|If a deep-water fish is brought quickly to the surface, it can show signs of barotrauma – its internal organs pushed out by an expanded swim bladder. Barotrauma causes a high death rate among released red snapper and other deep-water fish.
Research shows death rates are reduced if a fish experiencing barotrauma is quickly released at 1/3 or more of the bottom depth. For instance, if you’re fishing in 120′ of water, you’d release the fish at 40′ or deeper. Watch this short video about using simple descending devices to release deep-water fish. Other methods of depressurizing saltwater fish can also be used if necessary.
In-shore anglers can also improve release survival with 4 simple actions:
Not every catch is a keeper. Become a pro at catch and release, and you’ll help improve sportfish survival and contribute to the sustainability of our fisheries.