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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Synopsis of Dr Greg Stunz’ presentation on Monday nights CCA meeting.

The following are some highlights from the seminar.
(To the best of my recollection)




He was commissioned to study the survival rate of catch and released spotted sea trout.

His study was partially if not totally funded by CCA.



He used three testing cases.

  • Beginners never fished before
  • Intermediate accomplished
  • Expert guild


They were caught using three types of hooks.

  • circle
  • treble
  • single shank â€" touts (greatest survival rate)


Different type of bait were also used.

  • Shrimp
  • touts
  • top waters


The tank used to keep fish was tested. They caught fish off of a peer at night and threw them immediately in a tank that was kept near by in the water. It was the same size, shape and material as the one to be used for research. Not a single fish died they all lived for the 30 days.



They fished during the heat of the summer.

I think he said they caught, captured and studied around 500 fish.



They kept the water conditions in the holding tanks exactly as in the bay.

(temp, salinity, oxygen level).



All fish were caught wading in the Corpus Christi area.



Many fish were manhandled roughly by the beginners. They were kept in fishing baskets with the donuts or strung. Then taken to the boat weighed and measured then put in an ice chest with aerator. At the end of the day they were brought to the University and put in the holding tank. All fish were kept for 30 days.



Most fish that died did so within the first day or so. If they live past the 2nd or 3rd day, they lived the whole period in captivity.



The fish did not start feeding until around the third day. And Dr. Stunz said you would be amazed at how fast trout are when they go after there food. Sometimes they swim so fast you can hardly see them and if they want a bait such as a shrimp, they will catch it. You can not retrieve a lure too fast that a trout could not catch it.



He gave us all the empirical data from the studies. Such as;

death rate by who caught (amateurs as opposed to experts),

death rate by size,

death rate by way caught. (this was the most important finding).



The conclusion of his study states:

90% of all fish caught and released will survive.



This was very surprising to him as well as most people who here this.



The number one determinate for survival was how the fish was caught.



The most lethal way to catch fish is using top waters. Dr Stunz used Super Spooks. The killer is when you gut hook or gill hook the fish.

This scenario is almost immediate death. If you tear the gill plates or tear the belly of the fish it’s a goner.



The next most deadly way is with live bait that is taken in deep, with the hook lodged deep in the esophagus.



Dr Stunz went into much more detail than I could possibly remember.

I just wanted to relate the findings to you all. I was shocked by his findings. I would never have thought the survival rate would be that high.

This is very good news.



One other note:

I remember him also saying that too high of an oxygen level in a live well is extremely dangerous for trout, they will die within hours.

If you are going to string fish on a stringer. Run the rope up through both lower and upper lips. A closed mouth precipitates breathing. The survival rate of strung fish is slightly better that ones kept in a basket net.

Especially - larger fish die easily in the nets.

Hope this is informative.






 

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Very interesting info. I wish they had similar data for catfish. Here's a copy of a decal we in the Catfish Lounge have produced to promote catch and release of large catfish. Hopefully all that see them and read this type of data will consider doing so in the future.
Thanks
 

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Still a write in candidate HOMER '16
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The survival rate of 90% is not really that suprizing to me, not that i have studied this nor do i consider my self knowledgeable on the subject, but it seems to me if the rate was lower then the fish population would be on such a decline that there would be no fish left to catch in mater of a few years.
on a side note any fish that goes on my string is not ment to keep alive, its just a holding station on the way to the fish box. I would never put a fish i intened to release on a stringer.

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
stringer

The note about the stringer was an added statistic that I thought was very surprising. But I had noticed that the larger fish I have put in the basket when surf fishing did die quickly.
 

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glad I went

He was a very good speaker and passionate about his work. The best information I've seen yet on this subject. His results from tagging trout should be very interesting also.
 

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Well I sure haven't been running my stringer through both lips, only the top one. I guess I need to try that. I'm surprised that topwaters kill more fish than bait.

Bigwater
 

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Yeah Biggie,
Guess we'll have to go back to local talent on a kahle hook! LOL

I wonder what changing all the trebles on topwaters to single hooks would do as far as mortality and also hook-up to blow-up ratio? Think I'll do some "research".
 

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Well Kenny,
For one thing he used big old Super Spooks. We all know that that center hook on the Super Spook can be removed. If a Trout does inhaled a full sized Super Spook I'd have to agree he's a gonner.LOL

Bigwater
 

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Stringer

Bigwater said:
Well I sure haven't been running my stringer through both lips, only the top one. I guess I need to try that.
I guess the only reason you would be worried about the mortality of strung fish is for Troutmasters or other live fish weigh-ins.

Is there another good reason? They are going in the cooler anyway, or why bother stringing them?
 

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Troy,

The reason I'm concerned (which you have knot thought of) is when I'm keeping fish on long wades which I do very little of ( keeping fish that is) is bringing in long been dead fish to ice down. My meat would be better quality if they are still alive when thrown to the box instead of stiff and blown out. Think about it a minute and digest what I just said you'll understand I'm sure.

Bigwater
 

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Ok

Bigwater said:
Troy,

The reason I'm concerned (which you have knot thought of) is when I'm keeping fish on long wades which I do very little of ( keeping fish that is) is bringing in long been dead fish to ice down. My meat would be better quality if they are still alive when thrown to the box instead of stiff and blown out. Think about it a minute and digest what I just said you'll understand I'm sure.

Bigwater
I get that and I thought of that. I have made some LONG wades before, but have never had a fish so dead it was nasty or compromised even. I could see how it could happen though.

I have done both lips before and it is better for keeping the fish alive. I have used do-nets also and have never had fish die in them.

Either way, if I keep a fish it's going in the grease......
 

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Troy,

In the winter it doesn't effect us as much as the hot waters of the summer. You know that I would imagine. When it gets you is when your away from the boat and into 'em hard and heavy. Leave a fish on a stringer which was gill hooked in two foot of hot Texas water for four hours and he'll be pretty stiff when you get back to the boat. I don't stay on many wades for 4 hours but when the fish are there I do.
The donet deal: I have one and use it when my back isn't bothering me. One time a few years back I was wading South Shoreline of East. Picked up a beautiful Red at 28" with no spot. After a long battle the brute was wore slap out. With no spot I wanted him for the wall. The tide was ripping out. And I mean ripping. With him in my donet and the donet way out in front of me from the current the fish was bottomed out in the net with ne where to go. The current was strong and the donet held him in place. The current went strong through his gills and revived him. When I got back to the boat he was fully revived from the current ripping through his gills.

Bigwater
 

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Yeah Bigs,
I saw it was a SS, but anything inhaled no matter the size or style is likely lethal. The study was talking about the gills and belly.
I catch a lot of trout in the gill plate when they're not eatin' just mad at it. The belly hook also happens when they're slapping it, and some while fighting/landing/unhooking I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Strung Up

I think the good doctor was making a point to some of the guilds and troutmasters about keeping big trout alive for wiegh-ins and then being able to release afterward.
It also seems to me like Biggie was saying that the longer you keep the fish alive the less time the bacteria starts growing in the meat and the fresher they're gonna taste. And also if you are wieghing in the fish, even if you are going to eat it, she might not loose as many ounces and lees likely to spit out that 8" mullet.
I agree with Kenny we need to do some serious research.
Starting this weekend I'm only going to catch BIG trout.

Kenny that is the exact reason for the gut hooks. The gill plates and belly are often snared by the trebbles. and in the fight they will tear the belly skin and infection willl set in and they're history.
Might as well eat them.
 
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