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Fish Responsibly

Long Island's angling history is indeed legendary. Fishing is something many Long Islanders enjoy as a normal part of life, a pastime that is a natural extension of living here. We grow up with it, and learn it from one generation to the next. As life on Long Island has so dramatically changed over the past 100 years or so, so has one of our most admired sources of pleasure; our great sport of angling. Unfortunately it is almost too easy to take for granted, and the subtle changes that are occurring in the environment may not be so visible to each and every one of us.

We sincerely believe that each individual should hold themselves responsible for caring for our natural resources, and respect them with the attitude that they are essential to life as a whole. We urge everyone to "Fish Responsibly". Evaluating every aspect of how you fish, realizing the impact of your actions on the environment, and making an effort to conserve, are all ways to ensure the resources we cherish are passed on to the next generations. It had only been realized over the past several decades that our greatest gift to our future generations, is to ensure them of a clean and healthy environment. An environment where fresh air is not something you go to the mountains for, and clean drinking water doesn't have to be bought in a plastic bottle.

Here are some tips for how you can "Fish Responsibly".

  • Familiarize yourself with current environmental concerns, and fisheries regulations.
    The first step to knowing how you can help conserve and protect our natural resouces is to become knowledgable about the environmental issues that concern us today, and what the future outlook is for our environment tomorrow. Please take the time to understand the sensitive issues concerning our natural world before you enjoy your fishing. Regulations change each year, and so does the environment due to our impact on it. It is imperative that you know and adhere to all current regulations. It's up to each and every one of us to keep informed, and treat our environment with the respect it deserves. We recommened visiting the NYS DEC site often, @ Familiarize yourself with endangered species here
    Also, stay update to date with important current national fisheries news.
  • Take only what you need.
    If you enjoy eating fish, fish for one meal only, or share your catch with family & friends. All too often, extra fish in the creel go to waste. Whether it is discarded because just too much was caught, or it goes bad when left in the refrigerator or freezer too long; too much gets wasted. Acknowledge that many species are under stress from overfishing, and give them a break. Impose limits on yourself that go beyond those of the state regulations, and keep away from fish that are extremely overfished.
  • Become proficient at dressing your catch.
    The better you are with your filet knife, the more you will keep of your catch. However, it's best not to pratice on your catch, but to do a little study of the proper techiniques needed for each species. Realize that all fish are not alike, and many have different skeletal structure, and adjust your filleting techniques accordingly. Take every possible area of usable flesh from your catch.
  • Practice "Catch & Release".
    It's a catch phrase, and a self expanatory one at that, but one with far reaching implications. To many of us angling is a sport, but we must treat our opponents with the respect they deserve. Always crush the barbs on your hooks to reduce the potential effects of a deeply lodged hook. It is also a good idea not to keep em' hanging on too long. When a fish is fighting, lactic acid will build up in it's muscle mass. Too much lactic acid can be lethal to a fish. By keeping the fight as short as possible, the potential damage to a fish from lactic acid build up is reduced. By releasing them to swim again, we go a long way in ensuring the preservation of the fish stocks we need. And who knows maybe you'll meet that fish again someday. Please read the circle hook story
  • Choose artifiicial baits & lures.
    Your conservation practices should not be limited to food or gamefish only. The bait they feed on is important for the sustainabilty of fish stocks. Whether it's fish, mollusks, crustaceans, or worms, they are an important part of the ecosystem. By limiting our use of real bait, and opting for lures and other artificials when appropriate, we can greatly reduce the over use of the creatures the fish you seek depend on for food. There are a myriad of available options today including, plugs, jigs, jellies, other soft baits, & tins to mention a few. Always keep your line fresh and strong to reduce the potential for tackle and gear from breaking off and ending up in the environment. When chaning line, always recylce it.
  • Never pollute.
    Take a look around, and you will see pollution is everywhere. From the garbage that many feel free to deposit on the side of parkway ramps, to the litter that washes up on our beaches, the planet has become a dumping ground for the unconcerned, and uninformed. The simple act of emptying a car ash tray on the ground is not an isolated event. That act multiplied time and time again has an impact that is not seen on the square foot of asphalt where it is deposited. How many times have you seen trash strewn across the beach, and 25 feet away is a garbage can? Practice "carry in - carry out". In areas where you know trash receptacles are not available, always bring garbage bags with you, so you may take everything with you when you leave. If each and every one of us practiced these simple habits, the world would most certainly be a cleaner and healthier place to live.
  • Tread lightly.
    The planet has an amazing ability to regenerate, repopulate, and rejuvenate itself. That is if it is left to it's own devices. It is a dynamic place that changes with every new day. It is our actions that are damaging it. We need this planet and it's resources to survive as a species just as does every other living organism. We are not outsiders here just to use it up for our own needs. If we destroy everything we need to survive, we will suffer greatly. Without us around, the earth will simply go on as it has for millions of years, and we will become just distant artifacts and fossils as have so many species before us.
    While boating, stay clear of estruaries, marshes, and grass areas. Those are the nurseries for many species of aqautic animals. When on the beach in four wheel drive vehicles, stick to the known path, don't be a trailblazer, and stay off the dunes & grasses. They are key to keeping our beaches protected from erosion, and are also necessary habitat for many bird and other animals. Treat every animal you come across as an equal partner on this planet, none should be considered as second rate citizens. Each and every organism has a purpose, and a job to do to keep this planet healthy & clean, and all should be considered as a working member of the ecosystem that is of the utmost importance to all of us. Read more about our precious marine habitats here.

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Last Updated: May 31, 2014
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