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poke em 04-02-2011 06:41 AM

Release your trout gently
An excerpt from the book I'm currently reading (An Entirely Synthetic Fish by Anders Halverson) regarding stocking trout by airplane:


First, Reese tried freezing the fish in ice blocks and parachuting them in ice cream containers. Both of these techniques, though, proved dangerous and difficult. And so, one day, Reese and his assistants tried a simpler technique. They put fifty trout and some water into a five-gallon can and threw it out the window toward a hatchery pond about 350 feet below. They missed, and the can bounced along the rocks nearby instead. But when observers recovered the twisted metal debris, they found sixteen fish still swimming in the small amount of water that remained. It was a stunning result for the fishery managers who had long been telling anglers not to throw fish back, but to gently place them back in the water.

Assured by this mishap that the fish could survive the impact, Reese set out to discover whether they could make the trip without the protection of tin and water. Reese and his partner grabbed some more fish, hopped in a vehicle, and hit the gas until they were moving seventy-five miles per hour down the hatchery road. At that point, the men grabbed the fish, one by one, and held them out the window for two minutes, at which point they pulled them back in and dropped them back into the water. And once again, the fish survived.

TAT 04-02-2011 08:20 AM

Re: Release your trout gently
I carry a slingshot and shoot, err.. release, them upstream from my location so they can slowly drift back by and I can catch them again. ;)

I have this mental image of 2 guys in a car going 75mph down a hatchery road holding fish out the window.

I'm definitely picking this book up when its in paperback.

raindogt 04-02-2011 09:11 AM

Re: Release your trout gently
Alright--- so they are a little more resilient than we give them credit for-- but I still see a gentler approach to be the nicest way... Although TAT might be onto something with the slingshot release method.... :D

As a side note: I see this thread derailing quickly into an ethics discussion regarding the best/ proper/ most humane way to handle the fish, and the fish deserve x, y, and z, and the such.... The irony is that we are the ones who need to create these tenets-- likely to justify toying with nature in the first place.

I'm as guilty as anyone-- I love to fish-- and try to impact each fish as little as possible, but I have to wonder why I am giving regard to a creature that I just pulled from it's environment, by a hook thru it's mouth, thrashing and jumping, and kicking and screaming-- all for my own selfish enjoyment.... :rolleyes:

poke em 04-02-2011 09:49 AM

Re: Release your trout gently
I'm certainly all for releasing fish gently, but that's just because it seems like the decent thing to do. Not because they're fragile.

williamhj 04-02-2011 10:08 AM

Re: Release your trout gently
I release them gently cause I want the max to survive - they only got 8/25, not good numbers, though they were released from 350 ft.

That's a great book.

TAT 04-02-2011 10:38 AM

Re: Release your trout gently
What kind of maniac drives 75mph down a fishery road? Most fishery roads I've been on I wouldn't even drive at 40mph. 75mph is insane.

I release my catch with the maximum gentleness. Especially after a long fight. Why take chances? It also gives me some time to get a really good look and admire the little guy.

ssmith 04-02-2011 01:28 PM

Re: Release your trout gently
Being eager to fly fish for flying fish, I like to throw my catch in the air as high as I can over the river while attempting to cast to them. Sadly I have yet to hook up with a flying fish, but I have caught many an oakfish attempting.

cattech89 04-02-2011 03:37 PM

Re: Release your trout gently
I find it a little ironic that you begin a thread on handling trout with a username like Poke em!!! :D:D:D


Originally Posted by TAT (Post 234751)
What kind of maniac drives 75mph down a fishery road? Most fishery roads I've been on I wouldn't even drive at 40mph. 75mph is insane.

I have been on some gravel fishery roads here in WV that I had no fear of driving that fast. Granted, now that same road has deteriorated quite a bit but at the time and for many years it was an awesome road.

Rip Tide 04-02-2011 04:57 PM

Re: Release your trout gently
I use to work stocking trout for the state and we were always dumping fish off of bridges.
I asked the state biologist about it and he told me that after the traumatic ride in the stocking truck it gave the fish a bit of a jump start.
Seems cruel but they were tough and it was for their own good.

swirlchaser 04-02-2011 05:09 PM

Re: Release your trout gently
I do it as a matter of respect for mother nature, we played, we fought, I won. I think at that point a comfortable release is the least I can do. If you've ever played a contact sport you know that at the end of the game you shake hands respectfully and move on.

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