Please Practice Catch And ReleaseAll of us here at Lake-Link love the sport of angling just as you do. However, the future of this precious resource is in all of our hands to protect for future generations. Below is some great information on how you can help be a responsible angler.
Catch & Release Guidelines
These guidelines are generic but remembering them will give all species of fish a greater chance of survival. A fish is too valuable to be caught and enjoyed only once, be responsible.
Use barbless hooks or circle hooks (especially when bait fishing), or pinch the barb flat with pliers. If you use a net, use one made of cotton mesh or rubber. It is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes. Only net your fish if it is the only way to control it. Wet your hands when handling fish. Dry hands and gloves will remove its protective mucous (slime) coating and scales. These protective layers help prevent infection by waterborne disease. Do not beach a fish or let it flop around the deck of the boat.
Try not to remove the fish from the water. If you must, be quick and gentle, do not squeeze the fish. Do not hold the fish near the gills or eyes (Pike, Muskie, Snook, etc.) Needle nose pliers, hemostats, de-hookers etc., will speed up the removal of a deep set hook.
To revive the fish, hold it under the belly and by the tail, keep it in an upright position underwater, do not move the fish back and forth** (this is also a good time to get a measurement and take a photo). If you are fishing in a river or stream, hold the fish facing the current. Be patient and give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.
The most important survival factors are:
Always use the heaviest line possible for each species of fish. Again: the longer you fight a fish, the more lactic acid is built up, the more exhausted it becomes, the greater the chance it will not survive. This is particularly true when fishing large saltwater species such as billfish.
**There is a currently difference in opinion amongst the experts about whether or not to move the fish back and forth when reviving.
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