Improving the Way we Fish Today Can Increase Our Opportunities to Fish in the Future

[ Magnitude of Discard Mortality ] [ How Can I Help? ] [ Research ]

Fishermen release fish they’ve caught for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, each time we catch and release a fish, there is a chance that the fish will not survive. Those fish negatively impact the overall health of the fish stock and can reduce the amount of fish that can be harvested. Fortunately, there are a number of things that we can do to increase survival of released fish.

How Big of a Problem is Mortality of Released Fish?

What Can I Do to Increase the Chance That Fish I Release Will Survive?

Best Practices for Catching


  • Target Open Species
  • Fish in shallow/cooler waters
  • Limit fight time
  • Use non-stainless steel circle hooks

Best Practices for Releasing


  • Use a de-hooking device
  • Use a descending device or properly vent if a fish displays signs of barotrauma
  • Minimize handling

Click the area you fish for more information on best fishing practices


Western Gulf Eastern Gulf General Gulf

What Research Has Been Done in the Gulf of Mexico on Improving Survival of Released Fish?