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Anglers can boost chances that fish survive after catch and release

May 14, 2017 09:39AM ● Published by Editor

Stories of multiple anglers catching the same fish are more than fishing lore – they’re the real result of anglers practicing catch-and-release fishing. Anglers can take several actions to boost the chances a fish survives after being released, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Catch-and-release fishing is an important topic, especially in recent years with expanded catch-and-release seasons in Minnesota for lake sturgeon, trout and bass,” said Al Stevens, fisheries survey and systems consultant. “What’s more, anglers often choose to release large fish, and are required to release fish that aren’t of a legal size to keep.” Fish can be injured by hooks, stress and being pulled from deep water. Being hooked in the mouth does little damage to the fish, and setting the hook quickly helps avoid hooking a fish in the stomach or gills.

Jigs, circle hooks and active baits like crankbaits are more likely to hook a fish in the mouth. Barbless hooks or pinched barbs can help, but where the hook ends up is more important than the presence or absence of a barb.

“Ever hear the term, ‘throw it back?’ That’s a hold-over from the past when people thought nothing of literally tossing fish back so they slapped onto the water,” Stevens said. “In contrast, these days we hear more about handling the fish firmly but gently, and quickly returning them to the water.”

Beginner anglers, especially, may wonder what to do if a fish is deeply hooked.

“If a hook is deep in the fish, simply cut the line and leave the hook in the fish,” Stevens said. “A long-nosed type pliers is handy to remove hooks, but remember most people aren’t fish surgeons. It does them no good to use lots of force to twist out a deep hook.”

In the summer or when anglers are fishing deep water, the DNR encourages restraint when the fish are really biting. Fish pulled up from deep water can experience stress and injury, so anglers who plan on catch-and-release are reminded to avoid deep water. Under conditions when mortality after release is high because of physical factors like warm water or deep fish, anglers who catch and release a large number of fish could inadvertently cause more fish to die after release than their daily bag limit.

Here are a few more tips for successfully releasing fish:

  • Wet hands before touching a fish to prevent removal of their protective slime coating. Rubberized nets help, too.
  • Unhook and release the fish while it is still in the water, if possible, and support its weight with both hands or with a net when removed from the water. Never lift them vertically.
  • Hold a fish firmly but gently. Don’t drop it. And don’t hold a fish by the eyes.
  • If planning to release a fish, do not place it on a stringer or in a live well.
  • Revive a fish by cradling it under the belly and gently moving it back and forth in the water until it swims away.
  • Harvest a fish that can be legally kept if it is bleeding or can’t right itself.

For more information on fishing and fishing regulations, visit mndnr.gov/fishmn


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      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Trails Final Check

      12/02/2017
      09:00AM — 02:00PM

      We welcome you to join us at 9 a.m. at the Groomer building on Caribou Trail to do the final trai...


    • Annual 20% off Customer Appreciation Sale

      12/02/2017
      09:00AM — 05:00PM

      Come in to Lake Superior Trading Post and save 20% off on all merchandise in stock, this includes...


    • Northwoods Fiber Guild Annual Holiday Sale will be on Saturday, December 2nd from 9:00am-2:00pm. ...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/02/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/02/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/03/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/03/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Holiday Movies in the Brewery

      12/03/2017
      12:30PM — 02:00PM

      Are you craving some beer with your holiday cheer? We will see you at Voyageur Brewing Company on...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/03/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/03/2017
      06:30PM — 07:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/04/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/04/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/04/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Chicken Stew with Dumplings/Brussels Sprouts/Fruit/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/04/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • 1/2 Price Burger Night

      12/04/2017
      04:00PM — 08:00AM

      1/2 Price Burgers at Moguls Grille and Tap Room


    • Co-Dependents Anonymous

      12/04/2017
      05:30PM

      Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


    • Open Mic Every Monday at 6PM!

      12/04/2017
      06:00PM — 11:55PM

      Grand Marais Music Collaborative presents "Open Mic Night", every Monday at Grandma Ray's! The s...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/04/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/05/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/05/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Overeaters Anonymous

      12/05/2017
      11:00AM

      Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/05/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Tuna Hotdish/Salad/Fruit/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/05/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Kids Eat Free

      12/05/2017
      04:00PM — 09:00PM

      1 free kids meal with any paid adult meal Available after 4pm


    • Trivia Night at Grandma Ray's

      12/05/2017
      07:00PM — 09:00PM

      Trivia Night from 7:00-9:00pm every Tuesday down at Grandma Ray's.


