Safely Hold a Fish Like This To Keep It Alive

spawn, brown trout, fish, safely holdDo you know how to safely hold a fish that you just caught so that you don’t accidentally kill it?  If you  are new to fishing or even an old pro, read this for how you should safely hold the fish.

Fishing is a great activity for families or individual in the Rocky Mountains.  I love to take my kids fishing when we have the chance.  If you are like us and practice catch and release it is important to safely hold a fish if you manage to catch one.  Not holding the fish properly can kill the fish immediately or after some time has gone by.

Fish Anatomy

safely hold, fish, trout, anatomyLook at this picture of the anatomy of a trout.  Notice that the heart and live are located just behind the gills on the bottom of the fish.  Keep this in mind when you are holding a fish, so that you don’t damage those areas.

Do Not Squeeze The Fish

safely hold, trout, fishWhen you pick up the fish that you just caught do not squeeze it too tightly.  If you squeeze the fish you may damage the internal organs and kill it.  It may not look like you did any damage at the time, but the fish may later die from how you squeezed it.

I realize this can be hard, especially if the fish is still active and wriggling around, but do your best.

Safely Hold The Fish This Way

safely hold, trout, fish

Gently cradle the trout. Photo via Flickr Alf Sollund.

Cradle the fish.  Hold the fish securely around the tail and then gently cradle the fish with your other hand.  Hold the head of the trout with three fingers coming up on one side, the index finger under the head of the trout and the thumb on the opposite side.

Be sure to keep it out of the water for as short as possible.  Fish do not have lungs and can’t breathe when out of water.  Try to keep them out of the water for no more than 5 seconds.   Here are some other tips on safe fish handling.

It Is Important For Parents To Teach Their Children This

fishing, girl, lake, safely hold fish

Parents should teach their children to respect fish and nature, including how to safely hold fish they catch.

It is important that we, as parents, teach our children simple things like how to safely hold a fish so that it does not die.  We are the role models and we need to not only talk about stuff, but teach through example.

Teaching kids how to safely hold fish is all about teaching our kids to respect the natural world.  Showing them the proper way to hold a fish will teach them about the fish anatomy.  It will also show them that you, the parent, think the fish is a special creature and deserves to be treated with respect.