Re: “Why catch-and-release is killing, not conserving, Maine fisheries” (Aug. 11):

There’s no doubt that the smaller of a species is a competitive risk for development and growth. Larger fish, e.g., togue, landlocked salmon and brook trout, actually are not the voracious consumers of smelt or other smaller fish. Just remember how much food you consumed when you were a teenager. The younger years are the growth years, and this is also true for fish.

Taking and encouraging harvesting of smaller fish is a great idea. But with this, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife would also have to step up and end harvesting of the larger fish of these prize species.

This past winter, the pictures of very large brook trout being taken from Moosehead Lake represented another equally important problem. These larger fish are the ones that produce the future generations. They simply should not be harvested. And during ice season, they should not even be removed from the water.

The mortality rate of fish removed from the ice is well above 90 percent. Taking a picture is nice, but preserving the lifeblood of landlocked salmon, brookies and togue requires those who fish in any season to step back and realize that harvesting or keeping these larger fish out of the water is equally as bad.

I thoroughly enjoy a nice shore lunch of a few 6- to 8-inch brookies. But I also enjoy releasing the large fish so the species can survive.

Jim Smith

North Yarmouth

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