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/06/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/06/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

      12/06/2017
      10:00AM — 11:00AM

      Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


    • 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine

      12/06/2017
      11:00AM

      1/2 Price Bottles of Wine


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/06/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Meatloaf/Baked Potato/Beets/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/06/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Craft and a Craft Market

      12/06/2017
      04:30PM — 06:30PM

      Voyageur Brewing is proud to host weekly craft markets until Christmas with local Cook County art...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/06/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/07/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/07/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/07/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Linda Johnson's Treat!!!


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/07/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Light Up a Life

      12/07/2017
      05:30PM — 06:30PM

      The 9th Annual “Light up a Life” offers community members the opportunity to celebrate the life o...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/07/2017
      06:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/07/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/08/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/08/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Caregiver Coffee - Tofte

      12/08/2017
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      Caregiver Coffee Join us to get to know other caregivers in a casual setting. Take part in a d...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/08/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Beef Stew/Salad/Biscuit/Dessert/Milk


    • Legends of the Wilderness

      12/08/2017
      01:30PM — 02:30PM

      Experience the wilderness through reenactment of the 1800s with French Canadian Voyageur Jacques ...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/08/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/09/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/09/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/09/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • In the spirit of gratitude, pride, and recognition of the community that has valued and fostered ...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/09/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/10/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/10/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Holiday Movies in the Brewery

      12/10/2017
      12:30PM — 02:00PM

      Are you craving some beer with your holiday cheer? We will see you at Voyageur Brewing Company on...


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/10/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/10/2017
      06:30PM — 07:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/11/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/11/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/11/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Boiled Dinner/Biscuit/Fruit/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/11/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • 1/2 Price Burger Night

      12/11/2017
      04:00PM — 08:00AM

      1/2 Price Burgers at Moguls Grille and Tap Room


    • Co-Dependents Anonymous

      12/11/2017
      05:30PM

      Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


    • Open Mic Every Monday at 6PM!

      12/11/2017
      06:00PM — 11:55PM

      Grand Marais Music Collaborative presents "Open Mic Night", every Monday at Grandma Ray's! The s...


    • Over 75 talented Cook County singers and musicians in the Borealis Chorale & Orchestra continue t...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/11/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/12/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/12/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Overeaters Anonymous

      12/12/2017
      11:00AM

      Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and...


    • Taco Tuesday Fundraiser Luncheon

      12/12/2017
      11:30AM — 01:30PM

      We are raising money for our dear friend & co-worker, Jennifer Rue, who is dealing with long term...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/12/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Sweet & Sour Pork/Broccoli/Rice/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/12/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Kids Eat Free

      12/12/2017
      04:00PM — 09:00PM

      1 free kids meal with any paid adult meal Available after 4pm


    • Trivia Night at Grandma Ray's

      12/12/2017
      07:00PM — 09:00PM

      Trivia Night from 7:00-9:00pm every Tuesday down at Grandma Ray's.


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/13/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/13/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

      12/13/2017
      10:00AM — 11:00AM

      Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


    • 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine

      12/13/2017
      11:00AM

      1/2 Price Bottles of Wine


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/13/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Fish/Baked Potato/Corn Pudding/Cake/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/13/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Craft and a Craft Market

      12/13/2017
      04:30PM — 06:30PM

      Voyageur Brewing is proud to host weekly craft markets until Christmas with local Cook County art...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/13/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/14/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/14/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/14/2017
      12:00PM — 12:40PM

      Swedish Meatballs/Potato/Green Bean/Dessert/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/14/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      12/14/2017
      06:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      12/14/2017
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for November 30 through January 25. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      12/15/2017
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 6 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • YMCA Classes

      12/15/2017
      12:00AM

      Click to view our current list of Group Exercise classes, pool schedule and gym schedule!


    • Caregiver Coffee - Grand Marais

      12/15/2017
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      Caregiver Coffee Join us to get to know other caregivers in a casual setting. Take part in a d...


    • Caregiver Coffee

      12/15/2017
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      Caregiver Coffee Join us to get to know other caregivers in a casual setting. Take part in a d...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      12/15/2017
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Beef, Rice, Cabbage Hotdish/Bread Pudding/Milk


    • 20th anniversary exhibit, Begin | Continue

      12/15/2017
      04:00PM — 06:00PM

      A celebratory 20th anniversary exhibit titled Begin | Continue will feature the work of North Hou...


    Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here