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Fish Handling

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Not sure if this one has made the rounds on here or not, regardless, it's an excellent read. Although the focus is steelhead the science is also applicable to trout.

Pretty interesting stuff on air exposure and the resulting decrease in fry production. Something to consider when taking that "here's me with another one" shot.

 

Check it out and spread the word:

 

http://online.fliphtml5.com/xjqqa/fmsu/#p=1

 

 

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An interesting read.

 

CnR may not work to save our fisheries unless we look at the whole picture!

 

Lethal & Reproductive Loss from Air Exposure

 

Rainbow Trout - 38% mortality in rainbow trout exposed to 30 seconds to air. 72% mortality from 60-seconds.

 

Those anglers showing us all those big, beautiful trout on a panoramic view of the Bow River could well be giving the catch a death sentence.

 

For the photo junkies - Maybe you should keep the fish in the water and take a picture of your prize in the net.

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This has changed how i will handle fish. Really appreciate the post

 

Will send the link to all my fishing friends as well

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That 30 second/60 second mortality rate was a little surprising to me. A tip I once heard was to hold your breath as soon as you take the fish out of the water... if you have to breathe, then the fish has to as well, so back in the water it goes. The 72% mortality at a minute suggests my above tip is probably reckless in terms of a guide for fish survival. I think there is far less chance I will die if I hold my breath for a minute; that said, if I stuck my head under water for a minute after running a 200m dash, I might not fare so well either.

 

One cannot assume though that a "hero shot" automatically means the fish has been out of the water that long. If everything is all set ahead of time, you can easily get a decent pic in 10 seconds or less.

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A tip I once heard was to hold your breath as soon as you take the fish out of the water... if you have to breathe, then the fish has to as well, so back in the water it goes.

I think the fallacy there is most people would take a breath and hold it. Gills don't work that way - the fish can't "hold their breath" the same way since they need water flowing through their gills front to back to breathe (same reason you revive them by moving them side to side facing into the current rather than moving them back and forth). Probably a more accurate comparison would be to expel all the air from your lungs, then stick your head under the water while trying to breathe.

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I've gotten to know a number of trout on intimate streams that have come to net several times. But keeping them wet is the key.

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I think the fallacy there is most people would take a breath and hold it. Gills don't work that way - the fish can't "hold their breath" the same way since they need water flowing through their gills front to back to breathe (same reason you revive them by moving them side to side facing into the current rather than moving them back and forth). Probably a more accurate comparison would be to expel all the air from your lungs, then stick your head under the water while trying to breathe.

True, but for the sake of argument, wouldn't the fact that the gill filaments are bright red indicate that gas exchange is still occurring, albeit across a reduced surface area?

As long as the gills are wet, gas will exchange. Not to mention, The concentration of O2 in air is a lot higher as well.

 

30seconds is a lot of time out of water. Think about those fishing shows. It pains me to watch the host admire the fish and talk about it. Then you wonder how many takes it took. When I think back and count how long I've kept fish out for, it's not more than 5 seconds, if that. Get the camera set up, lift the fish, click click, back in the water.

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It's great to see the genuine interest and constructive discussion this article has generated. I just wanted to say that my comment towards taking fish photos wasn't meant to imply not to take one, rather to be mindful of the impacts of air exposure while doing so.

My guess is that most people who took the time to read this article already have adequate fish handling techniques but I think it's even more important to pass the message on, either directly or paraphrased in your own words. Personally I often feel shameful for not doing more for these fish that we all revere so much so if I can use the best possible methods to minimize whatever stress I've created and that in turn translates to a less harmed fish well at least I'm doing something.

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I really concentrated on my fish handling last year. I hope I see them all again this year.

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I think this is one of your pets MrBotangles

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Great read and some awesome fish photographs in there too!

 

On the subject, if anyone is into podcasts this one with Dr. Andy Danylchuk & April Vokey is awesome on his BC steelhead study

http://traffic.libsyn.com/anchoredwithaprilvokey/Anchored_With_April_Vokey-Episode_45-Andy_Danylchuk-www.aprilvokey.com.mp3?dest-id=279861

 

This is all fine and dandy posting this here; I'm sure we all learned something in reading this. Here's a question for you all. If you see bad handling on the water, how do you go about passing this info onto that angler without coming across as "you're fkn doing it wrong!"?

