NDOW recommendations for catching & releasing
According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), with the ever-growing interest in conservation, many anglers have adopted the practice of catch-and-release fishing. This practice involves catching a fish and then releasing it, in a timely and controlled manner, back into the water.
The key to successful catch-and-release fishing is doing so in a manner that gives released fish the greatest opportunity for survival.
It’s hard to imagine using a fish hook with no barbs, but the first step in catch-and-release fishing is using barbless hooks. Without the barb, it’s much easier to remove the hook from a fish’s mouth. While barbless hooks can be purchased, they also can be easily made by bending a barb over with a pair of pliers.
Once you have control of the fish, use hemostats or needle-nose pliers to remove the hook. This will help to protect your hands from hook-related injuries and is much easier on the fish than sticking your fingers in its mouth. If necessary, cut the line or the hook itself. This can be very beneficial if a fish is hooked deep.
To release a fish, hold it upright in the water and allow it to swim away under its own power.
If the fish is bleeding from the mouth or gills due to your actions, you’ll need to keep it and keep working on your catch-and-release skills.
For information, call the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 688-1500 during regular business hours.