Coronavirus and keeping fish

Each and every spring, thousands of people find spawning runs of a variety of fish species to optimize their fishing pleasure as well as to fill the freezer or simply enjoy a fresh meal or two of fillets. In my case, walleye is the target and they are usually plentiful. For several years, I have been successful of keeping only males for the table and releasing all females to ensure the future of the fishery.

Well, with my grocery stores being mainly empty due to the Coronavirus panic, when that first small female fish came over the rail of the boat, it went straight into the livewell. Water temps are still very cold in the north and any fish at this point is a blessing and having the ability to bring home food that I can no longer buy was met with a smile on my face. Afterwords, there was some guilt in keeping that female, even though not a large fish.

What are you guys doing in this circumstance? Are you keeping females to feed your families if necessary? Are you keeping species that you normally would not keep? Are you keeping smaller panfish than you normally would keep? Just curious how others are crossing this hurdle and how you have dealt with the repercussions.


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