Yesterday I had a guy tell me that you can drown a fish by moving it forwards and backwards to force water thru the gills.
I've never had any problems with fish that I've had to spend time with reviving this way.
I was always led to believe this is the way to revive a very tired fish, and by doing so you were forcing oxygen from the water into his gills, therefore giving him a "jumpstart"..... tickle his belly and off he goes.
I guess 'MAYBE' I could see the fish having problems if you were really being forceful doing this, but to "gently" move him forwards and backwards until he gains his strength back, I don't see a problem.
Ok, so, I've been sittin here wonderin' bout this "drowning a fish thing"...... no not this "whole" time, just some of it.
Is this possible? can it happen?
I'm thinking it can and probably does happen... although I don't believe it's a "common problem or issue".
I think it's possible to overdo it and "waterlog" a fish, I guess that would be considered drowning eh, Although I've not seen or heard of such a thing happening. it's not something I've ever had to think about.....until now.
I think you would have to be,(trying to be p.c. here)well ummm.....I'm just gonna say it, "not very smart if you actually drown a fish"..... seems like it would take alot of work.
The bigger concerns imo, "are people that don't spend enough time reviving a fish", and/or "rough handling" while removing the hook, handling in the net, or taking pictures.
Speaking of nets...How many people use "Rubber" nets?
We use one in the boat, It's kinda like having a floating aquarium, made out of heavy black rubber, really nice.
Just make sure on hot days(if it's in the Sun) to dunk it first before netting the fish.
When its an option, I know that holding the fish alongside the boat while its motored slowly along is ideal. (commonly done for large tarpon) I also recall seeing guys fishing for albacore, skipjack tuna, and other similar fish send them forcefully back in to the water from 3' above. Something about them needing to enter the water quickly to get a quick burst of oxygen through their gills.
I posted this once before & I think the key word is" Gently". I've only seen one trout net with rubber mesh & it was very heavy & cost around $100.00. If I ever find an affordable one of reasonable size I'll pick one up. I'm also starting to use a small imitation Boga Grip & so far it's working well & you don't have to handle the fish
10 steps to save a trout's life !!!
1) Use Barbless Hooks--Or Crimp The Barb With A Pair Of Needle-Nose Pliers. This Not Only Makes Hook Removal Easier But Also Prevents Internal Damage To The Fish. If You Use Barbless Hooks, The Only Way You'll Really Hurt The Fish Is If You Hook It In The Gills. If You Keep A Tight Line,You'll Land Just As Many As With Barbed Hooks.
2) Land The Fish As Quickly As Possible, Especially During Warm Weather. The Shorter The Fight The Better Chance It Will Survive.
3) Use A Landing Net With Soft Cotton Or Rubber Meshing- It Minimizes Damage To The Fish. Coarse Nylon Mesh Can Cause Injury And Infection. Avoid Beaching The Fish On Dry Land.
4) Make Sure Your Hands And Net Are Wet. The Mucous Coat Of The Fish Protects It From Bacterial And Fungal Infections. The Less You Disturb It, The Better.
5) Try Not To Lift The Trout All The Way Out Of The Water. Turn The Trout Upside-Down In The Net. This Usually Paralyzes Him Making Hook Removal Easier. Hold The Fish Gently In The Middle Of The Back, Using The Net To Improve Your Grip. Don't Squeeze The Fish, Especially Around The Mid-Section.
6) Use Fingertips, Or Better Yet, Medical Forceps To Grasp The Hook Close To The Hook Eye. Carefully Ease The Hook Backwards Until It Comes Loose. Avoid Contact With The Gills. If The Hook Is Swallowed Too Deeply, Just Cut The Line As Close To The Mouth As Possible. The Cost Of The Hook Is Not Worth The Trouts Life.
7) Slide The Trout Out Of The Net To A Point Directly In Front Of You.
Hold The Fish Facing Into The Current, Supporting It With Both Hands--One Beneath And Behind The Pectoral Fins, The Other Lightly Encircling The Wrist Of The Tail. Avoid Strong Currents That Will Sweep Tired Fish Downstream. Move The Fish Slowly And Gently In A Tight Oval, Keeping The Fish Completely Submerged And Always Facing Into The Current.
8} Don't Let The Trout Go Until It Is Fighting To Get Out Of Your Grasp.
9) Keep An Eye On The Fish For As Long As You Can. If It Starts To Tilt Or Tip, Re-Net It And Try Again To Revive It.
10} Remember That When The Weather Is Warm The Fish Are Already Stressed. So Release Them As Quickly As Possible.
The fish gets oxygen when water runes over/through its gills. If you move the fish back and forth it only gets oxygen when it is moved forward. If you pulled a fish backward long enough it will have a problem with insufficient oxygen. The best way is to hold the fish facing into a slight or mild currant. If there is no currant you can move the fish in a figure 8 or in an S pattern so water is only running into the gills from the front.
Oxygen is stored in a fishes red muscles and when a fished is caught lactic acid builds up in its white muscles. The oxygen in the red muscle is depleted by displacing the lactic acid. So when a fish is fought for a long period the lactic acid builds so high that the fish's oxygen is depleted getting rid of the lactic acid. So the fish dies from the lack of oxygen in its system. I think that is how it works but my memory may be deficient due to the lack of rum running over my tongue.
I've only seen one trout net with rubber mesh & it was very heavy & cost around $100.00. If I ever find an affordable one of reasonable size I'll pick one up.
My first rubber net, and it still comes into use sometimes, I picked up at Bass Pro for $29.00. Nothing fancy, but works well. You can retrofit a rubber net to a frame you already have, which is what I've done to my pretty wood frames. S2 Products carries them from under $20 to $30. S2 Products * Accessories
What I like about the rubber nets, in addition to being gentle on fish slime and eyes, is they will stay open in the water and allow the fish to hang out in them like they were in an aquarium before you release them. No net to untangle, no fish tangled in the net, no need to reach in the net to "fish" the fish out.
I've only recently started seeing the wooden nets w/rubber , also a long handled wooden boat net recently that was "very purdy"...still thinkin on that one.
The one we have right now is a cheap aluminum handled unit we picked up at Sportsmans, but it definately works better for us than a mesh type.