RE:Catch & Release Mortality
Peter MacNeil is a fish doc but I know his PhD work is raising his sparetime mortality rate lately.
Not to come across as any kind of elitist but I gotta think that the increased rate of hook swallowing in bait vs. lure fishing is a major factor for the current mortality rate. Over the years, I grew up doing both and the difference is night and day. Even with lures, a single hook is all that's needed but people insist on two, even three barbed treble hooks on some lures. Other regions of the country require single barbless hooks for their gamefish to reduce mortality, no mystery there if you ask me.
The majority of my fishing is while standing thigh deep in the water and I agree with Bob, there's no way that nearly 10% of these fish die after my release on single barbless flies, often without even touching the fish by grabbing the fly and inverting it.
On the other hand I have seen people stepping on schoolies to wrestle the barbed trebles out of their mouths on barnacle covered rocks. Drives me crazy.
You said MA is the bulk of C&R - is that due to the differences in regulations?