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Proper Handling & Releasing Techniques
- Land fish as quickly as possible, except when retrieving from depths of 20-feet or more. Fighting a fish to exhaustion increases mortality as does rapidly bringing up a fish through the changing water pressure and temperature gradients.
- Keep fish intended for release in the water as much as possible. Plan ahead with tools and camera.
- To bring a fish out of the water momentarily, use a rubber net or one of knotless nylon. Handle the fish carefully using wet hands to minimize loss of the fish’s protective slime layer.
- Minimize physical injury. Do not touch gills or allow fish to flop around on deck.
- Carefully remove hooks using a dehooker or needle-nose pliers.
- Use plain hooks, not stainless, to rust away quickly if one must be left in a gut-hooked fish. Cut this line close to the hook’s eyelet.
- To revive lethargic fish hold in a normal, upright position. Move the fish forward in an “S” or figure-8 pattern so that water flows over the gills only from front to back.
- Use circle hooks or barbless hooks.
Sean Cochran/ NJ Div. of Fish and Wildlife
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com