Proper Fish Handling
Whether you plan to keep (harvest) your fish or return it to the water, make sure you know how to handle it properly.
Catching and Releasing
If you’re planning to catch and release, it’s vital that you don’t injure the fish by mishandling it. Careful handling and release will ensure the fish survives. When planning to release a fish follow these six points:
1. Play and land the fish as quickly as possible. Keep the fish in water while you remove the hook, if you can’t, return the fish to the water as fast as possible.
2. If you use a landing net, use a rubber or tightly woven nylon or cotton-it’s less damaging to the fish.
3. If you have to handle the fish, gently use wet hands, trying not to squeeze.
4. Use barbless hooks and be prepared to cut your leader if the hook is swallowed deeply, the hook will dissolve over time.
5. Revive exhausted fish by holding them upright in the water until they swim away-never throw a fish back into the water.
Harvesting Your Catch
Remember that fish are living creatures and should always be treated humanely. Also remember that responsible anglers never harvest more fish than they need, keeping within specified catch quotas.