Ethical Angling

Catch and release fishing

Whether a regulation or a simply a preferred way of fishing - has been with us for a couple of generations now. And if we’re going to release the fish we catch, we’re obligated to do it with as little damage to the fish as possible. Here are some things to keep in mind

This means using the heaviest line or leader that is practical and putting as much pressure on the fish as you can. Most anglers err on the side of “being too careful,” and consequently take longer than necessary to land the fish and put more stress on the fish than necessary.

You’ll control the fish more quickly and can keep the fish and the net in the water while you unhook the fish. Then face the fish into the current in the net (if you’re in moving water) and let the fish swim out of the net.

A friend of ours makes a point of holding her breath when she takes a fish out of the water, and makes sure to put it back in the water before she has to take a breath.

Water holds less dissolved oxygen with increased temperature, and approximately 18 degrees C is a critical threshhold temperature for trout. They are stressed more and have a lower survival rate when caught and released at this temperature and above.

If the water is too warm where you intend to fish move upstream several miles to find more suitable conditions.

Perhaps nothing larger than #6 or #8 - This will reduce hooking damage. And use barbless hooks whether they are required by law or not. They’re easier to remove from a fish’s mouth and your fishing partner’s neck.

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  • Jonathon Wescott
    published this page in Resources 2023-06-09 16:09:34 -0600