Catch and Release Fishing: History
In the United Kingdom, catch and release have been done for more than a hundred years by coarse fishermen to stop target varieties from fading in very heavily fished waters. Since the end of the 20th century, many salmon and sea trout rivers have been transformed to complete or partial catch and release fishing
In the United States, catch and release were initially introduced as a control tool in the state of Michigan in 1952 as an attempt to reduce the cost of stocking hatchery-raised trout. Fishermen fishing for fun rather than for food trusted the idea of releasing the fish while fishing in so-called "no-kill" zones. Conservationists have supported catch and release fishing as a way to guarantee sustainability and to bypass overfishing of fish stocks. Lee Wulff, a New York-based fly angler, writer and filmmaker, advocated catch and release fishing as early as 1936 with the slogan "Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once." said Don Martinez, a West Yellowstone, Montana fly shop proprietor, promoted catch and release fishing in his 1930–40s newsletters sent to Eastern fishers.
In Australia, catch and release fishing caught on slowly, with some pioneers exercising it in the 1960s, and the practice gradually became more popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Catch and release fishing is now widely used to preserve—and indeed is critical in safeguarding—unprotected fish species like the large, long-lived native freshwater Murray Cod and the prized, gradually growing, massively fished Australian bass, heavily fished coastal varieties like Dusky Flathead and prized gamefish such as striped marlin.
In Ireland, catch and release fishing has been used as a protection tool for Atlantic salmon and sea trout fisheries since 2003. Several fisheries now have a mandatory catch and release regulations. Catch and release fishing for coarse fish has been practised by sport anglers for as long as these varieties have been fished for on this island. However, catch and release fishing for Atlantic salmon have required an enormous turn about in how many anglers viewed the salmon angling resource. To urge people to practice catch and release fishing in all fisheries, several government-led incentives have been implemented.
In Canada, catch and release fishing is mandatory for some varieties. Canada also demands, in some cases, the use of barbless hooks to promote release and minimize the risk of injury.
In Germany and Switzerland, catch and release fishing is deemed inhumane and is now forbidden. In Germany, the Animal Welfare Act declares that "no-one may cause an animal pain, suffering or harm without good reason". This gives no legal basis for catch and release fishing due to its argued intrinsic lack of "good reason", and thus individual fishing is solely allowed for direct consumption as food. Additionally, you would be breaking the law to release fish back into the river if they are higher than the minimum size specifications and aren't a protected species or in a closed season.
In 2011, Yellowstone National Park started reversing decades of law that promoted catch and release fishing and other methods that protected fish populations. In the name of local fish conservation, they began compulsory kill regulations on rainbow and brook trout in the Lamar River waste and encouraged unlimited catch and disposal of non-native species, including brown trout in some park waters.