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Anglers should keep fish from deep water

Jan 20, 2019 07:56AM ● By Editor

From the North Dakota Fish and Game Department  - Posted:  January 20, 2019

A push encouraging open-water anglers to keep fish caught from deep water should carry over into the ice fishing season, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says.

Catch-and-release fishing, no matter the time of year, is discouraged for fish caught in 30 feet or more of water because fish reeled in from those depths have a greater chance of dying if released.

Fish caught in deep water are affected by the extreme change in water pressure, which causes the swim bladder to expand. Fish no longer can control their balance in the water column when that happens. Other internal injuries, such as rupturing of organs and bleeding, also are likely for fish caught from deep water.

Devils Lake ice anglers commonly catch yellow perch in 30 to 45 feet of water during the winter months. This practice also translates to other deep water bodies around the state.

Game and Fish recommends that anglers targeting fish in deeper water make the commitment to keep what they catch. And once they reach their limit, anglers should stop fishing at that depth to avoid killing more than their limit of fish.