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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't understand how the spring rockfish season starts on April 21st, yet there are post stating that some people are going out to Catch & Release prior to April 21st. I have read that the mortality rate on rockfish when caught trolling is over 70%. If that is true, how is it allowed to go out and troll for rockfish prior to April 21st?
 

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You can C&R anytime - just can't keep 'em until April 21.

Not sure where the 70% figure came from, but most spring fish released survive quite well due to the colder water temps. July/Aug warm water...less chance of survival. If you are going to C&R, use heavy enough tackle to land the fish quickly, handle them as little as possible, and release as quickly as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand you can't keep them...what I don't understand is why anyone is allowed to CR prior to April 21st if the studies done on trolling and then releasing the fish are accurate...70% mortality rate. Why kill fish you can't keep is my question?
 

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70%? Probably because it takes so long to get the fish in with a fly rod. When trolling, proper gear should be used:eek2: -------------
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
What does a fly rod have to do with my question. The question was on trolling for rockfish in the spring...who trolls with a fly rod? Actually you can land any rockfish with a 8 weight fly rod loaded with WF-8T line in less than 5 minutes.
The article I read (no it was not peta.com) was in a popular fishing magazine. The article was on research done on the mortality rate on fish caught and released using a casting rod vs trolling for fish. The fish caught were released into large inpound nets and the monitored for 3 days after being caught and released. The fish caught with a cast/spinning rod had a mortality rate of just less than 30% and trolled caught fish when the boat was still moving after hook up had a mortality rate of 70%. I just read the article, I was not involved in the study. The study was done by State Fishery management personnel.
 

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Would you please give us the name of this popular fishing magazine where you got this information, I would like to see how they did their study

From the information I have heard, read and told to by the Maryland DNR and other sources, release mortality has a lot more to do with salinity of the water (higher salt content the better), temperature of the water (the lower the better, under 60 is great), time out of water (shorter is better. in the water release is best), and the amount of handling so you do not remove the protective slime by using wet gloves if you must handle the fish. It has absolutely nothing to do with what type of gear you use.

I am pretty sure the book Chesapeake Stripers by Keith Walters has the survial studies done in Maryland where they held the fish in pens on the Susky and in other locations in the bay at different times of the year. Also heard a gentleman speak from the DNR earlier this year who said from the info they have the mortality rate is low at this time of the year.
 

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I can't believe 70% is a good figure. I do not think the DNR believes so either or I am sure catch and release would not be allowed.
 

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I am pretty sure that the DNR figures or more like 2% when fishing in colder waters, single hook, etc. WORST case is something like 17% to 20%. ASMFC uses 8% as a coast wide average. Go to their web page and search or mortality
 

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All of us that troll know we kill fish. If you are C&R I assume you are doing it for fun, so why troll? Use casting or spinning gear, have more fun and save more fish for when we can keep em and eat em.
 

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Not to be a smart a$$, I want to know why some of you think that trolling is more harmful to the fish? I do both types of fishing depending on the season and what is catching the fish.

I would think that a long prolonged fight with a fish bringing him in on lighter tackle and exhausted would be far worse for the fish then bringing him in quickly and when he still has some fight in him when you release it, especially if you do not remove him from water when removing the hook.

I really would like to hear the explaination for why casting does less harm?
 

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I would think that with trolling one could get a big fish in a little quicker.Addressing these %`s even 8% would be unacceptable.Now on the other side of the coin if I could get 8% on some money without any risks sign me up.
 

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Flyguy - Please post your source.

The only study we know of in Maryland was not trolling based. It was hook and line using bait up on the flats at different temperatures. C&R mortality in that study was near zero until the water was at 65 degrees. 6% above that.
 

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70% mortality seems high--
would like to see the research behind that one--
Of course, if the fish are handled the way that I often see--netted, bounced on the deck, picked up by the lower jar and then eventually unceremoniously tossed back into the water--I can believe it--
Handled with care, I really do believe that most fish caught on big tackle in cold water do pretty well--better than big ones that are faught on 15 # line for 15 minutes--they often don't look too good going back in

just my 3 cents
Hans
 
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