Posted by Kerry Grissett on September 07, 2004 at 21:43:02:
In Reply to: Re: Worth pointing out. posted by TroyJ on September 07, 2004 at 21:08:49:
The fish was obviously the same one the guy hooked. It had the same lure still attached to it. In any case, the law doesn't address "intent" to kill the fish. It simply says that a reasonable effort should be made to retrieve it and include it in the guy's daily creel limit. He not only didn't do that, he made extra efforts to put a perfectly good fish on the bank and blantantly broke not only the law, but the spirit of the law. I am still a little surprised that there is not a law against placing or leaving any fish on the bank as it just serves to stink up many areas, attracts rodents, etc. except that it breaks the littering laws.
The law is very clear as to what the guy should have done. He should have not only finished out of the money in the tourney, but should have been DQ'd for violating state law. ANY tournament which allows any participant to violate the state game and fish laws and not be immediately DQ'd from the tourney is severely lacking in ethics.
The only thing this person was concerned with was whether or not the tourney rules would allow the catch to be weighed. Personally, I think it was a legal catch, but that is not the point. He was so worried about not leaving the fish for another unethical tourney fisherman to scoop up with a net and weigh in that he did the most unethical and illegal thing he could have, he threw it on the bank to rot.
How anyone can't see the legal, moral and ethical problems with this behaviour eludes me! Not only that, the person who posted the original message about this incident is a law enforcement officer and praised what this guy did even though it was illegal.
Give me a break!
The question of what to do with a gut hooked or otherwise injured fish that is not within the legal length or slot limits has come up more than once in this debate. The law is not grey here either. If the fish is not legal to keep, it is not legal to keep. You put it back. Does this waste the fish, maybe. Why is there no loop hole in the law to address this? For obvious reasons which should be made very clear by this very debate. If the law allowed anyone to keep a fish in this situation, there are many who would keep fish under the slot or length limit as a matter of course (yes, there are a LOT of poachers who do this anyway) and would try to use that loop hole to rationalize it or get out of a ticket.
The law is clear. The problem is with the individuals and organizations which don't follow the law. The majority of the responses to this situation from tournament people also points out the problem with the attitudes of many tournament fishermen and the industry as a whole.
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