Japanese native trouts are Iwana ( Japanese char ) and Yamame trout. These are favorite game fishes in Japan.
When I was a student, about twenty years ago, there were many trouts in rivers and I always enjoyed trout fishing. But elder anglers always said,
"We could get more trouts ten years ago."
In recent years the number and the size of trouts I fish have been getting smaller year by year. So I really have recognized that native trouts have been decreasing every year.
The reasons are below.
Japan is small islands. There are one hundred million people and twenty million anglers in Japan. The number of anglers was ten millions twenty years ago, and is increasing every year. They go fishing every weekend and keep some trouts.
Commercial fishing in fresh water is widely permitted. Fishermen do not catch trouts often. But they have fishery rights. Fishery cooporatives are their organazations. Rivers and lakes are managed by these. These are not public, but commercial. Most fishery cooperatives have no interest in protection of native trouts. These have much interest in stocking their rivers with bred trouts. Because stocking gathers many anglers, many fishing tickets are sold, and their income increases. Protection of native trouts makes no money.
Governments also do not concern in protection of native trouts. These may esteem fishermen's fishery rights.
So trout waters are not well controlled.
Japanese regulations of trout fishing are loose. Please see the page of regulations in this chapter. Many young trouts are overfished. Many fertile adult trouts are also killed. Then there remain few trouts in rivers and lakes.
Japanese are fish eater people. In old days Japanese did not eat animals often. Now our life styles are becoming western style. But Japanese get 40% of animal protein from fish today.Many anglers think taht it is nonsense to release trouts they catch. These are delicious food.
A few anglers claim that they should catch and release. But they have only an antipathy to claimers.
Bait fishing is traditionally common in Japan. Bait fishing is easier than fly and lure fishing. Bait fishing is effective to catch many trouts. Many trouts are fished with worms and insects.
Rivers and streams in the heart of mountains are sanctuaries of native trouts. Anglers can not invade there easily. Trouts born there will go down to villages and anglers can enjoy fishing.
But now many roads have been built in the heart of mountains. Anglers can invade and destroy sanctuaries. Road constructions make much earth and sand. These will fill pools of streams, and make streams muddy. Road constructions destroy nature.
We should not be gloomy. My hope is below.