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Catch & Release

In sports angling, catch and release has been practiced for decades in the US and even longer in the UK. It involves releasing fish that are caught, usually to prevent species from depleting due to heavy fishing. It ensures sustainability and prevents overfishing of fish stocks. Catch and release is, in fact, critical to conserve vulnerable species such as trout and salmon. In Canada the practice is mandatory and in some cases so is the use of barbless hooks to minimize injury to the fish. Often the use of barbless hooks helps the angler to release the fish while it is still in the water.


Survival rates of fish are high if they are handled properly, by reducing handling times, avoiding damage to the fish skin and scale and slime layers as well as to their throat ligaments and gills. Rubber-coated or lightweight mesh nets that are non abrasive help reduce damage to a fish that is thrashing. Placing the catch on a foam cushion and covering its eye with a wet cloth or gloved hand also helps to prevent the fish from battering itself. A growing number of sports anglers engage in catch and release today, well aware that it will help to save the environment and conserve threatened species.


Practice catch and release now.

(C&R logo credit: Milt Hirsh)

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