Why is releasing fish important?
Releasing fish and following your local fishing regulations protects fisheries in many ways. Most importantly, it allows small fish an opportunity to grow and replace themselves in the population. In addition, releasing larger, more mature fish helps stabilize the fishery as they are usually the most fecund.
If a fish is undersized and it dies, should I keep it?
If a fish does not meet legal bag requirements and dies prior to release, you may NOT retain it. These laws were enacted to eliminate the harvest of non-legal fish under the guise of fishing mortality.
If a fish swallows the hook, should I just cut the line?
Yes! If you plan on releasing a fish that has swallowed a hook, cut the line as close to the hook as possible. However if you plan on keeping fish and the fish in question is legal, you should consider putting it towards your limit.
How do I keep the fish from swallowing the hook?
There are many answers to this question. Understanding how to target certain species with specific gear and techniques is a good start. Research has also shown that angler experience is another important factor. Newer anglers may not detect bites as quickly as an experienced angler, allowing the fish more time to swallow the hook. Luckily the same research also shows that anglers are quick learners!
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