This 12-inch trout had two six-inch plastic lures in its stomach.

Little fish had a big appetite

And a reminder to all outdoorsmen that it is important to vote in Oct. 19 federal election

The photograph of the contents of this 12-inch trout’s stomach were too amazing to not tell my readers about. I caught this trout in Spider Lake about two weeks ago and I am still amazed that the fish was still feeding when it took my fly.

I am not familiar with these types of plastic lures, but my friends tell me they are common in bait hook-ups for bass. The baits were about the size of my little finger and each one, when opened out measured about six inches. The two of them together were about the same length as the trout – 12 inches. They were folded and held in the trout’s stomach and it was still feeding.

I have no idea how long the plastic material had been in the stomach cavity. The fish was caught fly casting from my anchored boat while using a  dark green #12 sedge pupae pattern and gave a good account of itself before it was netted. What struck me when the trout was netted was the size of the stomach – looked very pregnant; but the fish in this lake are sterilized. The picture tells the story.

• • •

Thoughts on the 2015 federal election to be held Oct. 19. Voting in a free democratic election is a right as a Canadian. It is an important duty as a citizen in a free society and as I write this column people are fighting for this right in many places throughout the world.

As fishers and hunters we have valid reasons to take part in the election to protect our self interests in many aspects of government regulations  and actions that impact on our fishing, hunting, conservation ventures and pursuits.

During the campaign I attended several meetings and while I found all of them interesting I was most impressed with the all-candidates meeting in the Sid Williams Theatre. Some of the issues that give importance to your duty as an outdoor person to make certain you vote are listed below in no particular order:

Marine Fisheries Over the past few years we have seen a major decline in the conservation, enforcement, research, and overall management of this precious resource and from a self interest point of view it should motivate you to vote.

Climate Change As illustrated by Fred Fern’s photos that appeared in this column a couple of weeks ago we have a warming climate throughout the Valley and the planet. Climate changes everything and  as hunters and fishers we have a vital interest in what is happening. I respectfully suggest you make voting a priority on this issue alone.

Firearms Registrations and possession issues – In all the meetings I attended as a hunter and firearms owner I felt under no threat from party statements.

Canada’s Freshwater When all the extractive resources are in decline or no longer important our freshwater will be one of our most valuables resources.  From a fishing and water use policy this is self evident; but when you vote think about the quality of the resource and our laws to protect its future. Canada is one of the richest countries on the planet when it comes to freshwater resources.

Science I can think of no other human speciality that puts us at the top of the tree of life as science does. I respectfully suggest good science is at the base of successful fish and wildlife programs – think about it when you vote.

Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.

 

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