The EA and the stocking of rivers.

Juneau

Well-known member
Points
18
When I first joined the Water Industry in 1977 - Thames Conservancy as it then was - we had an in-house technician who designed and built electric fishing control units which were the forerunners of the Electracatch boxes now in use nationally. The aim was to produce box that was efficient and also caused minimal damage to the fish. No point in doing a survey to find out what is there if you simply kill half of what you catch.

Needless to say that Health & Safety got involved at a later date when such things became higher profile. After all, electricity and water is a potentially lethal combination, though as far as I know there have been no recorded instances of anyone suffering lasting harm from a belt from an anode. Actually when we had the original boxes one of us used to dip their fingers in the water to check it was operational. About 5' from the anode we'd get the first tingle.

The boxes that we used, and which are still in use today, do not kill fish en masse or cause significant spinal injuries. I rather think that we would have known that years ago and would have ceased to use them until a full evaluation had been carried out and modifications made or is black & silver suggesting that we just slaughtered fish for the hell of it. There would be the occasional casualty, which as I have pointed out previously, were most likely to be chub or dace, and those could be counted as one or two in a survey in which hundreds of fish would be caught.

Electric fishing is a basic fisheries management tool so such incidents, while unusual and were generally limited to spring time when the fish were shoaling up for spawning. We didn't survey much in the summer months due to the warmer water temperatures.

We very often had angling club members present during surveys to see what was being found in their river and where. This was especially prevalent on those stretches where barbel were present. The guys would note where good fish were found so they could go back a few days later and try to catch them. I rather suspect those club members would have been more than a bit p*ssed off if we had killed half the barbel in their stretch.

So, why don't the doubters and doom sayers contact their local EA Fisheries team and ask to go along to a survey to see what goes on. A request like that is seldom refused from interested parties. Take a camera, shoot videos, no-one will object.
 

boisker

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Devon
I don't know, but how would you like to be knocked out then brought round a few minutes later and thrown in the water, you might not fair to well.
probably slightly more than having a hook stuck through my lip, skull dragged through the water and then either kncoked on the head or put back to repeat the process... at least they won’t ‘remember‘ being knocked out :unsure:
 

black and silver

Well-known member
Points
18
The boxes that we used, and which are still in use today, do not kill fish en masse or cause significant spinal injuries. I rather think that we would have known that years ago and would have ceased to use them until a full evaluation had been carried out and modifications made or is black & silver suggesting that we just slaughtered fish for the hell of it. There would be the occasional casualty, which as I have pointed out previously, were most likely to be chub or dace, and those could be counted as one or two in a survey in which hundreds of fish would be caught.
The reason why the work on the Esk was done in the back end of october when the main run of sea trout run is because they had to get the budget used up or they would of lost the money, this came from the ballifs mouths who also were discusted with what was going on.

There wasn't the odd casualty there were hundreds.

I'm not suggesting that the EA slaughted fish for the hell of it, but they did royaly f**k that one up.

And surly you don't think it's good to electro fish for fish that are only days or a couple of weeks away from spawning?
 

boisker

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Devon
The reason why the work on the Esk was done in the back end of october when the main run of sea trout run is because they had to get the budget used up or they would of lost the money, this came from the ballifs mouths who also were discusted with what was going on.

There wasn't the odd casualty there were hundreds.

I'm not suggesting that the EA slaughted fish for the hell of it, but they did royaly f**k that one up.

And surly you don't think it's good to electro fish for fish that are only days or a couple of weeks away from spawning?
that’s a completely different point... and even the point you make is confused.
can badly implemented electro-fishing cause fish kills.. undoubtedly yes.
can bad fishing practice and wading cause fish kills... undoubtedly yes.
people make bad decisions...
But you seem to be blaming the current EA for an event 20 yrs ago carried out by the NRA...
if as you say, and I’ve no reason to not believe you, the NRA carried out a poorly timed and implemented fish survey then it’s fine to criticise... but it’s got nothing to do with EA 20 yrs later or the modern use of electro-fishing equipment... both of which I imagine you have little direct experience...
 

black and silver

Well-known member
Points
18
that’s a completely different point... and even the point you make is confused.
can badly implemented electro-fishing cause fish kills.. undoubtedly yes.
can bad fishing practice and wading cause fish kills... undoubtedly yes.
people make bad decisions...
But you seem to be blaming the current EA for an event 20 yrs ago carried out by the NRA...
if as you say, and I’ve no reason to not believe you, the NRA carried out a poorly timed and implemented fish survey then it’s fine to criticise... but it’s got nothing to do with EA 20 yrs later or the modern use of electro-fishing equipment... both of which I imagine you have little direct experience...
I have no idea what you are talking about, i'm not blaming the current EA and nor did i suggest or say that they were and i quote IMPLEMENTING A FISH SURVEY, maybe you should go back and read the post.
Also when the NRA's own balliffs are shocked and horrified at what was going on, well that just about say's it all i think.

