Catch-22, SEKI style

posted Aug 17, 2016, 7:17 AM by Paul Wagner

When we picked up our permit in Grant Grove, the SEKI ranger gave us a sheet of regulations, including one that prohibited fires above 9,000 feet.  And that same flyer prohibited keeping any native fish like trout below 9,000 feet.  The flyer did not mention brown or brook trout (not native) or golden trout (often not found below 9,000 feet--and thought P caught some golden/rainbow hybrids at about 7,500 feet in the Roaring River.)

So you could keep the fish, and not make a fire, or make a fire, but not keep any fish.  Hmmmm.  P quickly developed a plan to camp at exactly 9,000 feet.  He would fish upstream and keep a couple of trout, then go downstream enough to where it was legal to make a fire to cook them...just kidding. 

Ranger Cindy explained her interpretation of those rules, and we ended up keeping two nice fish, and cooking them over our backpacking stove in a little pan, in oil and butter, and fileting them over couscous.  Delicious.  

As Cindy noted:  "I am concerned about good wilderness practices.  Don't keep any fish you won't eat.  And don't make a fire unless it's in an existing fire ring (we didn't see any...BTW).  Leave no trace, but eat a few fish if you catch a couple of nice ones."