Thursday, March 19, 2009

Catch and Don't Release

On a recent scouting expedition to a nearby mountain range, I stopped at one of the larger rivers to see If I could see any Ayu or Trout swimming in the shallows. This familiar sign greeted me as I entered the approach to the walking bridge. This is a common sign around the fresh waters of this area. It basically tells anglers that it's against the prefectural game code to catch and release the Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Bluegill. If caught, these fish must be kept, or discarded. According to research by a couple of friends, these species were introduced to Japan in the 1920s and have done considerable damage to some of the native habitat and fish species. I grew up fishing for Bluegill, and have some of my fondest fishing memories as a kid catching Bass and Bluegill. Bass fishing has become a popular sport in Japan with some Japanese Pros doing well in the US tournament circuit. There is some excellent Bass fishing in Japan and around this area. Have fun Bass fishing, just don't throw them back if you see this sign, the native species must be protected, fished, killed, cooked, and ate!

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