A week in Alaska has a way of putting life into perspective; the daily grind forgotten in wild country, fish, and the freedom of taking each day as it comes.
To the management of MidCurrent,
I’ll start off by saying that I enjoy the various links and videos that you provide. Thanks. However, after viewing your latest video offering from Vimeo entitled “Escape”, I just had to write to you to voice my concern. In that film there is a scene of the guide (?) holding up a salmon that is bleeding quite profusely. If this individual really is a guide, he would have taken more care in unhooking that fish, and would have immediately released it. Very irresponsible on his part, and for the editor of this video’s footage as well.
Lately there have been threads in various fly fishing forums (Spey Pages, WA Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing Forum, NH Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing in Maine, The Steelhead Site, etc.) about C&R and fish mortality. And with trout and salmon runs dwindling on so many waters across the planet, we have to increase efforts to educate the greater majority of anglers about responsible angling and fish handling. As you (and Vimeo, YouTube) are in a position to greatly influence the fishing community, I’d like to ask that you put into place some criteria for both the videography and photography that you feature. I don’t have a problem with either, but the fish’s welfare should be first and foremost on our minds when handling fish.
The sentiment of the great majority of anglers is that the video frenzy sweeping the angling world is wreaking devastation on fish populations as fish are being held out of water for much longer than they can tolerate so as to get the right shot, o enough shots. Sometimes, it’s video first, and then still shots, Fish should not be removed from the water except for a two second span and we should be willing to live with whatever shot we get, for the fish’s sake. I ask you please, to screen video footage prior to featuring them, and to reject any videos that have any footage that demonstrates poor fish handling. Fish need not to be held inches from the camera for lengthy periods. Actually I/we question why they need to be filmed at all. If done tastefully and with the greatest respect and concern for the fish, that is one thing, but that is unfortunately not to the case with most videos. And that is most regrettable.
Finally, I would ask that you do more to educate the angling community about the conservation issues, C&R mortality, proper C&R techniques, and our responsibility as sportsmen and women to ensure that we’re all doing our part to conserve and nurture fish populations, especially the native and wild.
Thanks for hearing me out, and for considering my positions.
Thanks for taking the time to express your concerns. Those are all legitimate points, and I agree that we could all do a better job of the kind of stewardship you suggest.
I agree with all the above,if you look closely you can see that a couple of those fish were foul hooked as well with the fly outside of their mouths,very common with those who fish sockeye, on a S.E. Alaska river I have fished for years the local C.O/Wildlife cop has started to hide or dress like a fisher person and issue citations all day long to those who reduce to bag limit any foul hooked fish
My reaction to the video was the same and I don’t have much to add, but it may be worth pointing out the fishing regulations in Alaska prohibit “molesting” fish. I live in Alaska and have discussed this several times with wildlife cops, trying to find out what “molesting” means in practice since it’s not spelled out in the regulations. It does extend to dragging fish over rocks, keeping them out of the water for extended periods, or anything likely to contribute to the mortality of fish that you can’t keep for regulatory reasons or won’t be keeping as a personal decision.
The troopers and rangers up here have to deal with poachers, illegal guiding, and all sorts of other, more serious problems, and I’ve never heard of anybody being prosecuted for bad fish handling. But still, the regulations are on the books because of concern for preserving our fisheries.