Fly fishing blog monsters Moldy Chum launched an online poll recently asking how much anglers in Washington state value wild steelhead as opposed to hatchery-reared fish. Per the Chum’s press release:
“We’d like to demonstrate to the state just how important wild fish are to those of us who spend time chasing these magnificent fish,” said Eric Rathbun, chief editor of Moldy Chum and founder of Reel Pure Inc. “I can’t speak for everyone who fly fishes for steelhead, but catching a wild fish is a unique experience, and one that I certainly prefer.”
The three-question poll will remain live for about a month. The data, non-scientific though it may be, will be provided to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“We’d like to find out just how important the experience of catching a wild steelhead is to the recreational angler in Washington,” said Rob Masonis, vice president of Western Conservation for Trout Unlimited, the nation’s leading advocacy group for coldwater fisheries conservation. TU has thousands of members in Washington state, and is interested in seeing where its members, and the angling community as a whole, stand on this important issue. “From a conservation standpoint, we worry that hatchery fish are diluting wild stocks and reducing the hearty nature of steelhead in the Northwest. But we recognize the overall importance of steelhead to the recreational angler. I guess it boils down to a simple question: would you rather catch a wild fish or a hatchery fish?”
Go on over and take the Chum’s poll, and if enough Oregonians help ’em out, we might be able to twist their arms to do a poll for us and ODFW.