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Catch and Release


Gary George
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I just received my latest edition of Ontario Out of Doors there is an excellent article dealing with catch and release and related ethics as a fisheries management tool.

 

It's called "Catch 22" written by Bruce Ranta.

 

In short it deals with the concept that catch and release along with all other regulations applied to fisheries are dependant on the ethics, awareness and overall knowledge of anglers.

 

Worth the read, not sure if it is avalible online.

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Bly and I as a general rule are catch and release anglers. The only exceptions in the past year have been one Walleye (15 pounder), that took the hooks deep in her gills, and a few trout. Bly tried to release the Walleye for 45 minutes, but she wouldn't go. She'll be mounted and up on our wall. We've also kept 2 trout for a nice meal and fresh roe. All other fish have gone back to live another day.

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I just received my latest edition of Ontario Out of Doors there is an excellent article dealing with catch and release and related ethics as a fisheries management tool.

 

It's called "Catch 22" written by Bruce Ranta.

 

In short it deals with the concept that catch and release along with all other regulations applied to fisheries are dependant on the ethics, awareness and overall knowledge of anglers.

 

Worth the read, not sure if it is avalible online.

 

What exactly are you getting at Ratboy? :rolleyes:

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I have not read the article but

there is catch and release then there is

catch and catch and catch and catch and catch and catch and release and release and release and release

 

here is what they may be talking about

 

Option 1, catch and release an limit = fish has a chance.

 

Option 1a, catch and release many limits of fish and according to many studies more will die then if you just killed your limit

 

Option 2, catch and eat = fish has no chance, but the other fish in the lake do live

 

Option 2a, catch and eat then keep releasing many limits = fish has no chance that you ate plus some of the released fish will die

 

Option 3, dont`t fish.

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Although I SELECTIVELY keep quite a few fish for my table, there is one instance I vehemently disagree with playing 'catch & release' once your limit has been attained. That is, bringing lakers & whities (and in some instances) and perch up out of deep water, and releasing them with blown air bladders! I generally ice-fish these species, and dig a 'live-well in the ice, where I will put these fish, to see if they're fit to release. Although I do not catch a lot of either (IF I get my limit I quit) I have found about 4 out of 5 whities, and about 2 out of 5 lakers have blown air bladders, ESPECIALLY those caught below 40' of water. I have seen posts from boaters in the spring who report seeing 'quite a few' whities floating in an area where there are a lotta boats, and people catchin' and releasing these fish. I believe I take home (kill) less in a year than some who go out and catch & release a half dozen or more every trip . . . . MY 'keepers' are NOT wasted. The ONLY fish I go after, with the sole purpose of catching & releasing is carp, they are VERY tough, but I STILL handle them carefully . . . . and highly doubt ANY of my released carp have any harm done. Although the IDEA of catch & release is excellent, my own personal belief is that there are many of these game fish handled improperly, perhaps the intentions were good, but the stress of the fight, then being out of water, flopping around on the ground or bottom of a boat while getting a few great pictures, then uncerimoniously kicking, or just throwing the fish back, is a death sentence, just as sure as taking it home for my frying pan! I COULD be way y y y y out to lunch on my opinion here, but I'm writing mostly from what I've personally experienced, and seen with my own eyes, and a wealth of experience & opinions I've seen expressed by others, on THIS board (and others) with much more experience than I?

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I agree with Terry with 1a,thats about 100% correct in which most anglers dont factor in

Post mortal release for un-experienced anglers is somewhere around 20 to 28% for experienced anglers an 8% post mortal release should be factored in to your annual totals of release

 

They may swim off but they may go down and roll over within 48 hours,from what I have observed

The 8% rule is pretty darn close

if you factor in the number of possible fish in an area and factor in your post mortal release, consideration of survival of YOY of spawing numbers of indivuduals,you quickly realize how long it will take to lower the population of a given area time wise

 

ex: you have 100 muskies

50 males/50 females

Average survival YOY to Fingerlings to adults = about 2%

It will take approx 12.5 years with no YOY survival /16 years to serious have a negative impact on a population of fish with survival of YOY with the 8% rule

Also to factor in is the 7 -10 year cycle of spawning years/30% of those years are good spawning years

 

CNR is a great tool for resource management but its not flawless

Thank God we dont catch em all

Edited by marc thorpe
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Yes there's no doubt that delayed mortality upon releasing a seemingly healthy fish is a factor that most don't consider.

There are certain specific situations that occur where I personally choose not to fish because of this. Prime example is fishing for steelhead when the temperatures in the river rise above 65 degrees, a typical scenario in May.

