Why Should We Practice Catch-and-Release
Why Catch and Release?
Catch-and-release has been used as a conservation tool in the United Kingdom for well over 100-years. Here in North America it still faces resistance in some circles. Although this resistance usually comes from those with little angling experience, it is troubling that it exists at all. Conservationists in North America have been advocating catch-and-release since the early 1950s. As a fisheries management tool it has no equal. Self-imposed for the most part, it is vital to the future of fishing. Some of our most famous fisheries wouldn’t exist without anglers willing to forego the legal limits. Henry’s Fork, Delaware, and Roaring Fork rivers, are perfect examples.
Best Catch-and Release Practices
While there are a number of factors that contribute to the success of catch-and-release; none are more important than using the proper equipment. Fish that are allowed to fight to the point of exhaustion are much less likely to survive. We all like hooking fish that peels line and break water. That’s perfectly acceptable, as long as the fish is not fought to the point of exhaustion. The easiest way to ensure this doesn’t happen, is to avoid super light tackle.
Taking pictures of your catch is another factor that can effect mortality rates. Here at Grizzly Creek Lodge the vast majority of fish are released without ever being touched. When we do take pictures we handle fish with care, and never keep them out of the water for more than a few seconds. Having cameras turned on and ready, before a fish is taken out of the water really speeds things up.
Single barbless hooks greatly facilitate catch-and-release fishing. Circle hooks are even better. The chief advantage of this hook is that fish are almost never hooked deep. Circle hooks will almost always hook fish in the mouth, making them much easier to remove. Commercial fishermen have been using them for years because of this.
When applied properly catch-and-release is the best conservation tool anglers have. Practicing it, will ensure sustainability of this precious resource for generations to come. More great information on catch-and-release can be found here: http://www.catchphotorelease.com/cpr.htm