How to release fish for survival
- Gently does it when you release your fish...
Studies around Australia have shown that about 50% of all fish caught recreationally are released.
More and more recreational anglers are using the catch-and-release method. Not only is it a responsible way of fishing for the future, but it also helps anglers consistently abide by possession and size limits.
When fishing though, anglers need to remember that there are good and bad ways of releasing fish.
Some of the tips include:
- use barbless hooks where possible
- invest in a pair of long-nose plyers to remove hooks
- always use wet hands or a wet cloth when handling fish to avoid damaging the fish's sensitive mucous layer
- use a knotless landing net
- avoid lifting fish from the water to remove hooks
- avoid placing fish on hot dry surfaces
- if you can't remove the hook without damaging the fish, it is best to cut the line.
Fisheries Queensland is investigating survival rates of released line-caught tropical fish to identify handling and release procedures that minimise post-release mortality.