catch and release mortality

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Ron Simpson, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

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    Yup, although "asshole" seems like slang for vent.
     
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  2. Rich Schager

    Rich Schager You should have been here yesterday...

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    Many years ago, my son caught a bass using a worm for bait. The bass swallowed the bait and only had the leader sticking out of it's mouth. I cut the leader and we put the bass into our pond. A couple years later it died after the pond froze for a couple weeks. The bass still had that leader sticking out of it's mouth, hook still in stomach...
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Charles is correct the actually mortalities vary quite a bit depending on the water conditions temperature, etc.), the angler, the species, the condition of the fish. One thing that most studies have found that the significant factor in determining the mortality rates for salmonids is the hooking location site. Those fish that are hooked in what is often called "critical areas" (eyes, gills, base of the tongue, gut, etc.) have much higher mortalities than those hooked in "non-critical areas".

    A quick and dirty way of comparing the relative mortality rates of fishing methods, etc. is to look at those hook site locations. After reading dozens of hooking mortality studies and working on several others it can generally be said that the mortality rate of released fish caught with bait typically more than 10 times higher than those caught on artificial lures/flies. For trout that mortality of bait caught fish released is something more than 30% while the of those caught on flies is typically in that 1 to 3% range (this is using "j" hooks - circle hooks can significantly reduce bait mortalities.

    Those studies jive with my own experiences as a professional biologist over 3 decades and as an avid angler for 6 decades. A couple interesting exceptions include winter steelhead where the hook site location of bait caught and lure caught pre-spawn steelhead has little difference. The case with winter kelts or summer steelhead is another story with critically hooked fish being much higher with bait than artificial lures. Even fish hooked in critical areas may not die. Over the decades that includes a fair number of fish handled I have seen 31 salmonids survive having a completely severed gill arch. Those fish include 1 resident rainbow, 1 adult coho, and 29 bull trout (just another illustration of the importance of individual variables).

    As Charles mentioned if anyone is really interested in this topic any of the various "search engines" is your friend. I would suggest that it might be an interesting exercise for a cold snowy winter day/weekend.

    Curt
     
  4. Ron Simpson

    Ron Simpson New Member

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    I have seen many television shows that practice catch and release but before they release it handle the fish for a photo....seems like this would remove some of there protective slime off and leave it prone to some infection or disease ......any thoughts on this?
     
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I don't handle fish with my hands if at all possible. If I am fishing from a boat I will use a knotless net and remove the hook with the fish in the net and the bag in a few inches of water. When fishing for steelhead I have found that I can bring the fish up close while standing in a few feet of water and usually remove the hook without touching the fish at all. No picture opportunities doing it this way but I want to have as little impact on the fish as I can.
     
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  6. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Strangest thing I ever saw with a rainbow was a few years back. I took my Grandson fishing on a local lake. Since he did not fly fish, we were using bait. He caught a couple of nice fish and wanted to take them home to eat. I told him that I would show him how to clean the fish and how to cook them. It was a golden moment for me.

    Anyway, when we got home and he opened the one fatter fish, it's gut was filled with a rubber toy dragon that had expanded with water. I doubt that the fish could have ingested a morsel of food and was
    probably starved for something to eat. I suppose a child had been playing near the water and the toy ended up in the drink, fish ate it, end of story.
     
  7. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    I do have a picture of the technique described in KerryS's post. This is one of the reasons I use tube flies as much as possible. Slide the fly up the leader and the bare hook is easier to get hold of. A plus is that you don't damage your fly.

    The hook in the picture is tinned rather than SS, which don't dissolve well at all. Carbon steel is the best option for rusting quickly, hooks like the Gamakatsu SC-15 being a good choice for saltwater use. That's all I use for fish in the sound like this cutthroat. Smaller fish can be easily released without using the net. I've attached a photo of my home made releasing tool, with the freshwater circle hook that I use for chuml. I use a smaller one for freshwater. IMG_2536 073.jpg

    I once caught a formerly big trout in Crane Prairie. It was close to 2 feet long, but was completely emaciated. We killed it since it was on it's last legs, and found a gold plated egg hook had pierced both sides of the esophagus, pinning it shut. The gold hook had not corroded a bit, it was as shiny as the day it came out of the package.

    IMG_1039.JPG
     
  8. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

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    Well, not trying to top the others.....I caught and kept a 5 lb trout up in BC. Caught him on a dry sedge pattern. Upon examination I found three feet of tippet and a red butt chironomid streaming from his annus. When I pulled on it, I found it was attached to a Chromie and about 3 more feet of leader. He had obviously taken the red butt, broken off, swallowed the rest of the leader and was happily feeding on big sedges with no ill effects. I figured that killing the trout was justified since he had such bad taste in fly patterns!
     
  9. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    Well thats one way of getting proven flys for free, If I was that fish with my luck some other fish would eat the fly hanging out my ass and then I would have to put up with somebody on my ass all day