Underwater photography and fish protection

It is difficult to fully understand the underwater world. For the most part, we are left with a glimpse of a dark figure sliding between rocks in the river, a speck on a screen from a depth / fish finder, or maybe we can actually land a fish and for a quick “grip and grin”, before he was released back into his mysterious domain.

Underwater photography can help us get a better grip on the big, wet picture. To view a fish on its own terms, underwater photography requires special equipment and great patience. Some fishing shows manage to capture and record video by mounting divers or underwater video cameras on sticks or dragging them in front of baits.

With this unique perspective, we can improve our understanding of this environment by looking at, for example, vegetation type and concentration, substrate particle size, submerged structures, relative fish densities, and other species they may be associated with.

We can use this information to support fishing practices and monitor how sustainable the fishery is. Well-known underwater photographer Eric Engbretson, for example, has noticed a surprising decrease in the size of panfish.

“I spend 70 to 90 days a year in lakes to take fish pictures. That’s a lot of time underwater where I see a lot of fish. In an average year, in dozens of different lakes, I may only see one or two 12-inch bluegills per year. They are so rare. “

He also said fish managers in the Wisconsin Lakes have noticed this decline in the numbers of larger panfish. One possible reason is the pressure on the “size structure” due to the continued angler’s preference for mainly the largest panfish. Based on this information, the fisheries managers are constantly tweaking regulations to maximize the enjoyment of anglers while keeping the fish population healthy and sustainable.

Technology is now helping us see fish, not just from the water. We no longer have to rely on an artist’s interpretation. These images help us to fully appreciate and thus protect all things underwater. Underwater photography not only helps the water get the attention it deserves, but it also stimulates the viewer to become more involved with the activities of fishing and boating, which helps protect and preserve our fisheries and waterways. The best way to be part of the movement is to make sure you have a fishing license.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating from OSU with a degree in zoology, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and Michigan.

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