May 23, 2010

Allen Afield: Surprising increase in bag limits has a moral

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The story underscores what this column has covered recently. Fishing advocates in Maine are so busy fighting with one another over turf that they miss important changes.

Whether we agree or not with a 10- to 13-fish daily bag limit, it would be nice for the public to at least know it was happening, and that would begin with cooperation among the troops.

The June 2010 issue of Fly Fisherman magazine covered this need for folks to start forming a cohesive front for the betterment of fishing and habitat and to stop behaving in a better-than-thou manner.

John Randolph, publisher of Fly Fisherman, wrote a column in latest issue that urges readers to check out an article by Dylan Tomine to learn why anglers should be more open and forgiving toward our companion "watermen," a term we'll see more in the future. A waterman embraces the entire water environment.

Randolph also encourages readers to release all our fish, but then paraphrases Tomine, who thinks we should not take the moral high ground because we do let our catch go while condemning those who don't. Tomine said, as many Native Americans point out, "Why play with your food?"

This all gets down to respecting one another's opinions and exercising tolerance.


Ken Allen of Belgrade Lakes is a writer, editor and photographer. He can be contacted at:


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