When the water temp. rises above 67 it's like a switch goes off as far as steelhead activity goes. At that temp. or higher the parts per million of oxygen particles in a square inch of water is reduced to the point where it's very difficult for steelhead to gather enough oxygen for normal activity. When the temps. rise into the 70's mortality becomes an issue....

Obviously angling for them under such conditions is pretty much a death sentence for the fish if hooked and a prolonged battle ensues.

They're just not able to recover from the shock, the ensuing lactic acid buildup, and the lack of oxygen and they die...

Now, in regards to the original question about catch and release, personally I'm all for it. As someone who fishes a lot, it's either practice safe catch and release or give up the sport entirely and join P3TA :D

In actuality my favourite popular catch phrase is "selective harvest". While most of the fish I catch are returned there's still plenty of instances where fish are kept for consumption....

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Almost always practiced catch and release here. haha especially seeing how I don't even eat fish lol. I say almost always as sometimes other people with me might plan to eat them. Not too often though. I'll catchem, cookem and cleanem..........won't eatem!! :whistling: Even my son now says swim away to live another day fishy :)

Edited by Fishing Chippy
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I never go out to catch & release. I go out to catch the perfect fish for a nice meal.

 

Sometimes I catch the perfect fish and I like him so much I let him go. Sometimes I keep him.

 

That being said, I release 95% of the fish I catch.

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Similar to the rest, I don't keep bass unless they are hooked deep and are not going to make it. I keep the odd pike and walleye from time to time. Never caught a muskie but I read a good article in Ontario Out of Doors a few years back where the author said when you do catch that first trophy muskie hold him so you can feel his heart beat and you'll never think about killing one. With this said panfish are fair game and probably make the best table-fair anyways.

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Catch and Release is a valuable tool if used correctly, it increases the economic value of the fish, and if done properly ensures future fish and in certain instances a more robust fishery. In General terms 15% exploitation is where a fishery is sustainable, by that I mean 15 % of the population can be harvested without a major impact to the fishery, obviously that is a rough guideline and in certain instances its subject to change.

 

The province has so many diverse angling opportunities for a plethoria of game fish, that selective harvest really is the best option when not aware of the state of the fishery, When fishing within a fishery that rely's on stocking and natural reproduction another great managment tool is to diverge the population. Lets take rainbows as a great example. Hatchery fish generally on Lake O have a fin removed right vent right pec or an adipose, that fish should be harvestable at a number somewhat above 15% sustainability and inline with stocking numbers, where as the wild fish, presumed out of natural reproduction should have a more restritive harvest rate. Science tells us 1 fish 24- 30 inches gets pretty close to it to 15%.

 

By examining regulatory options like this we can start to get to the concept of more fish and bigger fish, in many instances its not habitat that causes supressed fish populations its exploitation.

 

Ohh ya Marc those numbers are pretty dead on.....

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I agree with Terry with 1a,thats about 100% correct in which most anglers dont factor in

Post mortal release for un-experienced anglers is somewhere around 20 to 28% for experienced anglers an 8% post mortal release should be factored in to your annual totals of release

 

They may swim off but they may go down and roll over within 48 hours,from what I have observed

The 8% rule is pretty darn close

CNR is a great tool for resource management but its not flawless

Thank God we dont catch em all

 

Nice information and, can one then say that even with "expert" releases, that almost 1 in 10 fish caught will die under ideal conditions, 1 in 3 will die period. I then question what is more reasonable, I go and catch 2 fish(rainbow for example), stop fishing, go home and eat my fish, I have taken 2 fish from the "pool of fish". Meanwhile, Joe Blow, an expert fisherman(maybe in his own mind), goes fishing and catches and releases 10 fish, 1 of which will die for sure, up to 3 if they are not released under the ideal conditions. That said, Joe has not taken any fish for consumption, but just gone out and killed from 1-3 fish that may be the future breaders or broodstock to keep the fishery going. Now if Joe has a "few" more buddies that play C&R and also keep their legal catch of 1 or 2, depending on licence status, is it just me, or can others also see how quickly the numbers accelerate? Thats' where I question the correctness of those that go and "play" with nature.

Edited by Fisherman
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well if 4 of 10 die that's 40%, which is way higher..plus

most catch and release studies are on bass and they were put into a livewell bounced around all day dragged up on a stage

weighed transported back somewhere on the lake then released... even the average stupid angler doesn't abuse them that much

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Just to clarify,8 out of 100 fish I suspect die,just from proper handling

As far as livewells go,they are good but I suspect recircling the water is not as effective as running in and out.With walleyes in livewells they are prone to excrete harmul un-ionized amonia ,so many factors come to play when considering post mortal

Species specific,water release or livewell,time of season

 

when all things considered,we have made progress and will continue but will never attain perfection so fish and protect your rights to fish and consume

Edited by marc thorpe
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