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Best practices for catch and release of Atlantic salmon

Practice safe and responsible release techniques to ensure salmon survival.


When angling for salmon in Newfoundland and Labrador, practise safe and responsible release techniques to help ensure salmon survivial.

The use of barbless hooks is mandatory when angling for salmon in Newfoundland and Labrador. It helps minimize injury to the fish.

Landing, reviving and releasing your fish as quickly as possible and following these procedures will help minimize injury to the fish and increase the chances of fish survival.

Once a fish is hooked, gradually move to a quiet location. Bring the fish quickly into reach or break the leader off after a couple of runs, leaving the fish in the water.

If required, support the fish under the belly. Keep the fish in a horizontal position underwater and facing into the current.

When using a landing net, use a knotless mesh. This is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes.

Do not beach the salmon. This can remove its mucous coating and damage its scales. Keep the entire salmon underwater.

Loss of scales and damage to the gills caused by pressure on the gills or removal from the water are the most common and serious injuries a salmon can suffer.

Remove the hook gently with pliers or with your thumb and forefinger. If the hook must be left in, cut the leader as close to the fish as possible.

Handle the fish gently and as little as possible. Keep the entire salmon underwater as much as possible.

Do not squeeze any part of the fish. Do not hold the salmon vertically. This can injure the salmon.

Be patient. Give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.

Anglers should cease catch and release angling in extreme environmental conditions, such as low water levels and high water temperatures.

By using these catch and release practices, anglers can help ensure a healthy future for the salmon population in Newfound and Labrador.

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