Lately, Iíve been walleye fishing. I donít own a boat. I fish from shore. I usually go out in the morning for a couple of hours. I do so about three or four times during the week.
Iíve been told that the limit for walleye is eight fish per day. They should not be below 12 inches in length, and you can only keep one over 22 inches. Anyway, those are the rules that I have obeyed.
For me though Ė I throw back any walleye under 14 inches. Why? I donít believe thereís enough meat on such small fish to warrant filleting it. I release these fish to give them a chance to grow larger. Someone might catch it in a year or two at a far greater size.
Iíve observed that not everyone knows these rules or obeys them.
I have a Discovery Pass. It costs me $30 per year. It allows me to legally park in designated areas that are maintained by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington State Department of National Resources. I display the pass by hanging it on the mirror over the dash when I leave the vehicle. The revenue generated from the Discover Pass is used by these agencies to make up the loss of general fund money that has been cut from the state budget.
Iíve noticed that not everyone who parks in these areas will display a Discovery Pass.
One thing that really bothers me is litter. I do not understand how fishermen can leave cigarette butts, bird nests of fishing line, plastic food wrappers, cans and bottles behind in the very spots that they use to fish.
I try to remember to take a piece of litter with me when I return from a fishing spot.
Genesis 1:26, from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: ďThen God said, ĎLet us make humankind†in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,†and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.íĒ
I view an aspect of ďdominionĒ as a call to act responsibly. I wish more people would view it the same way and act accordingly.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.