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Caught, Released, and Eaten By Racoons

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With warmer weather comes warmer water temps. Warmer water has less oxygen and increases the risk of fish mortality. This is not about judgement; it is simply about moving forward. Fishing the Truckee River on a Monday morning and seeing the number of dead fish is quite the eye opener on just how poorly anglers are treating the resource. We are all guilty of mishandling a fish but I urge to extra careful especially during these warmer conditions.

Here are a few tips to making sure you fish survive after you release them:

  • Fish barbless hooks.
  • Use the heaviest tippet you can get away with. Lighter tippets can extend the fight
  • Avoid fishing in the middle of the day -  Water temps are at their highest during the middle of the day.
  • Don’t over play the fish - Practice fighting fish. Don’t be afraid to break a few off to find out just how hard you can pull on 4 or 5x.
  • Use a rubberized net. Netting a fish is the easiest and least invasive way to land a fish.
  • Wet your hands before you touch the fish.
  • Keep the fish in the water.
  • Don’t squeeze the fish
  • Revive the fish by pointing the fish upstream into the current.
  • Ditch the grip and grin and photograph the fish in the water.

A photo with the fish in or VERY near the water tells other anglers that you are an experienced fisherman who respects the fish and not just greenhorn who tied into a big fish. Again, we all have mistakes in our past this is about moving forward.

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Photo from: http://theflysyndicate.blogspot.com/

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