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Ethics of Fish Porn


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We're doing Lac Seul this September, primarily to chase Musky. We were having a few pops and discussing the logistics of the trip...when the subject of photography came up. This is a "100 % Catch & Release " Musky fishery...and the reg's state that fish must be "IMMEDIATELY  RELEASED" So....is it legal/moral/ethical to take a quick photo of a 50 inch beauty ?

In terms of protecting the resource, ideally the fish should never leave the water.  Does hoisting the fish up for a photo still make the release immediate ? How about other fish that can't be retained ? an out of season fish ? a fish out of the slot size ? a snagged fish ? Should you take photos of those ?

What is legal and what is ethical may be different things.

The OMNR  opinion:

https://oodmag.com/qa-can-take-picture-caught-fish-closed-season/

My apologies if this already has been hashed out on this site...

 

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For Muskie I let the fish decide if a picture gets taken.  Too tired and no pic.  
for out of season I don’t take a pic because it’s not what I’m targeting. 
I don’t take a lot of fish pics.  I already know what they look like. 
 

good luck on your trip.  

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The way it is written in the regs now you can not take a photo of a fish out of season including catch and release season

you can not take a photo of a fish that can not be kept because of slots size or length restrictions 

however the reg mean you can’t pose for a photo nor take time to take a photo, so if your buddy takes your photo while you are unhooking it or releasing it your should be fine.   Don’t look at the camera

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OOS fish isn't the same as an open season fish with no possession limit.    OOS fish goes back immediately.  Wanna take a pic with your 50in beauty that's in season but has a 0 possession limit?  All good. 

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This is literally a topic without an actual clear answer from the MNR. 
 

to date I have not heard of a single concern expressed by the MNR as it relates to taking photos of large musky caught.

for greater certainty consider the fact that in Georgian bay the possession length for a musky is 54+ inches and only for sport license carriers. Which truthfully means that 99.9% of the musky photos you have seen taken of fish caught in Georgian bay are “illegal” by definition. 
 

where this gets even more grey is that the MNR actually did release a statement as it related to the zone 20 pre spawn bass season where they clearly indicated that taking photos of catches during the 0 possession season is unlawful. The main reason for this was that tournament directors immediately inquired regarding the legalities of an MLF style catch, measure, photo, release tournaments during the period. The MNR quickly shot the idea down. (Rightfully so)

here’s my personal take, OOS fish don’t count, don’t bother taking photos of them. My “pb” laketrout isn’t my pb, I caught it bass fishing, I promptly unhooked the thing and sent it home back to spawn. 
 

fish are in season but have slot sizes/convoluted possession limits? Take a picture with your 50 inch musky no one is going to say a peep. 
 

The MNR makes a specific reference to a species in a specific season, adhere to their rules. 

 

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Yes....very murky.

We fished eastern Lake O this April during the new early spring Catch & Release Bass season. We caught a lot of hog 21+ inch Smallies ...including some 23's that were definitely PB's for us. My understanding was that the OMNR explicitly stated "NO PHOTOS" when they announced the new reg's.

However, there are countless photos of Lac Seul Muskies being hoisted up in a classic "grip and grin" photo...obviously being posed for the camera...not in the process of being released. A lot of these photos are from guides, lodges, outfitters, etc available online for anyone to view. Are they all evidence of "illegal activity" ? Like the early season Bass in FMZ 20....Lac Seul Muskies are strictly Catch & Release...

What's the difference ? 

About as clear as mud...

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Same pathetic effort from the MNR. Like most government agencies I believe they mostly drink coffee and plan their strategy for the next pay negotiations. Productive work, not so much.

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My take is if you want a photo of an illegal fish take it but don’t post it to Facebook, It’s a damn photo of a damn fish

 

but the law is the law  and Muskie is no different then any other fish

to me the law is clear, it is illegal 

Immediate Release of Fish – All fish that are caught unlawfully or are illegal to possess
(e.g., during the closed season, prohibited size, exceed the catch and possession limits) must be immediately released at the place and time of capture. This includes fish that may be injured during catch. This rule does not apply to invasive species (e.g., goby), which should be destroyed and not released back into any waters

and that is that  , use whatever moral compass you want 

 

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If I want a picture of a fish, I go ahead and take it.  As Terry mentioned, I don’t post it to social media or forums so that someone can try and string me up.  I also don’t muck about with half dead fish that can’t afford time out of the water for me to pose for pictures.  In all things in life, being sensible is key!

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If you are really worried about fish health high stick them near the boat. Smallmouths, steelhead/rainbows and even large mouths (sometimes) and pike will release themselves by flipping off.  For me the best safest release comes by using a Boga Grip. It gently lips the fish allowing you to remove the hook often without lifting the fish out of the water. Saves out of water time and does not remove protective slime coat as well. The Boga is really gentle on the fishes mouth i don't know about other fish grips because I only have experience with the Boga Grip.

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I think it's been hashed out on every site lol.  The verdict is that if the fish is OOS -  the internet doesn't want to see it. 

 

Slot fish have to be released immediately too.   How do you know if it's a slot fish if you can't take a second to measure it?  

 

I'd bet all the Lac Seul guides let there clients take pics. 

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