Fishing Etiquette

posted Feb 4, 2015, 2:17 PM by Paul Wagner
Got this question from one of our readers:

Love your blog and site.  Recently moved to Fresno after 10+ long years in barren West Texas and cannot wait to spend some good time up in the mountains. 

Question about fishing in bear country.  I mostly fished streams growing up, and always learned to throw the guts back in the stream or lake...but I've read so many different opinions about this, and it sounds like I've been doing it wrong.  If not in the water-- then where (especially in bear country).  I would love to know what precautions you take, from cleaning and cooking to your clothes.

Your thoughts are appreciated! 

Thanks so much.


We thought that this was a good enough question we would put it on our blog. 

Authorities in different jurisdictions have different answers for this one.  We've always been taught that when you are in the wilderness you should leave the guts along side a lake or river (far from camp, for obvious reasons) and let the wilderness scavengers eat them up.  We've done it that way for more than fifty years, and we've never seen the guts the next morning.  
We know that there are areas where the policy is to toss the guts into the river or stream...but we've seen too many of these white masses of dead flesh at the bottom of crystal clear lakes.  Unless we are specifically told otherwise, we'll continue to use the local wildlife to dispose of the fish guts!