Stewards Take the Road Less Traveled
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; ..."
As anglers, we have a profound influence on fisheries. We catch, release and, sometimes, harvest fish. Our footsteps may crush aquatic and terrestrial plants. The seeds from those plants, though, become lodged in our pants only to be released downstream just a piece. There, they take root and become the next generation. Our actions help to shape the fishery.
Lakes, streams, and rivers that are close to population centers are pounded with fishing pressure. It is a matter of sheer numbers. When thousands of footsteps tread on plants and multitudes of fishing poles angle for a bite, the fishery can be adversely affected. There is pressure on the fish, there is pressure on the habitat, and there is pressure on the humans. We are all too familiar with the scene in which we are standing shoulder to shoulder in the lake with our brother and sister anglers.
As stewards, we can help our fisheries by taking the road less traveled.
Find a lake, stream, or river in your area that does not receive a lot of fishing pressure. Cast your line there. When you fish the less-frequently-used bodies of water, you relieve the pressure on the fish populations at the more popular spots.
Taking the road less traveled helps to relieve pressure on the fish, pressure on the habitat, and pressure on you. Sometimes that can make all the difference.
"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."