Over the course of the last few decades, releasing fish has become an increasingly common practice. Whether by choice or by regulation, many anglers regularly release fish. In both cases the objective is to return a healthy fish to the water.
Mishandling a fish by placing it on dry surfaces like a riverbank or exposing it to air for an extended period of time can impact fish health. Just because a fish swims away doesn’t mean that it has quickly recovered from capture and handling. Impacts can range from short-term impairment of swimming to delayed symptoms such as reduced fertility and even mortality.
Keepemwet applies to fish not kept for harvest. While the impacts of fish handling vary with every species and every scenario, the keepemwet principles are a universal baseline of best practices that keep fish healthier and should always be used when releasing fish.
Lee Wulff famously said, "The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back." We believe that if you are going to put that gift back, you should want it to be in the best possible condition. By doing so, you are keeping fish healthier, strengthening our fisheries, and helping ensure anglers will have the opportunity to catch fish for years to come.
Thanks to advances in science, we now have a better understanding of the impacts that handling can have on the long-term health of fish. We believe that anglers have the responsibility to apply this knowledge to their fish handling practices and should strive to minimize the impacts on the fish they release.
Keepemwet Fishing doesn't believe in casting stones. Instead, we believe in mindfulness and positive progress. We know that we have all been guilty of mishandling fish in the past and recognize that we will likely err in the future, despite our best intentions. Rather than tearing down others for their missteps, we hope to promote this awareness so anglers are better equipped to properly handle, photograph, and release fish in the future.
We encourage our supporters to share this approach, to lead by example, and to serve as positive influences for other anglers.