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David_C

Release Weights

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Release Weights - they are a requirement when targeting snapper in South Australia and in other jurisdictions but do you know why and how they are used?
Daniel Waye from The Fishing Guru has teamed up with Graham Keegan from MRFAC to explain them in the youtube video below.

 

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The reading I've done suggests Snapper are more resilient than most and can survive this process but its not recommended - catch and release fishing at depths over 8m is not encouraged, as there is a good chance you will be rupturing their internal organs. The ones that dont exhibit bloating is probably because the swim bladders exploded on the way up

Release weights and weighted drop nets give them a chance but alot of studies have some pretty unacceptable outcomes
(the snapper in the study below were caught between 8 and 70m)

".......all fish exhibited various clinical signs of barotrauma, including a prolapsed cloaca (60% of fish); gastric herniation (46%); ruptured swim bladder (73%); organ displacement (48%); and kidney (3%), liver (73%) and coloemic-cavity haemorrhaging (33%);with the frequency of nearly all positively associated with capture depth"

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I just watched the video and even though the guy is recommending them - he still states that snapper released with those weights, only have a 10% chance of surviving😮, which is still alot better than other methods like venting.

So while release weights are the best option - you are still killing 90% of the fish you release😳.

 

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3 hours ago, dogtooth said:

Been used in WA for Dhufish as they suffer barotrauma easily and found to be successful.

How do they know that it is successful?? & if the fish survives afterwards?

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32 minutes ago, Rybak said:

How do they know that it is successful?? & if the fish survives afterwards?

They based it on recapture records when they were trialling them. But they have to be used correctly (i.e. don't puncture the bloated stomach when putting it into the jaw (as per the video).

I have been selling quite a few of them locally and just sent 50 of them to QLD earlier in the week :)

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23 hours ago, David_C said:

They based it on recapture records when they were trialling them. But they have to be used correctly (i.e. don't puncture the bloated stomach when putting it into the jaw (as per the video).

I have been selling quite a few of them locally and just sent 50 of them to QLD earlier in the week :)

Thats interesting....I know its the flavour of the month, but I'm still to be convinced it makes a significant difference. How many were recaptured compared to how many were released? I just think the mortality rate is high, but these may save a few overall. Just my view & research. 

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I imagine survival rates for release weights are quoted/suggested with inference to survival rates observed in studies where they release the captured fish back to depth in  cages. There are a few studies that use this technique on snapper to assess post release survival rates from depths that may cause baratrauma.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mrfish said:

I imagine survival rates for release weights are quoted/suggested with inference to survival rates observed in studies where they release the captured fish back to depth in  cages. There are a few studies that use this technique on snapper to assess post release survival rates from depths that may cause baratrauma.

 

 

Graham Keegan from MRFAC Says 90% of snapper that go through the release weight process die. 
 

So while it may be the best case scenario. It’s still a pretty dismal scenario

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I spose as long as these death rates are being passed along to the anglers buying them-

it won’t encourage people think they can go catch and release fishing out deep

but I suspect people have the wrong idea about these weights

i used to think they were the answer to barotrauma. But after doing some reading and looking at a few different studies. The rupturing of organs on the way up is not something a lot of fish will survive Long term

I remember watching catch and release charter operators releasing Samson fish in this manner and thinking - these guys are ahead of the game and really taking care of their fishery. 
 

but after reading the results of tests it seemed like they were just sinking fish, that are going to die, down to the bottom, so clients don’t have to watch a trail of floaters behind the boat

 

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On 24/7/2020 at 8:33 AM, yellow door 1 said:

Graham Keegan from MRFAC Says 90% of snapper that go through the release weight process die. 
 

So while it may be the best case scenario. It’s still a pretty dismal scenario

I personally don't support catch and release from deeper water but people do it.  In my discussions with PIRSA, the quicker the fish get to the bottom, the better for the fish. At the moment, my heaviest is a 48oz but I'm hoping to create something around 3 kilos - although I'm not sure people would be happy to pay the price for that type of weight. I would say my most popular size is 24oz unfortunately, as many people just want to meet the regulations, rather than do the best thing for the fish.
David

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On 26/07/2020 at 8:39 PM, David_C said:

......., the quicker the fish get to the bottom, the better for the fish. At the moment, my heaviest is a 48oz but I'm hoping to create something around 3 kilos ........

Yeah but no matter how quick they go to the bottom - much of the damage done on the way up can’t be repaired by a quick descent  

all those hernias, prolapses, ruptures and haemorrhaging have already occurred.

 

it might be worth passing that on to your customers. Because I bet the average angler thinks these weights provide more benefits than they actually do. I know I used to.

 

.......all fish exhibited various clinical signs of barotrauma, including a prolapsed cloaca (60% of fish); gastric herniation (46%); ruptured swim bladder (73%); organ displacement (48%); and kidney (3%), liver (73%) and coloemic-cavity haemorrhaging (33%);with the frequency of nearly all positively associated with capture depth"

 

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Like I said, release weights are the flavour of the month. The more research I have done, the more I am unconvinced. But...I'm no marine biologist so if the powers that be say its the way to go, then who am I to argue. I catch to keep, so when I have what I need, then I stop. You will have the unexpected catch which I try to release quickly as best as possible. Do the bread & butter fish survive, especially undersized, maybe. Who knows....

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