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When catching and releasing trout, keep in mind the following points to maximize their chances of survival upon release:
Section #1


  • Fish with single, debarbed hooks; if appropriate use circle hooks.
  • Have appropriate tools for hook removal on hand, i.e. suitable plyers and a wire cutter and cut the line or hook if the fish is deeply hooked as this does less damage (Tsuboi et al, 2006).
  • If you use a net, make sure it is fish-friendly; either with rubber or knotless mesh.
Section #2


  • Minimize fight time as recovery is quicker, the shorter the amount of time spent playing the fish (Thorstad et al, 2003).
  • Keep handling and air exposure time to a minimum (Ferguson et al, 1992).
  • When handling trout for photos, or during release, ensure your hands are always wet and that the fish is properly supported by putting one hand just behind the gills on the body and the other supporting the soft belly region.
  • Release fish gently and wait until they are ready to swim off on their own.
By following these guidelines to the best of your ability you can directly help our fisheries by returning more trout to their environment and providing more opportunity for other anglers.
Section #3

The Science Behind the Story

The information presented is based on a years of research by experts in the field. Here you can find a list of the references relevant to Trout and we encourage you to read them to learn more.

Physiological effects of brief air exposure in exhaustively exercised rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): implications for" catch and release" fisheries

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynskrus mykiss) which were air exposed for 60 s after exhaustive exercise initially had a march larger extracellular acidosis than trout which were only exercised. In both groups, however, plasma pH returned to normal by 4 h. Blood lactate concentrations were also greater in the air-exposed fish and continued to increase throughout the experiment.

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Effects of hook and release on Atlantic salmon in the River Alta, northern Norway

The purpose of the study was to collect information on angling procedures and the effects of hook and release on Atlantic salmon in the River Alta, northern Norway, covering both grilse and multi-sea-winter salmon in a non-artificial setting with real anglers.

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Fate of deep-hooked white-spotted charr after cutting the line in a catch-and-release fishery

Using wild white-spotted charr (Salvelinus leucomaenis) as a model, we investigated the effects of cutting the line and leaving the hook embedded in deeply hooked fish in a multiple catch-and-release experiment. Ten fishing episodes involving 415 tagged fish (fork length range: 96–311 mm) were conducted at weekly intervals. A total of 735 captures (1.8 times per fish), 88 captures were deep-hooked and released by cutting the line.

Read at publisher's site