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Fishing Ethics and Safety

Code of Angling Ethics

Ethics cannot be dictated. Angling ethics develop with time, experience and interaction with others. The following code is offered as a guideline to increase awareness and encourage discussion.

An Ethical Angler:

  • Understands fishing and boating regulations.
  • Cares about aquatic and marine habitats.
  • Keeps only fish they will eat, and properly releases the rest.
  • Is respectful of others - anglers and non-anglers alike.
  • Leaves no trash, even if left by others.
  • Shares expertise with less experienced anglers.
  • Cooperates with authorities.
  • Fishes and boats safely.
  • Preserves the sportfishing tradition.

Casting
Teach them while they are young!

Fishing Safety Tips

  • In selecting a waterfront site, be sure that the area is free from underwater hazards, clean and, if necessary, large enough to accommodate everyone in your group.
  • Inspect waterfronts daily - the natural environment is subject to change without notice.
  • When choosing a site for fishing, always consider safety factors. Because fishing is practiced in a variety of environments, evaluate factors specific to safety in each environment.
  • Weather is always a factor. Set up a weather committee or rotate weather forecasting responsibilities. Carry a transistor National Weather Service radio. Hear thunder? Leave the water quickly.
  • Always wear footgear appropriate to the conditions.
  • Stay dry, warm, and protected from the elements. Wear a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Wear thin layers of clothing, and progress outward to include water and wind protection as the final layer.
  • Use appropriate insect protection measures, including dressing properly and using repellents.
  • Keep fishing knives sharp and cover the blade when not in use.
  • Handle fish carefully.
  • Use safety glasses at all times when casting.
  • Establish and enforce firm rules for behavior around hooks.

*Source: Matthews, B.E. (1998). Fishing. In N.J. Dougherty IV (Ed.), Outdoor Recreation Safety (pp. 247 - 257), School and Community Safety Society of America.

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