Saturday, March 21, 2009

What if I accidentally kill a pike in the slot size?

What should a person do if he or she accidentally kills a northern pike that is in the slot size?
Ontario fishing regulations specify a no-keep slot size of 27.5 inches to 35.4 inches for northern pike.
You are not permitted to keep any fish this size and may keep only one larger (we strongly suggest you do not keep any larger fish unless you want to mount them. See Conservation).
We provide measuring tapes in our fishing boats for you to measure the length of your fish.
It's a wise idea to stay an inch away from the slot size, just for safety's sake. In other words, make the largest pike you keep 26.5 inches not 27.5 inches. A fish will "grow" in length after it dies and its muscles relax.
There are a lot of things you can do to prevent accidentally killing pike such as using the proper Fish Unhooking Tools or pinching down barbs on multi-hook lures but occasionally, despite your best intentions, a fish rips a gill out and dies.
No one likes to see a fish wasted and there is an inclination to bring the fish back to camp, even if it is in the slot size.
Please don't do this!
You must throw the fish back into the water where you caught it!
It is an offence to have a fish in the slot size in your possession.
As part of our regular service at Bow Narrows Camp we clean all your fish for you.
We will not put a knife to a fish in the slot size.
By bringing it back you are jeopardizing our camp's reputation and our livelihood.
Why can't a person keep such a fish if it was killed accidentally?
Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers point out that if they were to allow such fish to be kept there are some people who would routinely "accidentally" kill fish. It's a sad commentary on the human race but it's true.
Just throw them back and examine if there is anything different you can do about your fishing technique to prevent it happening again. Sometimes there is nothing you could have done.
There are a lot of tips here on the blog that might help.
Just type in Conservation in the search window at the top of the blog.
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