C&R Success story [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: C&R Success story


chromedome
06-26-2005, 06:31 PM
Don't know if this is the best section to post this, but I'm pretty avid about catch and release, (tho wish I had better technique) and thought you might want to know that there may be at least one steelie out there that has nine lives. The following is taken from an exchange I had on another board. The Poster was reporting on late season steelie success on lake superior.

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Poster:

(Note- This poster had some beautiful pics of great photo quality.)
Things are still hopping on a select few north of Superior tribs. (Note - his post was dated 6-14- 05) I only got about 3 hours in yesterday but went 5 for 8 with mostly spawned out hens. Nothing too big today. Most were in the 4 to 6 lb. range with a few 12 to 14 residents thrown in.
This guy was bleeding badly (Note- Poster showed a pic here) for quite a while but recovered nicely after about an hour in the livewell. It was nice to see her finally swim away looking quite healthy.

Chromedome:

Those were certainly beautiful pics. I found the report on the bleeding fish to be quite interesting. I'm strictly catch and release but have read time and again that if a fish is bleeding it will almost certainly die. And that's coming from other C&R guys. It's said that fish have little blood to begin with. I suppose the logical followup to this is that any loss could be critical. So it was good to hear that your experience may be evidence that they can indeed survive, tho let's face it, we'll never know for sure how well this fish fared later. I'd appreciate any other thoughts on releasing bleeding fish since I do it all the time hoping they will survive. Since I fish artificials, the fish are usually not hooked deep.

Poster:

You raise some good points chromedome. Obviously I had the luxury of a livewell on this day, something that stream fishermen don't have. The fish was hooked fairly deep in it's throat with a 2" Rapala countdown. I got the hook out quickly and without much effort but there was blood everywhere. I thought that the fish was a goner so I put it in the livewell with the aerator running. I checked it after about 15 minutes and it was belly up and the water was stained red, not a good sign, so I just forgot about it and continued fishing. About an hour later it was time to call it quits and I drove to the launch site. I was going to take one last photo of the fish, which I thought would be dead by this time. To my surprise the fish was now right side up, breathing very well and all the red was now gone from the water. I just picked her up and let her go in some very shallow water and she swam away very, very healthy looking. I'm not sure if there's a lesson to be learned here or not, but it sure made me feel good and I'm confident that the fish is alive and well today. Thanks for your comments.

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I'm not sure if there's a lesson here either. But its got me thinking that maybe bleeding fish have a better chance for recovery than we previously thought.

peter-s-c
06-26-2005, 07:57 PM
I've been told that fish have no platelets in their blood and therefore no blood clotting ability. If the gills are cut the fish is dead, or so we have been told. A couple of years ago I caught a smallie that had one gill hanging out of its gill plate. The gill was attached at only one end and white over most of it's length except for a bit of pink. Clearly a non-functioning gill and obviously ripped or cut by an angler taking a hook out given where the cut was located. Other than this injury, it was a healthy, spunky smallie that had taken a good whack at my fly and put up a good battle. The loss of one gill not only hadn't killed it but hadn't appeared to hamper it much.

Last year, one of our group hooked a steelie that was a bad bleeder. Since we couldn't keep it due to regs. it was left in the shallows. About two hours later, I walked by the spot to see the steelie on its side, still alive. As I approached, it righted itself and shot off into deeper water.

Dug through a few sites after reading your post and it appears that mortality of
bleeding fish is way less than 100%. Interesting contradiction of conventional wisdom. A fish probably has the means to choke off the blood supply to an injured gill.

chromer
06-26-2005, 09:03 PM
I think there is a lesson to be learned there. Don't fish multiple barbed treble hooks for steelhead. :lildevl:

Glad the fish did not die while in the tank but I could hardly call that a success story, meaning no disrespect!

Greg Pavlov
06-26-2005, 09:13 PM
[QUOTE=peter-s-c]I've been told that fish have no platelets in their blood and therefore no blood clotting ability.

Blood can coagulate in fish. It would be hard to imagine fish being
able to survive without that ability. Lampreys secrete some chemical
that acts as an anti-coagulant.

chromedome
06-26-2005, 11:06 PM
I think there is a lesson to be learned there. Don't fish multiple barbed treble hooks for steelhead. :lildevl:

Glad the fish did not die while in the tank but I could hardly call that a success story, meaning no disrespect!


The actions of Poster probably contributed greatly to the fact that the fish could be revived. - That's a success.
This incident demonstrates that we may be hasty in giving up on fish that are bleeding badly. That's a success.
It has provided an important piece of evidence telling us we may need to revisit the dogma that bleeding fish die. That too is a success.

A few years ago I caught an 18 pound Atlantic salmon, the largest salmonoid I've ever caught. It was bleeding a little and the guide immediately dispatched it. I tried to intervene, but the guide, who spoke little english and acted quickly, didn't understand. The Camp had a C&R policy but also a policy that bleeding fish would be killed. I often thought about that fish and whether killing it was the right thing to do.

And yes, triple hooks, maybe even double hooks, are overkill when fishing for salmonoids.

peter-s-c
06-27-2005, 03:41 AM
[QUOTE=peter-s-c]I've been told that fish have no platelets in their blood and therefore no blood clotting ability.

Blood can coagulate in fish. It would be hard to imagine fish being
able to survive without that ability. Lampreys secrete some chemical
that acts as an anti-coagulant.


No doubt, but it was in a biologist's paper that I read about platelets. Makes you wonder what the mechanisms are.

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Found the reference -- fish have thrombocytes in their blood that are believed to perform the same function as platelets.

Charlie
06-27-2005, 09:13 AM
Even the best cared for fish sometimes die after release. It is a sad fact in our sport that we donít like to think about. But it is for the ones that do survive that we do it. As long as there is a mechanism for them to stop the bleeding I think it is worth the try. If you don't try the fish will surly die. If, for example, only 5% of the bleeding fish survive, isn't that 5% worth saving? Of course I know I donít need to preach to you guys. :cool:

Charlie.