For The People’s Paper: Keep ’em Wet to Conserve Mat-Su’s Resident Fish

Originally posted on March 8, 2017

Last month I read a Facebook post by Keepemwet Fishing encouraging me to sign up for their newsletter. I clicked, explored the website, and was inspired to share their three principles for catch and release fishing.

Around the same time, I reread research on resident species in the Susitna River drainage. The research included depressing results in regards to deformities of rainbow trout in Willow and Montana Creeks due to catch and release fishing.

With these two reads in my mind, I wrote Keep ’em Wet to Conserve Mat-Su’s Resident Species.

A reader pointed out that the research I reference has been published. If you fish Susitna River tributaries, I recommend you read Seasonal movements and habitat use of rainbow trout in the Susitna River basin, southcentral Alaska  by Kevin Fraley.

Keep ’em Wet to Conserve Mat-Su’s Resident Fish

March is my favorite winter month. The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising and it’s prime time for most outdoor winter activities. But March also means our long winter will soon be over, and for many Alaskans like me, that means one thing – fishing season.

During winter, we prepare for this time, hunched under task lamps in garages, spare rooms and kitchen tables, by tying tens and even hundreds of flies. It’s a hobby that requires patience, attention to detail and creativity. The flies are made of feathers and synthetic material designed to mimic smolt, sculpin and leeches. They come in all colors and patterns, and at the end of winter, a fly fisher can amass quite an arsenal. My wife recently remarked, “You sure do have a lot of flies. You should go fishing more so you lose some.” Those are words I thought I’d never hear.

Read the rest of the story here