Interesting Paper and Catch and release.


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Some very interesting stuff in this document. Much that we knew or suspect, but obviously how things are heading with the EA.

Extracted Parts from the Preface

Catch and release (C&R) recreational angling has become a popular conservation strategy and management tool for an array of fish species and fisheries. The main aim of C&R angling is to ensure that the individual fish survive and go on to reproduce successfully. Implicit in C&R angling strategies is the assumption that fish experience low mortality and minimal sub-lethal effects, and swim away unharmed.

The main factors found to reduce survival are:

· fishing method

· deep hooking leading to tissue damage and bleeding

· physical damage from poor and excessive handling leading to scale loss abrasions and infection

· being kept out of the water for a prolonged period causing tissue and gill damage · high water temperatures

To give the fish the best chance of full recovery from capture and further contributing to the fishery or going on to spawn, a series of measures, which are embedded in numerous guidelines for C&R fishing, are recommended.

· Consider the appropriate angling method and tackle to use where C&R is mandatory or where release is intended.

· Minimise angling duration to avoid fish becoming exhausted. This is particularly important at high water temperatures.

· Avoid angling at high water temperatures.

· Use single barbless hooks to minimise risk of injury.

· Use the least harmful bait/lure type (for example, artificial lures with minimal, appropriately sized, barbless hooks fished actively), even though it may not be the most effective for catching fish. · Minimise air exposure, ideally not removing the fish from the water during landing, unhooking and photographing.

· Use fish-friendly landing nets with soft knotless mesh to help protect the fish from abrasion injury. · Handle fish gently with wet hands and do not squeeze as this can damage internal organs. Touching the gills and eyes should be avoided.

· Always support the fish under the belly and keep in an upright / horizontal position, preferably underwater and facing into the current.

· Remove the hook with a long pair of forceps, disgorger or another unhooking device. When it is not be possible to remove the hook, cut the leader as close to the hook as possible as the hook will work its way out. This is less damaging than prolonged handling


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Thanks SJF.
All this should , by now , have been adopted by all and by most it is.
Yet we still have images of ecstatic rods presenting fish to camera as if they were Gareth Edwards setting up to make a long spin pass to Barry John.
The good news is you can be certain that Edwards ( a god ) would never that to any fish!


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I've read and heard many an argument against C&R. They say that fish still die, they list various causes for mortality. I know only one solid proven fact when it comes to the mortality of a hooked salmon. Those fish dragged onto shore and clubbed with a priest or handy rock will never live. I love catching them too much to kill any more. There's an old saying here; You're either part of the solution or part of the problem.