Live Release – Best Practices
• Remember, use only single barbless/pinched hooks
• Retrieve and release fish as quickly as possible
• Keep fish in the water during the release process
• Using a knotless meshed landing net is preferable over tailing a fish
• Carry and use needle-nose like pliers/tweezers to quickly remove hooks
• If hook doesn’t remove easily, cut the leader and leave it in the fish
• If you must handle a fish, use bare wet hands (not gloves)
• When taking a photo, remember only 5 seconds out of the water
• When releasing, hold the fish by the tail and point it upstream in a natural swimming position. Let the current flow naturally through the gills; do not push/pull the fish back and forth. Release the fish when you begin to feel strengthening tail movement
A Live Release Video for Wild Atlantic Salmon
When the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) conducted a survey of anglers a few years ago, asking what tool would be most useful, a good video of the best techniques for live release was the top response.
Late in 2012 this project came together with ASF, FQSA, and the Quebec government working together to start the project, and on April 20th, 2013 the video saw the light of day.
Live release contributes to greater spawning success and healthier salmon runs, and is an important way anglers can contribute to conservation of the species.
View the video here.