Following the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission’s barbed hook ban on the Lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the Native Fish Society is launching its “Crush the Barb” campaign to expand the boycott—specifically to include all Oregon streams in the Columbia basin, as well as all coastal streams.
Via NFS: Barbed hooks cause a reduction in smolt numbers and adult returns. The loss of juvenile steelhead and salmon can negatively affect adult abundance several years later. Barbless hooks reduce injury and mortality for juvenile salmon and steelhead. It only makes sense to include juvenile fish protection as a benefit of barbless hook fisheries.
Do sports anglers really need to gain an advantage over already rapidly dwindling numbers of wild fish? The continued use of barbed hooks is no longer defensible.
If anglers are committed to reduced fish mortality then they must promote easy release and less handling time. Frankly, this also contributes to more angler satisfaction through multiple catches.
Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.