What do you all do with the fish guts, heads and tails? A fishery biologist I know says to just put them up on the bank out of sight and animals will get them in a few days. I usually have a fire to cook fish, so try to burn what I do not eat. Someone else says throw them way out into the water so bears are not attracted. I am not sure there is one answer. I certainly would not throw guts back into the water in a heavily used area, but in an area that may get one or two people per year, maybe that is OK.
WD It depends, many areas have regulations telling you what to do. Some Places require fish guts to disposed of in the water, some prohibit it. If buried it will be dug up. I think burning it is a good idea to reduce the weight and smell of the left overs. In a good fire it will completely burn. In high use areas a garbage can is the correct thing, in true wilderness it depends on regulations, but removing protein from high altitude lakes maybe requires returning the guts and head to the environment. Ideas? Oh Yes, I encourage my friends not to bring fish especially canned smoked salmon into bear areas. Eating fish is ok as long as you aren't living off golden trout...
I notice that areas of high camping use have more chipmunks and golden mantled ground squirrels. Like city parks, the animal population in these areas gets a lot of food from humans. If that food source was cut off, a lot of animals would die. I've heard that urban raccoon populations can be three times higher per square mile than in a natural raccoon population in the woods somewhere. So its sort of complex, others will have more to say... Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
A number of years ago this question was asked. At that time there was some discussion about the hazards of disposing fish guts back into the water. I can't remember the exact disease that was spread by such practice or the specific area of the country it pertained to. Anybody recall this conversation? the name of the disease? the geographic area of concern?