Catch and release is a discipline that will not only save our precious angling resources but increase them for the benefit of future generations. You cannot have your cake and eat it too; neither can you kill everything you catch and expect the resource to last.
Still, some fish species are so prolific that killing a limited number has no effect on the population. Harvesting a small percentage of some species actually increases average size by reducing the number of individuals competing for limited food.
Panfish represent a nearly unlimited resource. Some saltwater species, such as mackerel, are underutilized (according to the 1992 report on the status of U.S. living marine resources put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce). These species are here for us to catch . . . and eat, if we wish. Some remote areas have tremendous populations of stunted brook trout. If you find such a place, nobody will fault you for killing a few for the pan. To that end, here are some classic Maine fish recipes.