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Catch & Release

How to Handle Fish Correctly

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Especially trout attack live bait unworried and swallow them at once. In trout waters with good reproduction one should not use live bait and barbs to protect young fish. If a fish accidentally swallows your dry fly, nymph or streamer, just cut the line in front of the mouth, without trying to pull out the hook. While doing this, you should follow some important rules:

Fight the Fish - Remove the Hook - Release the Fish

  1. Don't fight your fish too long. Bring it in as soon as possible. Especially if water temperatures are high this could make the fish die after it has been released (lactic acid buildup).
  2. Landing nets help to bring in the fish faster. Use only knotless catch & release nets to protect the fins, skin and scales.
  3. While releasing the hook, leave the fish in the landing net. Don't take the fish out of the water if not necessary. It is like holding you under water.
  4. If it is necessary to hold a fish, be sure your hands are wet and cold, so the skin will not be damaged.
  5. Hold the fish softly without pressing its belly. This could injure its internal organs
  6. Hold the fish upside down(as in the picture) and it will lie motionless in your hand. This is the best releasing method.
  7. After having released the hook, hold your fish with the head against the current. If possible(teeth!), insert the thumb in the mouth while gripping the the lower jaw with the first finger. This supports the fish with more oxygen. Rock the fish back and forth. Wait until the fish is able to swim out of your hands. Release the fish only in shallow water, so you can watch it recover. This is especially important with grayling.
  8. Stop fishing for trout and grayling if the water temperatures exceed 19°C in Alpine rivers.
releasing fish correctly

Wild Fish Populations

Healthy trout waters with self-sustaining populations demand to be carefully controlled and regulated. If you are allowed to take fish, please limit your kill. Only take fish, which you intend to eat yourself. Don't give away wild fish! If you intend to donate fish, buy them in the supermarket! Protect the good spawners. Intact waters depend on these fishes. Please be always aware of your responsibility!

Limit your catch, don't catch your limit!

Copyright © Günter Feuerstein