While there’s nothing wrong with taking home the evening’s meal when fishing, there’s always times when anglers put fish back in the water. That may occur when you’re fishing in a catch and release area such as the Susquehanna Flats now, when the fish is undersized, or when you simply have caught more fish that you’ll eat. In those circumstances, it’s essential to release the fish appropriately so that it has the best chance to survive, grow, and reproduce.
Did you know that research shows when using conventional hooks and releasing fish, 9.1 percent of them die? But when using circle hooks, only 0.8 percent of released fish die. Employing that simple strategy will result in many more fish becoming part of the stock that reproduces and assures the fishing future for recreational anglers.
This information and much more can be found on the Careful Catch website, which was developed by CCA Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). Kent Narrows Chapter President Shawn Kimbro is a leader in designing and maintaining the website.
The website includes “best practices” tips for releasing fish, science that shows the importance of catch and release, videos that demonstrate techniques, and more. Go to “media” to download the Careful Catch brochure developed by CBF.
This is a great resource to review at the start of the 2013 fishing season. Check out Careful Catch at www.carefulcatch.com, and urge your friends to take a look.