At the Roaring River, where the trout are hatched to be caught, catch and release isn’t as critical as in small streams where trout numbers seem to be on the decline.
However, if you do want or need to return a caught fish to the river, proper techniques can help ensure the survival of the stunned trout. Here are a few tips:
- Keep the fish in water as long as possible. A fish out of water for more than 30 to 45 seconds may run out of oxygen and die later.
- If you grab the fish by the lower jaw, you can hold it steady while in the water.
- Gently handle the fish. If a fish is dropped to the ground, it will probably not make it.
- Unhook the fish as quickly as you can. Use pliers to speed up the process.
- Never pull a hook out of the fish’s stomach or throat. Break the line instead of messing with it. The fish should get rid of the hook later.
- Revive your fish before release. Cradle the fish in the water, and only let it go after it can strongly swim away from your hands.
If you end up dropping or hurting the fish at Roaring River, just add it to your daily keeper limit stringer and fish on!