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Muskies Inc. Statement on Forward-Facing Sonar

Category: News Release

 1 month ago by sworrall 

Modified 1 month ago at 1 month ago

Muskies Inc. Statement on Forward-Facing Sonar

Since its inception, Muskies Inc. (MI) has been an advocate for conservation. Protecting muskies and the environments they swim in has been the cornerstone of our organization. We pioneered the widely accepted practice of catch and release at a time when it was an unpopular concept and our chapters work tirelessly, every year, to enhance and protect our muskie waters.

Today, and into the future, with the advent of new electronic technology to target fish, forward-facing sonar (FFS) has introduced a new set of challenges for our fisheries and our organization. The concern is that this level of technology has tipped the scales too far in favor of the fisherman and made our fish, in certain situations, vulnerable to abuse. Over the past several months, anglers have repeatedly asked us to make statements on the subject.  We understand that this technology is here to stay, but we feel it is of the utmost importance to use it ethically.

“Fair Chase” is a concept that hunters have long promoted. This is a practice in that the hunter does not take game with an unfair advantage over the game animal. The same concept applies to muskie fishing. “Sharpshooting,” the practice of using live view, 360, or side scan to target individual muskie, should be considered unethical. The scope of “Fair Chase” will be debated, but refraining from “sharpshooting”, avoiding spawning fish, and the harassment of any fish that show no interest in eating is a starting point in protecting fragile muskie populations.

Muskies Inc. will continue to embrace the latest research for the protection of the fisheries. As results from studies on the effects of FFS become available, we will continue to formulate our stance on the subject. Until then, we strongly urge all anglers to use common sense, be responsible, and apply the spirit of “Fair Chase” when fishing.

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