Have a good day, and please re read the posts before posting.
 

BobP

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Wiltshire
The reason why the work on the Esk was done in the back end of october when the main run of sea trout run is because they had to get the budget used up or they would of lost the money, this came from the ballifs mouths who also were discusted with what was going on.

There wasn't the odd casualty there were hundreds.

I'm not suggesting that the EA slaughted fish for the hell of it, but they did royaly f**k that one up.

And surly you don't think it's good to electro fish for fish that are only days or a couple of weeks away from spawning?
The bit about having to do the job at the back end of October because they had to use up the budget is total moonshine. Budgets run from beginning of April until end of March following. End of October is only halfway through so plenty of cash left in the kitty.

Makes one wonder that if that "fact" is wrong how much of the rest of it is likewise. Personally I cannot see any Fisheries staff continuing with an operation that is damaging fish stocks in that way.

Finally, only a fish knows when it is going to spawn. It has happened that we have started a survey site only to find a lot of fish shoaling up for spawning. On those occasions we have limited the operation to a single run which gives a minimum estimate of the population. That way any damage to fish is kept to a minimum. It b*ggers up the statistics but we just accepted that.
 

boisker

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Devon
probably best you read your own reply first... it’s full of the usual assumptions and b@ll@x... and after you have read that, try reading the EA policy and licence requirements for electro-fishing... surprisingly contrary to your ‘EA theory’ it directly refers to the risk to both fish and operator. That’s why there’s a whole load of techniques and requirements for different situations...
but as you say... it was an EA/NRA survey, end of year spend type of thingy...
so I bow to your expertise..
 
Last edited:

silver creek

Well-known member
Points
18
supressed is an interesting choice of words Silver... makes it sound like a conspiracy:)
Maybe ignored is a better choice of words. In the state of Idaho the fisheries dept refused to remove barbless hook requirements even though it was their own research that showed that the barbless hook requirements had no effects on trout populations.

In contrast, when research by the Wisconsin DNR (Dept of Natural Resources ) Fisheries and the University of Wisconsin showed that barbless regulations had no effect on trout populations, the barbless only regulations were removed on C&R waters.
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Points
18
I do find your position confusing to say the least. As C&R anglers we have a choice and fishery owners can set whatever rules they want - the choice is not determined by government restrictions. Even if your 'suppressed' science is sound and both barbed and barbless hooks cause similar mortality, so what? There are other very good reasons for using barbless including less and easier fish handling and user safety.

You seem more interested in resisting restrictions on your choice than following what many consider best C&R practice. Why are you so predisposed to barbed hooks? I well understand where the burden of proof sits, but frankly I don't care. I don't need a scientific study to prove that what I'm doing is positively helping to preserve the population. It's enough that I know I'm not doing more harm. There are enough other reasons to use barbless hooks and as you say "there is ample evidence that barbless hooks do not harm the resource". As a matter of interest, how much of a reduction in proven fish mortality would be enough to make you switch, or would you still not like being told what to do?
You wrote, " As C&R anglers we have a choice and fishery owners can set whatever rules they want - the choice is not determined by government restrictions."

In the USA, the public "owns" the fisheries. There are a few private spring creek fisheries and the owners DO set the regulations. What I oppose is the state fisheries setting barbless hook only requirement on the waters that are PUBLIC when there is no demonstrated need to protect he resource. That is an abridgement of public rights.

Why do I use barbed hooks?

My reason for using barbed hooks is that I net 20% more the fish that at hooked by using barbed hooks vs barbless books [ (76%-63%)/63% ].

Here are a series of 4 research articles comparing barbed vs barbless hook effects on the proportion of fish landed:


North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume 33, Issue 3, 2013

Capture Efficiency of Barbed versus Barbless Artificial Flies for Trout

Abstract


I examined the capture efficiency of artificial flies fished with barbed and barbless hooks in various coldwater fisheries throughout California. Capture efficiency was defined as the proportion of trout (family Salmonidae) landed to the total number of trout hooked while angling. Waters were selected based on high catch per unit effort along with trout species present in an effort to increase the probability of encounters and the species represented. Artificial flies were standardized by J-style hooks and three artificial fly types (dry, nymph, and streamer). In an effort to reduce bias, anglers were not told what hook type (i.e., barbed or barbless) they were using and were not allowed to handle or visually inspect flies. A total of 1,617 trout were landed with a mean total length of 213 mm and a range of 64–660 mm. Mean capture efficiency (and ranges) was 76% (38–100%) for anglers using barbed flies and 63% (0–100%) for anglers using barbless flies. Results show that anglers using barbless flies landed proportionately less trout than when they used barbed flies. Fisheries managers must weigh any perceived benefits from barbless regulations with potential reductions in catch rates and associated angler satisfaction.



