The Native Fish Society recently launched their Keep ‘Em Wet Campaign that encourages anglers to do a better job of handling wild and native fish. They’re even holding a photo contest with some awesome prizes for the top 3 photos submitted! For details, visit either of the links above.
For the most part, I’ve been pretty darn careful when it comes to handling wild and native fish. I use rubber or mesh nets instead of the older style woven ones. I try to keep contact to a minimum and revive and release a fish as quickly as possible. But there is more I can do. So, I’m making the commitment to do more, as an angler and as a guide. Starting now, the “Hero” shots are a thing of the past. No more grip and grins with a fish held high over the boat, rocks, etc. If the fish isn’t in, or partially in the water, I won’t post it on my website, blog, facebook page or google+ page.
Granted, the fish above was a hatchery raised steelhead and taken by legal means, but you get the point. Clients are just going to have to get their boots wet or lean precariously over the side of the boat/bank, or there simply won’t be any pictures for their social network feeds (or mine)!
This is a forward looking commitment on my part. After several years and hundreds of hours of web development, blog writing, etc., I’m not going to remove all the grip and grins that I’ve posted over the years. You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, so to speak. But over time, I will be replacing most all of the “key” photos in my online and paper marketing. If all you see is a fish in water with a hand holding it, you’ll just have to assume that John or Jane Client is ecstatically happy.
Let’s Keep ‘Em Wet folks!