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.
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.