Written by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Proper Fish Handling Techniques
- Handle reef fish intended for release as little as possible and only with wet hands – never with a towel.
- If a fish must be lifted from the water, be sure to support its weight horizontally.
- Use tackle heavy enough to land fish quickly to reduce exhaustion, which could result in the fish’s death or weaken it making it more vulnerable to predators.
- If a net is needed to remove a fish from the water, use a hard plastic knotless net.
- If a fish is exhausted, revive it before releasing it by passing water over its gills.
By adopting just a few simple habits, recreational anglers will greatly increase the chances that the fish they catch and release will survive, meaning each and every saltwater angler can positively influence the future of Florida’s fishing stocks by striving for 100-percent survival of all released fish.
Shared with Permission by FloridaSportFishing.