Many of us, myself included, did not realize how important it is to properly handle fish that are to be returned to the water. Thanks to my good friend Mister Butch Ayala, FWC biologist, for providing valuable information on
'Properly handling fish to be released.'
Handling Fish Properly
By adopting just a few simple habits, recreational
anglers can greatly increase the chances that the
fish they catch and release will survive, meaning
each and every saltwater angler can positively
influence the future of Florida’s fishing stocks by
striving for 100 percent survival of released fish.
• Handle fish as little as possible and only with wet
hands – never with a towel.
It's okay to take a picture of a fish if it
needs to be briefly taken out of the
water to measure it vent it,
or remove the hook!
But support the weight of the
fish HORIZONTALLY and safely return
it to the water as quickly as possible.
• Avoid lifting a
fish by its jaw,
fish. This can injure the fish so it can’t feed
normally and/or harm its internal organs.
• If a hook is deep in a fish’s throat or stomach, cut
the line as close as possible to the hook – the
hook will eventually dissolve inside the fish. Bob H
Hi Bob H.
Very valid points mate, and many thanks. Still amazes me the amount of times Boga Grips are used on a fish as well, particularly some very large fish such as Tarpon etc. IMO no need to use them at all as they can do untold damage to any fish.
Another point worth remembering Bob is that when a fish is taken from the water for a photo or measurements its always an idea to try and support the fish as much as possible, after all most fish normally have the water supporting its internal organs, so makes sense to try and support the fish as much as possible when out of the water.
Simple things like making sure its belly is supported with hand and forearm if possible without digging in if at all possible and fingers well away from the gills internally.
We all like to see out catches close up, and at times a photo is a reminder of that special day, but handling should be kept to a minimum and wherever possible the fishes welfare be our main concern.
Thanks for some sound advice there Bob.
Last edited by Eleutherabound; 03-21-13 at 07:18 AM.