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Release Fish the Right Way

Releasing a fish the right way
This angler is releasing fish the right way: his hands are wet, he's keeping the fish's gill under the water and he's using a pair of long-nosed pliers to remove the hook. He also landed the fish using a modern net.
Photo by Ron Stewart, Utah DWR

Summer is an important time to catch and release fish properly. Proper catch and release is especially important when temperatures are reaching the hottest they'll be all year.

As the water warms, the amount of oxygen in the water declines. Less oxygen makes it harder for fish to recover after fighting with an angler. And in southern Utah, and other spots that have low water levels this summer, fish are more concentrated. Fish that are concentrated into a smaller area are easier to catch, which increases the chance that a fish will be caught and released by anglers multiple times.

"Fish survival is all about equipment and technique," says Ron Stewart, "especially during the hot months of summer."

Stewart, an avid angler who serves as a regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says following a few simple rules will greatly increase the chance that fish survive after you release them:

Stewart provides additional details about equipment and techniques to use: