Things in Wisconsin have been a little testy lately, but anglers got some good news recently: an analysis of trout populations statewide shows that both brook trout and brown trout numbers have generally increased over the past 60 years, and trout abundance in the western part of the state is near all-time highs. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point found higher trout-per-mile numbers in each of the size ranges examined, and the state now has 10,631 miles of trout streams, up from 9,562 in 1980. The early catch-and-release season in the southern part of the state opens on Saturday, March 5.
In 2008, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust launched a campaign to establish catch-and-release regulations for Florida’s bonefish, and last Wednesday the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission finally announced its intention to end the harvest of these valuable game fish. “The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is pleased that the FWC commissioners took the step to help protect one of the most valuable recreational fisheries in the state,” said Aaron Adams, a marine scientist who serves as operations director for the trust. “The designation of bonefish as a catch-and-release species puts Florida on par with destinations [like] Belize and Puerto Rico, competing for anglers who travel to fish the flats.”
Writing in The New York Times, Chris Santella explores the appeal of Puget Sound’s sea-run cutthroat. “They strike a fly with vigor, deport themselves like a much-larger adversary once hooked and are among the most beautiful members of the trout family — sometimes chrome bright with its namesake red slash marks nearly invisible, other times a blend of yellow and gold and olive green with prominent ‘cuts’ below the gills, like their mountain stream brethren. “
Over on Midcurrent, Alex Cerveniak offers 19 things you should be doing now to get ready for Opening Day, in his article Prepping for the Season. Don’t put this stuff off, he argues, because “If every other year has been any lesson, the first days of the fishing season will be here in the blink of an eye, and you’re going to want to be ready for them.”