 

I fully expect to get slammed for this, but I think there's a place in our sport for the hero shot IF done correctly. What got you into chasing bones? Steelhead? NZ browns? I'm sure part of it was just bringing a fly rod wherever your travels took you to see if you could find a fish to catch. But be honest, you probably saw a hero shot or a picture of that fish in a magazine, or on the wall in a shop, or more recently on social media that made you think "I wanna catch that!". This pisses most people off because "THEIR FISHING SPOT" gets crowded with new anglers chasing that fish.. Well guess what, your fishing spot has a whole bunch of new recruits that may eventually turn into stewards of your coveted river! Too much of anything is never a good thing, especially when someone is hero-shotting every fish they catch. All I'm saying is keep em wet and it's not a problem if you want a hero shot, as long as you do it the right way! Hell, I am not a huge fan of hero shots, but I'll probably get one of my first bone, or permit or steelhead, but I'm going to make sure to keep em wet and lift them quickly for a pic.

 

End Redbeard's rant.

-Steve

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If you see bad handling on the water, how do you go about passing this info onto that angler without coming across as "you're fkn doing it wrong!"?

 

Man that's a tough one. I've seen lots of people online completely lose it even when the person pointing out poor handling did it very tactfully. I haven't been in this position yet though so I'll let you know what I do if it ever happens.

 

I fully expect to get slammed for this, but I think there's a place in our sport for the hero shot IF done correctly.

 

I think the problem here is that people see the hero shot but don't know how they got there. They only see that frozen moment in time and can't see that maybe the fish was in the water right up until a second or two before the shutter opened. I think some people might concentrate so much on replicating that photo or getting some other perfect composition that they end up handling the fish much longer than they should. Maybe the real problem is that the magazines need to stop showing the same old type of hero shots. I'm so bored with them that I'd much rather see a picture of a release or a fish half submerged or anything different than the typical arms stretched out, elbows in, forced perspective shot.

 

Too much of anything is never a good thing, especially when someone is hero-shotting every fish they catch. All I'm saying is keep em wet and it's not a problem if you want a hero shot, as long as you do it the right way! Hell, I am not a huge fan of hero shots, but I'll probably get one of my first bone, or permit or steelhead, but I'm going to make sure to keep em wet and lift them quickly for a pic.

 

I think you alluded to the real problem. Because of social media some people are so obsessed with getting lots of followers or "likes" that they take a pic of every single fish they catch, not just the first or the finer specimens. I've also seen A LOT of people on social media take multiple pictures of the same "good" fish from different angles just so they can post it days or weeks apart as different fish. I always have a good laugh when I see someone post a pic from the Bow "today" and the background is sunny and blue skies when it was overcast all day. I even saw pictures posted in the fall claiming to be from that day where the grass on the banks was still green but it had actually turned brown a couple weeks before. Hell, I even heard a story of one Instagrammer who fishes the Bow and has lots of followers changing their hat and jacket during a "hero shoot" for that sort of purpose. Sorry, guess that's my rant :D

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Or they spend inordinate amounts of time with a fish trying to get the one shot that will get them more likes... Been more then one of the 'instagram' famous people who have been watched screwing with a single fish for 10+ minutes at a time to get the 'right' one.

 

Unfortunately, the 'likes' support the ego's (and potentially the bank accounts), and it becomes a self-enforcing cycle.

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I keep the fish in the net submerged, then a fast pic out and back, but now if I even take a pic, it will be in the net in water only.

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Very few pics by me (see sig :D ).

 

Too much hassle taking them out of the net. The whole external "slime" thing is a big factor for me also. Always drop the net in the water ahead of scooping and try to minimize lifting them at all.

Slip the hook out and away they go. (If you want to know what he/she looked like, just ask :rolleyes: )

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Once i have them within sight, say 10 ft or so im just as happy if they unhook themselves. Ill usually just slack off the line and more often than not there gone. No muss no fuss. I dont keep count of them one way or another anyway. Just happy to be out there.

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On 3/13/2017 at 1:39 PM, billie said:

Very few pics by me (see sig :D ).

 

Too much hassle taking them out of the net. The whole external "slime" thing is a big factor for me also. Always drop the net in the water ahead of scooping and try to minimize lifting them at all.

Slip the hook out and away they go. (If you want to know what he/she looked like, just ask :rolleyes: )

I’m very much the same way. I don’t need a pic to remember the time I had on any given day. It’s all about enjoying where you are, no trophy needed.

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