Performance of Barbed and Barbless Hooks in a Marine Recreational Fishery

Abstract

We used an angling study to examine catch per unit effort (CPUE), bait loss, and total landings by anglers fishing with natural bait on barbed and barbless hooks in a nearshore marine sport fishery located in the Gulf of Mexico near St. Petersburg, Florida. Anglers fished half the day with a barbed hook and half the day with a barbless hook. We also recorded anatomical hook placement, severity of injury or bleeding, and hook extraction times for each landed fish. Bait loss, CPUE, and mean length of catch did not differ between gears, but anglers landed 22% more fish with barbed hooks. Loss of hooked fish was significantly higher with barbless hooks, and efficiency appeared to vary among species. Mean unhooking times were significantly shorter with barbless hooks. Anatomical hook placement did not differ between gears and most fish were hooked in the jaws. Bleeding did not differ between gears because bleeding was influenced strongly by hook placement, but barbless hooks reduced unhooking injuries. In this fishery, barbless hooks probably did not reduce hooking mortality and conferred only slight benefits at the expense of reduced catches.



Comparison of steelhead caught and lost by anglers using flies with barbed or barbless hooks in the klamath river california usa

Barnhart, R.A.

California Fish & Game 76(1): 43-45

1990

Klamath River anglers lost fewer steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss on barbed hooks than on barbless hooks, regardless of fish size. Losses from barbed hooks of sizes 8 and 6 did not differ with fish size. Significantly fewer "half-pounders" (<406 mm long) were lost from barbless hook flies of size 6 than size 8. For adult steelhead (.gtoreq. 406 mm long) the loss rate was the same for flies with barbless hooks of size 6 and 8.

Here's table from a published study in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 24:1309-1321,2004 in an Alaskan Rainbow Trout C&R fishery. For every type of hook and using every type of equipment, more fish were lost with barbless hooks vs hooks. On the other side of the coin there were more fish injuries with barbed hooks.






As to what would make me change, I have already answered that question with the research I posted. When there is proof that barbed hooks have been shown to reduce the population of the fish in the habitat.
 

lhomme

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
Antwerp
Using barbed hooks just to catch a few more fish is a personal choice. Personally, I don't mind losing the barb nor the odd fish.
 

Paul_B

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
South Yorkshire
One the other hand heres a report to show how conservation has improved, https://0104.nccdn.net/1_5/041/090/1a9/Barbless-review.pdf

heres a snippet
"With a few exceptions such as the Metolius River, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has adopted a position opposed to the use of barbless hooks as a conservation tool for vulnerable wild salmonid populations. They base this policy on a scientific literature review done by staff in 2001. Oregon stands alone among entities that are concerned about recovery and protection of wild salmon, trout and steelhead. British Columbia requires single barbless hooks province wide, Washington requires singlepoint barbless hooks in areas designated as "fly fishing only" or "selective gear rules; California requires single barbless hooks on most trout and steelhead fisheries; Idaho says only barbless hooks may be used when fishing for steelhead in the Salmon and Clearwater river drainages and the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam."
 

bobmiddlepoint

Well-known member
Points
83
Location
STAYING AT HOME!
As to what would make me change, I have already answered that question with the research I posted. When there is proof that barbed hooks have been shown to reduce the population of the fish in the habitat.
That is fine, I don't think any angler wants to harm the populations of fish in any habitat.
But that is different o the welfare of the individual fish. I know going down this road can eventually leads to not fishing for them at all but I see no reason not to go barbless for the sake of the fish I catch and return.
I have no doubt the barbless hooks come out easier (from fish and fingers!) and, despite the research quoted, I don't think my landing rate is affected to any measurable degree.


Andy
 

black and silver

Well-known member
Points
18
The bit about having to do the job at the back end of October because they had to use up the budget is total moonshine. Budgets run from beginning of April until end of March following. End of October is only halfway through so plenty of cash left in the kitty.
It was excepted that levels would be to high as the esk tends to run a lot higher after octoberso they would't get the works completed.

So moonshine on boyo
 

black and silver

Well-known member
Points
18
probably best you read your own reply first... it’s full of the usual assumptions and b@ll@x... and after you have read that, try reading the EA policy and licence requirements for electro-fishing... surprisingly contrary to your ‘EA theory’ it directly refers to the risk to both fish and operator. That’s why there’s a whole load of techniques and requirements for different situations...
but as you say... it was an EA/NRA survey, end of year spend type of thingy...
so I bow to your expertise..
zzz zzz zzz
 

Mrwayne

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
London
It's pretty damn obvious barb less hooks are less likely to harm fish. I'm not sure what kind of idiot would think otherwise.

But they're also a lot safer and easier to use than barbed anyway and that's good enough for me.
 

Paul_B

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
South Yorkshire
The best way to kill fish is to fish static with a barbed booby or buzzer, use light line and tippet so that you have to take a long time bringing the fish in to prevent breakages and build up lactic acid in the fish so it comes in more easily.
Hold the fish tightly in a cloth to prevent the fish escaping while you ram a disgorger down its neck (also good at removing its protective slime) and finally take a photo in dry hands to show how good you are :cry:
 
Last edited:
Top