as far as fish can be happy, i’m sure it was a happy fish. it lived in a beautiful, completely wild stream in the french Pyrenees mountains. it’s waters are clear and clean enough to drink, there’s an amazing variety of fauna and flora with lots of food to feed all the creatures that live in this little community. a quick look says thriving and a longer look says thriving very well.
like any size fish, this little fish was always hungry and constantly exploring this open air market in search of it’s next meal. one day it came upon an unfamiliar morsel. even though it had never seen one before it was just the right size, was undoubtedly an insect and probably smelled good. it might have wiggled, it looked yummy.
the little fish couldn’t hesitate ! and just gulped it down straight.
what the little fish didn’t know was there was a hook attached to this strange treat and the two of them went straight down deep in it’s belly. the yummy thing turned out to be a maggot. there was a piece of it stuck inside the little fish’s mouth when i inspected it.
what was also stuck in it’s mouth where a pretty large part of it’s own stomach and who knows what other vital organs of this beautiful little fish.
the poacher (fishing in trout waters with maggots as bait or chum is strictly forbidden) was faced with a couple of dilemmas. the fish was too small to legally keep, he can ditch the leftover maggots before going back home but he’s in big trouble should the warden catch him with an undersized trout. if they deem it appropriate, wardens can take all tackle and even the vehicle from poachers and they don’t get them back, and of course there’s a fine.
hooks that have gone into a stomach are basically impossible to remove but strangely enough, will often dissolve quickly being surrounded by gooey stomach acids and such if left alone. a lot of fish get out of this situation just fine. all it takes is to cut the the line and put the fish back in where it belongs. sounds weird but it’s true.
sad but true is, the poacher decided that a single, small, bare hook was more important than not only a single fish’s life but also all the other fish this little creature might have produced later on, perpetuating this little stream’s community, and decided to tear out the hook by force and throw the little fish back in the water to hide his act. it never had the chance to recover because that chance was denied.
this little fishy went to market but never came back.