My question is about Reds....I see it a lot....If you foul hook a red in the gills....It is bleeding out bad, you know this fish is not going to live.....Are we required to still release it or should we keep him.....if it can't be brought back to life is it wanton waste?
If you are participating in sport fishing and you are using sport fishing gear (hook and line), and you are fishing in fresh water, you are not allowed to keep a fish that is hooked elsewhere than in the mouth. Fish hooked elsewhere than in the mouth must be released immediately. The exception to this is in areas that have been designated as a "snagging" area within regulation.
In this specific question, the fish is hooked in the gills and bleeding. You are still required to release the fish immediately with the least amount of harm to the fish. It would not be legal for you to possess a fish that was caught contrary to state law. So, it would not be wanton waste if you released the fish and it perished.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers issue multiple snagging citations annually to people who keep fish hooked elsewhere than in the mouth. Simply put; in the mouth means, in the mouth.
Thanks for the question, AWT