I agree that we should encourage as many fish to be returned as we can and I accept that many people still take a fish beside what we try and encourage but we have to be careful in what we are preaching.
I for one do not necessarily agree with the view of having an entirely catch and release policy simply that some fish that are caught simply die and I would not want them to go to waste.
At present the fish are struggling and we should only harvest in proportion to the overall stocks and I would entirely agree that on the Usk at today's stocks we need to return all fish.
I know that if less than 90 percent are not returned this season then the Usk is likely to follow the Wye Taff and Ely.
What concerns me most however is that it is always the angler who is asked or required to behave responsibly and return fish when the whole stock for some rivers are taken at sea by Spanish and Japanese and other factory ships. Where is the control there?
Our own governments (British Parliament and WAG) need to address the issues as well. In particular with water abstraction and pollution including encourage farming practices that are not detrimental to our fish stocks such as sediment deposits.
In short there is no real quick fix and much has to be done by us all as individuals as well as members of clubs. I shall be addressing our current policy with the club committee for discussion at the AGM by the membership but in the first instance we have to encourage a different attitude in all anglers.
I would ask how many are who fish the Usk are members of the UUFA (United Usk Fisherman's Association http://www.uskfishing.org/
) and if not why not?