Late spring heralds the start of open water fishing season. For the casual angler, it's easy to take for granted the abundance of fish this time of year. However, many species, especially native fish, can use their help. "There are so many issues affecting the health of fish populations – barriers caused by dams and roads that cross streams fragment fish habitat. Water is diverted out of streams for other uses," said Tina Hopkins, the regional fisheries program manager for the Forest Service’s Intermountain Region. "But perhaps the biggest threat across the country is aquatic invasive species."
Fisheries biologists from around the country have recommended a few ways that anglers, boaters and recreators can do their part to ensure healthy fish stocks for seasons to come. Here is their advice to recreators, in their words:
- "Consult your lawbook, know the rules, and please don’t move fish around."
- "It is extremely important that anglers clean their boats, trailers, waters, and gear when they are done fishing for the day."
- "Every drainage is going to be different, so anglers should be informed about where they are fishing."