Meet the $70,000 Fish

In Chris Dorsey’s latest fly fishing piece for Forbes Magazine, he dives into the economic side of catch-and-release fly fishing, focusing on the Silver Ghost of the Flats, the Bonefish. As fisheries and their economic values are studied more and more, the true value of C&R and each individual bonefish is becoming more and more glaringly obvious.

According to the Forbes piece, “In one Florida study, each bonefish was valued at $3,500 annually or more than $70,000 over the 20-year average lifespan of a bonefish—the worth derived from the median expenditure of visiting bonefish anglers.”

Think about that the next time you’re watching drone footage of a congregating school of 1,000 bones. If the Florida study’s math is correct, that’s roughly $3.5 million worth of fish to the local fishing guides and communities.

The article is well worth a read for any flats angler passionate about conserving flats species for generations to come.

You can read Dorsey’s full article here, and we’ll leave you with this quote, which perfectly describes what happens to anglers when they encounter Bones for the first time:

“When a fly fisherman hooks a bonefish for the first time, he undergoes a transformation, as if some dormant genes are suddenly awakened, perhaps an atavistic memory from a previous life as an osprey. When I hooked my inaugural bonefish, watching it deform my rod and torture my reel, I wanted to put my trout books and art prints in boxes and start anew. Some convert to Catholicism, others become Methodists and a few evolve from trout streams to become flats fishermen. Once baptized by a bonefish, I never looked upon Montana trout waters quite the same way again.”

Read the full Forbes article, here!


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