Many anglers enjoy fishing but don’t plan on keeping the fish they catch. If you plan to participate in Catch and Release fishing you can greatly increase the survival rate of the fish by following some simple guidelines:
1. Always use barbless hooks so you can easily remove the hook from the fish. Spinners, lures and flies offer a better choice than bait hooks as fish tend to swallow bait hooks making the more difficult to remove. Clipping the line of a bait hook near the mouth of the fish and releasing the fish with the hook still in place may be a better option than trying to remover a hook deep inside the throat.
2. Retrieve fish quickly to avoid wearing the fish out.
3. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible and touch the fish as little as possible.
4. Use pliers to gently remove the hook and release the fish.
5. If you do need to handle the fish, wet your hands first and try to keep nose of the fish pointing up current as much as possible. This will allow water to continue to run through the gills supplying the fish with oxygen.
Catch and release fishing helps maintain the fish populations and provides other anglers opportunities to catch larger and more fish. This is particularly true in lakes, rivers and streams that are infrequently stocked or not stocked all at be the Utah division of wildlife resource.