Trout are food. Yes, we can eat them, but we do not. Why? Simply stated, we are in the know. The value of a trout in a river system is more than on a plate. For those who do not know, the trout is a measure of pride and the value is on a plate as a source of “free food”. They aren’t remotely free. Allow me to explain…
For the frugal fisherman lucky to be within a $20 gas run of trout, will also spend $10 per trip on bait. Is that all? Nope. How bout another $10 on food, $10 on misc equip (bobbers and hooks), and $5 to get into a state park. That’s $55 dollars per trip. This isn’t including the money the frugal person lost by calling in sick on a “hot” fishing day. But the cost doesn’t end there, the fisherman also has to spend $35 on a license and $20 on a “fishin’ pole”. I’m leaving tackle boxes and trout towels out of the equation entirely because, if the frugal fisherman fishes every weekend, he is already spending $2,915 per year. If this fisherman catches his limit every time he fishes (which would never happen), he would have 510 fish averaging about 1/2lb each. That’s 255lbs of fish in a year. Heck, let’s say he was lucky and caught 1lb fish all year. That’s 510lbs…
His grand total per pound of fish is $5.72. FIVE DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-TWO CENTS!!!! PER POUND!!!! FOR TROUT!?!?!? Are you crazy???
It does not end there either. Oh no, because the frugal fisherman has no idea that it costs the state roughly $1 per trout to stock “catchable” trout. I’m not even including post-stocking dead loss and both summer and winter kill. On top of that, clubs and the federal and state governments spend about $2,300,000 per year (situational) on habitat restoration to help these feeble trout survive the harsh conditions of New Mexico. Let’s say that $2M supports (more than likely only 500,000, but we are going full benefit of the doubt here) 1M fish, that is another $2 per fish. This brings the grand total to $8.72 per pound of hatchery raised “wild” trout. Is this guy actually frugal?
Get a clue. Buy direct from the store (identical to hatchery fish) and save $5 per pound.
If you made it through this and you are “that guy”, I hope you understand the real reason you fish. You aren’t fishing to save money. Truth be told, we wouldn’t need hatcheries and restoration projects if we all cared about the places we fish. Just my honest opinion.
Side note: Stop blaming the muskies for eating all of “your trout” if you are also eating all of “your trout”. Let’s all be more productive and start blaming other fishermen who are incapable of self-regulation. (Extra credit: the average human consumes 600% of their body weight per year. Muskies, 120%. Tell me again, who eats everything in sight?)