Local fishermen encourage catch and release

PRIZED CATCH — Rodriguez and his son Mason holding up their catch of Walleye.

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest with a variety of species within the river – rising in the Rocky Mountains, then in the border of Oregon, the river empties out in the Pacific Ocean. Both the Columbia and Yakima Rivers are well-known areas for fishing.

“Fishing is a great sport to enjoy together with your family and friends,” said Jaime Rodriguez, a local fisherman from Sunnyside. “I have fished for almost everything from Salmon to Steelhead and now I fish Walleye, or what I like to call it, Columbia River gold.”

KC Flores, of Grandview, is also an avid fisher in the area. “As far as how long, I’d have to say a long time, but I’ve taken it a lot more seriously these last six or seven years,” Flores said when asked how long he has been fishing.

Flores’ typical place to fish is the Yakima River located around Prosser and Mabton for small and large mouth bass.

A known problem in the fishing community is the catch and release of larger fish. Both fishers agreed that the catch and release method of larger fish is necessary.

“I believe returning larger fish back to its ecosystem is very important. It’s what’s going to guarantee a strong ecosystem for my kids and generation after to enjoy the opportunity to fish and ‘rip some lips,’” Flores said.

Rodriguez also spoke on the issue, mentioning “Release the big girls and practice catch and release.”

Haley Rodriguez can be contacted at 509-837-4500 ext. 101 or email hrodriguez@sunnysidesun.com

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