Alan, couldn't agree with you more. The last thing any angler or fishery owner wants is badly handled and damaged fish. Its down to fishery owners and responsible anglers like us, to educate others as much as possible.
Catch and release is great as most anglers will return the trout to the water if they are allowed,i agree with u all its great if uknow how to do it,,the best idea i have seen is at home here in ireland in a certain fishery,the manager will bring the client out and wait for him to catch a trout and show the client how to properly catch and release the trout,,the only thing is that the trout get very wary after being caught and returned several times.this in my opion could ruin a fishery and in some cases the trout are uncatchable,in the same fishery as imentioned above the manager will feed the trout as it is only a small pound twice a day ,not at the same time each day though,to encourage the fish to feed and get them up off the bottom,,a great idea in my opinion,but thats all it is,,what do u think.
Denis, great idea to observe new anglers, however it may be difficult to put into practice on the busier fisheries.
As for the fish becoming uncatchable. Most of the trout fisheries I fish give the angler a choice of taking a limit and then catch and release. Once you have caught your limit you have to return to the lodge, submit your return and then you can go back to the lake. I must admit that the catch and release doesn't affect these waters as they probably only get returned once or twice at most and are well stocked. I am only referring to the small waters I fish and I am sure it may be different at others. One other area which I feel is good with some fisheries - Sporting tickets. These tend to be much cheaper and this hopefully, means that it brings new and young anglers onto the bank. Again we have to ensure that they are shown the correct way to treat fish.
On similar subject - returning salmon - surely this has got to become more commonplace if our declining salmon stocks are to recover??
It's now quite a while since I fished stillwaters regularly though C&R was commonplace as a practise up here in the North West when I moved off stillwaters and onto rivers.
I found no real evidence that fish had become harder to catch and subsequent years spent on rivers where C&R is the norm have done nothing to dispel this concept either trout still get caught..
As for salmon uyes it is inevitable that C&R will become the norm for many years to come if we ever hope to have a sustainable crop in the future