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Squeezing fish for the pic

Forum for discussing fisheries conservation and other environmental issues related to fish, wildlife, watersheds, and aquatic ecosystems.

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Paul Arden
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#31

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:25 am

That's a nice tool, Jonathan. In fact it would be quite easy to make something like that. You'd need a big ring for the Vince Popper!

I'd like to know more about the causes for all the contacted fish dying in the test. How much skin contact is needed? Maybe they get some fungal infection. Is it direct from humans - ie were their hands clean? There are so many questions about this and probably more research needed. Obviously a full handling glove might be an answer, depending on what the exact cause is. Maybe even just a pair of rubber gloves would be best.

Also the question then becomes what other fish need to be handled without direct contact?

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Will
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#32

Post by Will » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:05 am

Cool Jonathan

Similar to (but more refined than) the old T-bar unhooking tool that we used to use to unhook tope and smoothound at the side of the boat.

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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#33

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:08 pm

Re: BTT

If you check out this link https://openexplorer.nationalgeographic ... LmZvaSiJBI

You will find a blog by the science director of BTT that is full of info about bonefish and the organization.

I recently read that they are up to 14000 tagged!

The next symposium is in November, and right here in Ft. Lauderdale if you are interested in getting the latest info.
“Very simple man. Catching fish makes me happy. Scaringly simple.”

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Paul Arden
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#34

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:15 am

Thanks Gary, that’s a fantastic link. A photo of basing handled with bare hands at the bottom.
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Willy Franzen
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#35

Post by Willy Franzen » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:38 pm

Here's a paper that has vastly different results when it comes to release mortality of bonefish. Bonefish Tarpon Trust has a guide to handling bonefish that seems to be based on their extensive research. Wet hands and no more than 15 seconds out of the water are recommended. Bonefish do have a very different slime coating from any other fish I've caught, but I don't know what research the wetting hands recommendation is based on.

The wet hands thing is interesting, because it's not supported by the research when it comes to Rainbow trout. "The following conclusions were reached. Partial loss of scales or mucous does not result in the death of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri)." I'm still going to wet my hands (but hopefully not my waders), but it's nice to know that handling trout briefly is likely not detrimental to their survival.

The topic of fish handling practices is a weird one that seems to cause a lot of Internet arguments. I'd never accuse someone of being too careful when it comes to fish handling, but I think it's important to understand that all fishing leads to some mortality (even our own--I had a very close call with lightning once) and that the annual mortality rate on pretty much all fish in the wild is extremely high. Some C&R practices are based in solid research and some aren't. I don't think there's any research on the topic of fish squeezing, but I'm sure you could get a consensus opinion from talking to fisheries biologists. I'm comfortably in the "do not squeeze" camp, but I'm not confident that it seriously impacts the survival fish. We can all decrease the number of fish that we unintentionally kill, but there can come a point of being so careful that you're no longer getting what you want out of fishing. That could be something like catching a large fish on a small fly and light tippet or getting that fish of a lifetime grip and grin.

We must also remember that there are two numbers that determine how many fish you release but kill. The first is your mortality percentage based on your handling practices. You'll never know exactly what it is (and it's always changing), but there's enough research on the topic to make a guess that for the most careful anglers it's probably in the low single digits. The second is the number of fish you catch. A guy who catches 100 fish at 2% kills twice as many fish as a guy who catches 10 at 10%.

So in conclusion, we should all be working to become worse anglers so we catch and unintentionally kill fewer fish. :p

But seriously, I don't think it's particularly productive to nitpick other people's practices (not accusing anyone of doing that here) when there are so many factors going into how many fish are unintentionally killed. We can nitpick our own practices as much as we like, but even that's hard when so much of the research doesn't lead to clear conclusions. The best we can do is to keep educating ourselves on the latest research and to follow our intuition when there is no available research. If the goal was to simply not kill fish, we could just cut the points off all of our hooks (though there would probably still be some level of mortality from disturbing the fish's eating habits).

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Paul Arden
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#36

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:35 am

I don't know about bonefish but I have seen research that said that 20s out the water had a significant impact on trout survival. It's unnecessary IMO to have the trout out the water for more than 1-2 seconds, so long as you unhook the fish in the water (big net). While there is some mortality for sure in fishing, obviously it's in our interests to minimise this and as guides and instructors it is up to us to educate less experienced anglers as to best practises.

I knew a particular trout in NZ that was caught at least 27 times in one season!

The wet hands come from two things I believe - the first is not to remove their protective slime and the other is to help protect the fish from warm hands. Also the hands need to be clean of insect repellant and sun screen of course.

It seems to me that nowadays with the Internet and social media that it should be quite easy to educate anglers as to how to minimise fish mortality with C&R. It's really important I think that everything we do is best practise. I'm sure that we've all seen fish out the water for too long. The great thing about Giant Snakehead is that they can live out the water for three days. :D

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#37

Post by John Finn » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:50 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:35 am
I knew a particular trout in NZ that was caught at least 27 times in one season!
That sounds a bit fishy to me :glare: It would mean that NZ trout are not nearly as spooky as made out and are immune to handling. Backcountry myth. :p .......................John

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Paul Arden
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Re: Squeezing fish for the pic

#38

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:28 am

Maybe the fish enjoyed it? :p
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