On a fishing trip today my buddy caught a 22- inch bull trout which was a beautiful fish. He asked me to take a picture and I said, “Sorry, I left my camera in my truck.” He then asked me to hold the trout while he ran back to his truck to get his camera (about a 10 minute trip.) I said, “No, this fish is an endangered species, they are catch and release only. You have to let it go without a picture.” He asked me again to go get a camera and I said, “No. Let the fish go.” and walked off to fish upstream.
When I came back 10 minutes later he was walking around with his camera and the fish on a stringer. He asked me to take his picture and I first said no, then said yes (just to get the fish back in the water quicker.) He then released the fish back into the stream where it floated about three feet away and just stayed behind a rock until it disappeared, slowly. Buddy said, “I’m so mad at you for telling me to let it go without a picture I can barely even talk. That’s the biggest fish I’ve ever caught.” and I said, “You should have let it go.” He went back to his truck and when I got up there he said, “Goodbye, I’m going home.” and left.
I refuse to feel bad about it - he kept a 22 inch endangered species on a stringer for 10 minutes so that he could get a vanity picture. That’s both illegal and unethical. I don’t think I’m going to go fishing again with him unless he agrees to follow the rules AND fish ethically and with respect for the resource.