Catfishing for Conservation
by David Rodgers
Despite what your parents may have instilled in you at an early age, too much of a good thing might not actually be bad. That’s right. Thanks to fishing’s unmistakable link to conservation, things like fish, wildlife, waterways and many other resources we all enjoy benefit from there being more anglers.
How does this work? Well when you purchase a fishing license, register your boat, purchase fishing gear or fuel for your boat, you’re contributing to state conservation efforts to keep our waterways clean and fish populations healthy. “Conservation through participation” as the folks at Take Me Fishing call it.
Of course, many anglers and boaters already know about the link between fishing licenses and boat registrations and conservation. Sales of these items go directly to state fish and wildlife agencies who then utilize a portion of the funds for conservation activities such as wildlife population management, wildlife habitat management, research and aquatic resource education. However, these aren’t the only ways that conservation programs benefit from increased participation. Thanks to an excise tax on fishing and boating equipment and small engine fuel, purchasing these items also helps the cause. You read that right. The next time you catch grief for buying another rod and reel, just explain how you’re doing your part in ensuring there are enough conservation funds to make for a bright future for fishing.
With catfish being such a widespread and popular fish for anglers to target, the catfishing community could have a great impact on the future of fishing. By introducing new anglers to the joys of landing monster catfish and fostering lifelong anglers, you could help ensure our fishing resources benefit from robust conservation funds for years to come.
I’m sure you can remember back to the first big catfish you landed. I know I can. The feeling of the fish nibbling at the bait. Setting the hook. That unmistakable fight. And of course, that great taste once you cook it up. We all know how fun catfishing is. Why not share that joy with everyone around you? You’ll be able to spread your knowledge and, by increasing the angler base, you may be able to benefit from things like increased access to your local waterways and healthier fish populations.