Of course its true any fishing removes fish, but the point being made by several posters (and look at the reports from other areas - they are all the same) at this time of year the majority of fish caught (often the vast majority - (80%+) are undersized and have to be returned. There are lots of studies on mortality, and its estimated sport caught mortality on release is about 12% short term, and another 5% in delayed mortality. And that is assuming the fish are handled properly, I'm sure there are lots that are close to size that get to flop around on deck for a while to be measured, and not every fisherman handles their undersized fish optimally. So for every 5 shakers you catch there is probably at least 1 that doesn't make it assuming you handle them with care. This means there is a lot more overall mortality right now than later in the season when most catches are above the size limit, and therefore less shakers are returned. The mature fish are already targetted when they are returning to spawn, so its not an either or situation.