Grayling post release mortality

albacore

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Hi, I’m posting this to see if there’s more information regarding best catch and release practises for grayling. The few I’ve caught seemed delicate compared to a lot of other fish, and I’d like to minimise the amount of harm I might do. I also saw online an edition of a specialist grayling fishers’ publication. It looked like there was an item about high grayling mortality post release. I couldn’t find the actual article however.
 

BobP

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The majority of the ones I catch swim away with no problems. There is the occasional one that looks a bit wonky so I keep it in the landing net until it recovers and then it's away.

I used to electric fish lots of grayling back in the '70's & '80's and if anything was going to knock them over it's that. They would lie upside down but still breathing in a tank on the back of a landrover. When we drove off to take them elsewhere I'd stop after about half an hour, lift the tank lid to check and they were all upright and swimming around, pepped up on oxygen,

Tougher than they look, like most freshwater fish.
 

delray

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Good question. I've had one or 2 that have needed more care than I would have expected after them appearing to be full of energy while in the net, so the norm is now to just take more time on the release. As far as i know, not lost one yet, hopefully that is the case and continues to be so.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I've caught the same grayling twice in the same day on more than once occasion. One was only about 30 minutes between captures. Also caught the same fish from the same pool on 2 consecutive winters.

Col
 

green man

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Barbless hooks and keep your hands wet.

Or, if you use a net, I read recently that silicon-meshed landing nets* are being recommended more and more, for their fish-friendliness. Orvis do a nice one.

(*I've not been able to fly fish for a few years, so this is new to me, probably not to anyone else.)
 
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micka

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Lot's of good advice above. Douglas is right about the Grayling's propensity to wriggle like hell - so I try to hold the line near to the fish when it is in the water. I let them splash around for a bit until they seem calmer, then using barbless hooks as always, I try to release it by hand turning the hook. But I always have some finer forceps on a coiled zinger handy if it's stubborn or its deeper into the fish' mouth. By this time I will have put on my handy Pound Shop magnifiers on too. I will only hold the fish with wet hands if it needs supporting to regain it's energy to swim off.

If a fish won't calm quickly then it's into the net as described above.

It's absolutely crucial when trotting to strike as soon as that float dips - slow striking leads to deep hooking and all the consequent problems.

Sadly I've seen the results of some rather brutal handling by some anglers when I've caught grayling with some of the 'plates' above their lips missing (sorry I don't know the technical term). Though the fish were clearly still feeding.

Mick
 
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mrnotherone

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Don't fish too light and get them back quickly. I do find that larger grayling can take longer to recover than a similar size trout, so let them recover for as long as necessary the net.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Mention of rubberised nets above. I am not sure how they are supposed to be kinder to fish than a soft material? And mention of fish struggling vs staying calm while unhooking and releasing. I don't know who else has found this - Jimmy and I both notice it with trout and rubberised mesh... they don't lie still in a rubberised mesh the same as they do in a soft material net. It's like a soft material cradles the fish and helps to calm it, while a rubberised net is stiff and tends to form a 'tank' that the fish is free to swim around in. So that is what it tries to do... and consequently it struggles when you then try to get hold of it to unhook it. No one else find this?

Col
 

green man

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Mention of rubberised nets above. I am not sure how they are supposed to be kinder to fish than a soft material?

I guess the theory is that silicon is soft, super slippery when wet and devoid of knots, and therefore less abrasive. It's less inclined towards hook entanglement.

The Orvis one is not at all stiff. I handled one in Burford before lockdown and was surprised at how soft and floppy it was - there's no way that stuff would form a tank. (They also market them as eco friendly - no PVC micro-fibres to break down.)
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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I guess the theory is that silicon is soft, super slippery when wet and devoid of knots, and therefore less abrasive. It's less inclined towards hook entanglement.

The Orvis one is not at all stiff. I handled one in Burford before lockdown and was surprised at how soft and floppy it was - there's no way that stuff would form a tank. (They also market them as eco friendly - no PVC micro-fibres to break down.)

The silicon ones are completely different from the rubberised material ones though. I'm talking about the rubberised material ones. They don't have knots, but they are stiffer than non-rubberised material.

It seems to me the main advantage of the rubberised material is that it does not absorb fish slime, the way non-rubberised material does, so you don't get it stinking up the back of your car when it gets funky...
 
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Hardrar

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I have a few silicone bagged nets and while soft to the touch, they are heavier than mesh and tend to be quite shallow and firmer. I have had rainbows and browns jump out of them on a few occasions so gone back to soft mesh- as said the fish seem much calmer in a fine soft mesh net.
 

eddleston123

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Although it may seem obvious ,I will say it anyway.
The biggest march forward in fish protection, whether that be trout or grayling is 'Barbless Hooks'

It makes me cringe to think about scenes of barbed hooks ripping off maxillary bones and barbed hooks being removed with lumps of the fishes' mouth attached. In addition the fish being squeezed to death as a vice like grip is applied to enable the barbed hook to be ripped out.

I can't think of any reasons why barbed hooks should still be sold. Perhaps catch and kill, being the only exception.

Just saying.




Douglas
 

Hardrar

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Although it may seem obvious ,I will say it anyway.
The biggest march forward in fish protection, whether that be trout or grayling is 'Barbless Hooks'

It makes me cringe to think about scenes of barbed hooks ripping off maxillary bones and barbed hooks being removed with lumps of the fishes' mouth attached. In addition the fish being squeezed to death as a vice like grip is applied to enable the barbed hook to be ripped out.

I can't think of any reasons why barbed hooks should still be sold. Perhaps catch and kill, being the only exception.

Just saying.




Douglas
I’m with you on this Douglas, but, and there are some big “buts”here. Many barbless hooks have extended longer points and tend to have a long slim taper and finer wire and a lot of research was done by the EA Rivers trust etc bitd and I was a consultant on water sensitive catchment issues at that time and it was well researched that barbless hooks penetrated much deeper, than standard barbed and there was little to choose between them on resulting fish damage.
The conclusion was that a standard barbed hook, but with a well flattened barb, was the least damaging, as the steeper tapered and shorter points penetrated less deep.
It was also noted smaller hooks did far less damage.
personally I never fish larger than a 16 and down to a 28 and use narrow gape hooks, most fish are lip hooked and utilising softer tipped glass rods, I bump/break off less fish.
 

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