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A few folks from overseas asked for Sturdy's formula tabulation for large BC steelhead. Assuming the data tabulated in metric units would be useful, I expanded the XL spreadsheet to include metric data.

If you want a copy, please send email address.

The first draft of the formula is:

[Metric] Sturdy's Formula: Weight (kg) = (G))(G)(L) / 27000 (Girth & Length in cm)
 

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TAPE MEASURES IN A C&R FISHERY?

This talk of measuring fish and calculating formulae in a C&R steelhead fishery sounds like Ernest Hemingway after three scotches too many, arguing the horn lengths of the dead kudus he has stacked up outside the tent.

The regulations in a C&R fishery specifically state that fish should be returned immediately and unharmed to the water. Anyone who wraps a tape measure around the belly of a fish that's gagging on lactic acid is contravening not only the spirit of the regulations but is placing undue stress on the fish.

And the tape measure guys always seem to have a digital camera that follows in close pursuit behind the measurement taking. I've even seen them take turns with the picture taking and the hero shots. In the pub that evening they pride themselves in how long it took to revive their fish "because it fought so hard".

Isn't it enough to call a fish "mid to upper teens" or "low to mid twenties"?

Carl Mauser got bragging rights only because he brought the rock down. The rest of us should just shut up and dream.

I respectfully suggest that in a C&R steelhead fishery, the tape measure should be left behind in the tool box where it belongs.
 

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Not out of the Water

You can use the tape without taking the fish out of the water. You can also do the shots with the fish in the water, focus on the fish.

I have had absolutely no problems quickly reviving fish after taping.
 

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Marcetic,

It is rare for me to read anything in this great forum that genuinly upsets me. Your entry on cath&release certainly is an exception!

I personally catch&release hundreds of Atlantic salmons each season. Some years I at least get to catch a few steelheads. With guides, without guides or sometimes together with fishery biologists when running radio telemetry test.

I take great pride in setting the fish off in best possible condition, after having faught it as hard and quick as possible. To my best knowledge a quick measurement and a photo DO NOTHING WHATSOEVER in regards to minimazing the life expectancy of the given fish.

Last year we radiotagged 30 individals on the Kharlovka river (Russia) after having caught them on the fly. These fishes went through large numbers of tests and a even had a transmittor attached on them. I would guuess the handling time was 5 times longer than a normal quick release. All this happened in June. On the last reading in early October ALL 30 WHERE THRIVING, with some even being past the spawning.

A comment like yours only takes the fun out of most fishermens proudest moments. It also makes any reasonbly accurate logbook impossible.

Really, I wounder why you fish at all when being so worried about putting the fish in distress? A normal 1-2 minutes fight per pound cerainly is far more questionable than a few quick measurements and a snapshot.

Per Stadigh
 

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SCIENCE AND C&R

Per-

Your points are well taken. My post was not designed to upset anyone but to make people at least stop and think how they conduct themselves on the river in pursuit of their sport.

Just for historical perspective, I was trained as a fishery biologist. My responsibilities over the years included trapping fish, drugging fish, cutting off a fin or two. All for science.

Back in the late seventies while pretending I was a fishing bum up in British Columbia I caught lots of fish on flies. From some of them I took scale samples and stuck spaghetti tags in their backs. Why? I was trained to do these things and when asked for my assistance by several friends of mine who were fish techs on the Skeena and its tribs, I could not refuse them.

Just for the record I did not particularly enjoy injecting orange plastic strips into the meat of their beautiful backs. But then again, it was in pursuit of science, nicht wahr?

I justified that sort of fish abuse because of my training. I was trained to believe that collecting good solid scientific data is the foundation of sound fisheries management. At the time there were also radio tags stuffed down their gullets which were used to determine fish movements in the river systems. I left that to the experts.

But wrapping a tape measure around the belly of every fish one catches while pursuing one's sport? Please. I've seen ten pound fish flopping in the mud just so some guy could get his numbers right so he could perform his devastatingly accurate math calculations back at the lodge.

"It's ten pounds", I said to one of them, tapping him gently on the shoulder. "No, way!", said he. "For damn sure it'll go twelve!".

His face, spattered with mud, had a messianic twist to it that was downright scary.

If the fish is that big or that memorable and your intent is purely sport, why not lay your rod down next to the fish and measure the rod later after you've turned the fish loose?

The "girth"? It was designed to carry milt and roe up to the spawning gravel. The slime that covers that girth was meant to be left intact on the scales so as to guard against fungus and scratches from rocks. And to protect that precious cargo inside for the miraculous journey home.
 
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