Lake trout coming from depths would also probably experience higher mortality rates. The thing for me is I see a potential for more big fish with fewer lake trout in the reservoir. I would also suspect that healthier fish become mature and reproduce later than unhealthy fish exacerbating the problem with too many lake trout. To me, decreasing overall lake trout numbers, increasing rainbow trout and kokanee numbers, is win-win for anglers because trout growth rates should increase and more trophy fish become available. Those who enjoy simply catching more fish would also have more put-and-take rainbow trout available in the creel (which I would assume are easier to catch for most anglers).Just throwing in some perspective and food for thought. While I see the advantage of releasing for "trophy" fishing to the individual who catches it, the fish itself can be damaged overtime with repeated boating/handling. I say this from experience on the frying pan river. I have caught many many fish there, even ones in the 10+ pound range and there are very few that aren't beat to hell. Between the foul hooking and poor handling they begin to have skin sluff off from infection.
I would hate for an old mule like that Laker to suffer the same life of some of those trout. I understand foul hooking is unlikely for lake trout but poor handling is so common any more its painful. There are a few scientific studies that show catch and release results in a range of 15% to 20% mortality rate due to poor handling and stress. A large fish like that is going to fight for a long time and the longer the fight the higher its chance for mortality.
off topic but similar are the guys who release kokanee later in the year, most of those fish are not going to make it once they rise in temperature.
I was just wondering what is the current accepted mortality rate on catch and release fishing for trout? Steelhead?idfg.idaho.gov
American fly fishing pioneer Lee Wulff famously stated that “A gamefish is too valuable to only be caught once.” Wulff was an early advocate of catch-and-release fishing regulations that eventually became a widely used management tool in the United States. As a fly fishing trout guide, catch and...www.themeateater.com