I went camping with my daughter and brother this last weekend. It was beautiful up there, really beautiful. Huge bonus… there are trout. Lots and lots of trout.
This trip I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I harvested a couple trout. They were hatchery trout, made to be taken out of the stream they were dumped into. Still, these were good looking trout. They were bigger than a fish in that water should really be and they were clumped up together in the way hatchery trout do. I took both trout out of the same pocket about 2 feet from one another.
My daughter was there. She’d never seen me kill anything other than spiders. She was a little cavalier about it and I had to try to get across the seriousness of what I was doing. I talked to her about having respect for the fish, for the life I/we were taking. I don’t know if she got it or not, but it was an important conversation.
I remember, as a kid, maybe her age, opening up the stomach of a young steelhead, a half-pounder (we don’t harvest steelhead anymore), and having my dad tell me what the different organs were and showing me what the fish had been eating. I remember that well.
I don’t know if the same messages were passed down or if I did it as well (um… is that the liver?), but it was something important to do.
So, thank you trout, for your life.