have had contact with fishing water and lake or stream mud.
• Do not chase or harass fish.
Photo Credit: Ben Swigle
Article content credited to Colorado Parks & Wildlife: