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Thread: Catch and Release Question...

  1. #1
    Member AF EOD's Avatar
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    Post Catch and Release Question...

    Up for discussion...

    Let's say you are fishing for a large salmon species (Kings/Silvers...) and your freezer is already full. You just want to experience the fun and comraderie of an Alaskan fishing adventure with your family/friends. It's time to practice good catch and release to ensure the future of the run.

    Assume a few points: Use barbless single hooks if possible, keep them in the water the whole time or to the max extent, face them upriver till they recover, etc...


    Which is a better option:

    Use a net and strong tackle; get them in quickly to avoid over-tiring the fish. It's tough to find a good knotless mesh landing net suitable for a king so you have to use a large knotted one. This potentially gets the fish's gill plate caught up/gets the fish banged by the metal loop/gets the scales and slime damaged by the net material, etc...

    or,

    Do not use a net, use lighter tackle or loosen the drag (if not combat fishing), in other words - play the fish till it tires enough to lay on it's side, then since it is a large fish you can grab it above the tail while it is still in the water. You can then keep it on it's side in the water while you remove the hook (they tend to "trance" once you roll them onto the side) and then face them upstream for recovery and release.

    So I guess my question is which is the lesser of two evils: over-tiring or net inflicted damage? Considering the runs and closures this year, I'm looking for input that may help keep a few more fish alive to spawn so I can have the pleasure of meeting their offspring as well

  2. #2
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default I will bite

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...fish/candr.cfm

    ADf&G reference for c&r fishing.

    I think if you are that concerned with hurting a fish or future fish then you should not go fishing for that species or fishing at all for that matter. I am sure you will get responses in all forms, talk about a can of worms...way to stir the pot.

    I think no matter how hard you try there will always be floaters from C&R fishing. Try you may, you will unintentionally kill a fish or 2 wether you know it or not.

    I try not to play the fish to tire out myself...land them quick as you can if you plan to release.

    I also learned the hard way about C&R and areas which specific species CAN NOT be removed from the water....as in not at all, even for a photo.
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  3. #3
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    Default Cut The Line

    In extreame measures ADFG would rather you cut the line than remove the fish from the water if there are issues in releasing it quickly.

  4. #4
    Member Alaskan Salmon Sith's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JediMasterSalmonSlayer View Post
    I also learned the hard way about C&R and areas which specific species CAN NOT be removed from the water....as in not at all, even for a photo.
    Yes....

    On a side note, which species may not be removed from the water unless you are going to retain it? Is it only Kings in certain area?

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  5. #5
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default

    Putting a thrashing fish in an old-school knotted coarse nylon bag does the fish no favors.... de-slimes 'em, de-scales 'em , and tears up the fins something fierce.

    No knots and softer finer mesh are much less damaging.

    That said, I still prefer to fight 'em hard as the tackle can take, and land the fish without a net. Use heavy leader that you won't be afraid to grab so that you can use a quick-release de-hooker tool.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kinYKR35UzU

    If the fish is exceptionally large, puttin' them in a fish-friendly bag will make it easier for most folks to de-hook and release.

    Personally I prefer to beach those big boys to avoid the bag.
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  6. #6

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    No net, fight hard and get ready for cold hands. Tight lines.
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  7. #7

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    Perhaps this is when a good biologist comes into play, if any exist!

    A good biologist, who has done some hands on study work of the question in hand and also that is not biased. Is there such a person?

    Otherwise we can really only speculate as we have no idea what shape our fish is in the next day or 3.

  8. #8
    Member AF EOD's Avatar
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    Default Fair enough...

    If I am going to release a salmon that is clearly on it's way to produce MORE salmon, I might as well do it 100% right. Any biologists out there want to offer any input?

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    Default

    Consider this regarding net and hook damage.

    I am sure some or all of you have seen salmon with huge net scars from commercial nets, prop scars from boats and gaping wounds from seals, sharks, whales and other predators which occur in the salt water.

    I have seen many salmon with gashes so deep and large that the entrails of the fish are exposed yet, they make it to the stream of their desire full of energy and apparently healthy in the pursuit to spawn.

    I do not point this out in an effort to nay-say responsible C&R as I practice it on a regular basis and am very much in favor of it. Keep in mind that those fish are soon going to expire naturally after the spawning ritual is completed, it is unavoidable.

    Obviously a fish that is bleeding from damage to the gills for example, will die in the immediate future, no matter how careful one is this will happen when C&R fishing at some time. If such an injury happens to a fish while am fishing and there is a bag limit, well, the fish simply becomes dinner for me, if no bag limit is allowed the fish will feed mother nature.

    I do not have reservations about playing a fish out on light tackle until it can be "landed" and released, with proper patience and care the fish will revive to carry on its' mission to spawn and subsequently die .

    Use barbless hooks, light tackle and a net, or no net, and enjoy the resource. Do not let the fish beat itself senseless on the rocky shore or wallow in the mud.

    Treat it with respect and appreciate the experience I say.

  10. #10
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    I have seen many salmon with gashes so deep and large that the entrails of the fish are exposed yet, they make it to the stream of their desire full of energy and apparently healthy in the pursuit to spawn.
    studies have shown that many salmon damaged in the flanks are not able to spawn, despite "apparent" vigor.

    use heavy tackle, stout leaders and play them fast. use no net and release them at the bank...
    or better yet... just don't play with your food.
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    Default net or not

    from a biological standpoint reduction of the slime coat is one of the worst injustices you can do a fish. the large hoop style mesh nets are notorious for this. if you do plan to use a net select one of the cradle types popular with some trout fisherman and ADFG. although uncommon they are available in very large sizes. you would be surprised to find how easy it is to release a fiesty king caught on a barbless siwash hook. use a strong leader and dont be afraid to grab ahold of the lure with one hand and the hook with a stout pair of pliers. nine times out of ten the hook will slip right out as soon as you change its angle. ive got quite a few line cuts and pokes this way but i dont de scale or exhaust my fish either

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