Re: Fishing at McGuire Lake going to be missed, in the Salmon Arm Observer July 11 edition.
In his letter, Mike Saul acknowledges that his family has hooked four painted turtles while fishing, but I’m not sure of his reason for confessing to this. Is it that hooking turtles is just an unpleasant side effect of fishing? Something to be reluctantly tolerated if fishing is to be encouraged in places like McGuire Lake?
Or, if it that it doesn’t really much matter, since the hooked turtles were all “returned unharmed?”
If so, it would be useful to have some factual evidence to verify this “unharmed” claim. Seems to me that a fish hook in the turtle’s mouth, plus the stress of the ordeal, is bound to manifest itself in some kind of negative manner, either at the time, or, more likely, over the ensuing days.
As to his comparison between protecting turtles from fishermen and protecting them from passing ambulances — it was tough to coax even a bit of logic out of that analogy.
Maybe, as Mr. Saul claims, “millions” of Europeans do participate in catch-and-release programs. I suspect the purpose of this comment is to suggest that it is all harmless fun, and not worthy of further fuss. But, there is hard evidence suggesting that the mortality rate for fish caught and released is far higher that would appear on first consideration.
This whole McGuire Lake fishing issue has been a tad discouraging for those who oppose the all-too-prevalent attitude that some lesser creatures exist solely for the amusement of human beings. Whatever, I’m with Tom Crowley. I’m glad this McGuire Lake “experiment” has been terminated.