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Wild and Wet Winter 1/16

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

Curtis Knight photo.

Curtis Knight photo.

Last week we spoke with steelhead guide Jeff Hickman about some science-based techniques for landing and photographing steelhead while wading. This week let’s discuses some ways you can land a wild steelhead from a boat and still get a great photo for the album but also keep the fish wet and happy so it has the best chance at succeeding on this incredible journey to return home and spawn.

Fishing from a drift boat or raft is an increasingly popular way to chase steelhead and trout. Landing a spunky fish from a boat is and art form in itself and there’s lots of ways It can easily go wrong. There’s also tricks that can help it be a more smooth experience for both the fish and the angler. In all scenarios there needs to be some synergy between the person rowing the boat and the angler.

If you have a trophy fish on the line and it’s getting time to bring it in, there’s a couple different ways you can go about it. First of all the it’s time to assess if there’s an easy place to pull over. Beaching the boat and having the angler jump out can be a great option if it’s an easy place to do so. Be careful getting out of the boat with a fish on the line as it can be an exciting moment for everyone. Landing a fish in knee deep slow water will often be the smoothest experience for the fish and also a great way to get a photo of the catch without taking it out of the water.

If there’s not an easy place to pull the boat to shore and carefully land the fish then the next best option will be to use a net. Not all nets are created equal. Some nets are harder on fish then others. A rubber basket typically wears less slime off the fish and there’s less chance of splitting fins then mesh. If you are going to use mesh, get the softest fabric you can find. Make sure you have a net big enough to hold the size fish you are targeting.

In many cases netting the fish would be a two man job. Often the guide or person rowing will net the fish for the angler in the front or back of the boat. This scenario however is not always possible as sometimes guides will need to stay on the sticks to keep the boat in the right position. As an angler you should always learn how to net your own fish as well so you don’t need to always rely on a second person. A good swipe from downstream of the fish or simply holding the net downstream and steering the fish into it will yield the best results. If the water temps are cold enough as they often are in winter, then it’s easiest on the fish if can play it an extra few seconds so it’s tired enough that it won’t totally thrash around once it’s in the bucket. To calm the fish down, raise the rim of the net so it’s above the water but the fish is still totally submerged. Keep it facing head first into the current. Once it’s calm you can lean over the rail of the boat or raft and gently remove the hook while the fish is in the water. If a photo is warranted, lift the fish gently trying to keep it’s gills underwater. Have the other angler or driver ready with the camera so the photo happens quickly. Or use and under water camera like a go pro. Be careful not to over tip the boat in one direction. While leaning over the rail the other boat mate or mates might need to lean the other direction to compensate for the weight balance.

What you should try to avoid is bringing the fish into a dry boat and laying it onto dry metal. If a the fish thrashes around and bashes onto the hard metal floor it can cause head trauma. Fish are used to floating in a weightless world so even slight head bumps can cause severe damage. Also if you remove the hook while the fish is in the boat and then hold it up for a photo or two that process will take a minimum of 30 seconds and usually much more. That’s too much time for a wild fish to be exposed to oxygen which can cause immediate or eventual damage to the fish. Try holding your breath from the time you take the fish out of the water as a reminder so fish intended for release are able to recover.

- M. Wier

Curits Knight Photo.

Curits Knight Photo.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Wild and Wet Winter1/9

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

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This week Jeff Hickman, Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador offers some thoughts on photographing winter steelhead.

“Taking good pictures while fly fishing can be difficult. Throw wild winter steelhead in the mix and it becomes on par with winning a Powerball jackpot. Challenging weather and challenging fish make for a tough combo. Fogged and / or a wet lens, low light and fish that are legendary for being elusive, tough to predict and rarely cooperate for a photo. That is why I love it. 

I’m an amateur cell phone photographer. It is an enjoyable side hobby for me while on the river guiding. I keep my iPhone in a Lifeproof case as it gets wet daily on the river. This compact setup fits in my chest or wader pocket and is easily accessible for me to take photos when I see the right moments. I also keep a small micro fiber towel handy to keep the lens and my glasses clean. 

My number one priority is treating and handling the fish with care and respect. This comes before getting a photo. Some fish don't want their picture taken, and I don’t force it. If they want to go or are acting defiant or stressed, I will simply let them go. If they are calm and cooperative, I will take photos until they are ready to swim free. 

When people catch steelhead they are always ecstatic. It is important to calm down and relax before handling a steelhead. Don't forget to breathe! If you are calm when handling them, they are often calm. If you are rushed and panicky so too are they. Often times putting the palm of my hand over their eyes can relax them also. 

My motto is to keep the fish submerged in clean water pointed upstream, breathing. I use a wide basket, soft rubber net. This helps me land fish sooner to minimize fatigue.  Some nets damage the fish, splitting their fins etc. This is unacceptable to me. 

It is possible to take great pictures with fish in the water or right on the surface of the water. Often times the water’s surface adds a really cool look to the photo. After all, fish look best in their natural settings.

If and when it is time to lift the fish (camera person is ready) I like to only see the eye come out of the water and only briefly, this keeps water moving through the gills. I try to focus on the fish's eye making that the main subject. I tap the shutter button very rapidly. Maybe one in 20 is in focus. It is better to do two or three quick partial lifts than holding them out of the water where they can’t breathe. 

Each fish has unique qualities. I always look for those and if possible enjoy photographing them. I also try to move the camera around and capture different angles all while rapidly tapping the shutter. Often times the photos that I like the best are ones I didn't expect to come out at all.

As a guide with a very keen interest in wild fish conservation, I take it upon myself to help educate and inform clients about the importance of keeping fish in the water. Winter steelhead populations are under pressure up and down the entire Pacific Northwest. By helping convince more folks to commit to Keepemwet Fishing fish handling best practices, I hope we can lessen the pressure on these spectacular fish.”

Jeff and his wife Kathryn are the owners and operators of Kimsquit Bay Lodge on BC’s Dean River and Fish the Swing, an Oregon based operation focused on swinging flies for summer and winter steelhead.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Wild and Wet Winter 1/2

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

Mikey Wier photo

Mikey Wier photo

A case can be made that California’s Eel River represents the best opportunity for large-scale wild winter steelhead (and Chinook salmon) recovery on the entire west coast. Once home to an annual return of 1,000,000 wild steelhead and salmon, today a return of 25,000 is considered a banner year with most recent years tallying considerably less. The Eel is a massive watershed with outstanding habitat and one of the few west coast watersheds with no hatchery threatening wild fish genetics. Projects focused on improving estuary habitat, removing numerous fish passage, and addressing large-scale dam removal will take many years, if not decades, and countless millions of dollars…all daunting, but achievable.

To learn more about CalTrout’s Eel River efforts within this stakeholder group see their recent film “Return to Abundance”.

Anglers overall are a pretty generous group offering both voices in advocacy and financial support to the many conservation organizations fighting the good fight.

One could argue that as long term conservation efforts play out, the most immediate and meaningful impact conservation minded anglers can have on wild fish recovery is to simply handle fish carefully and respectfully.

Keeping fish in the water and eliminating air exposure, not only will help minimize mortality, but limit any potential secondary impacts on spawning effectiveness and fry production. Everything we do today to benefit and protect wild fish can only help future wild fish recovery efforts.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Wild and Wet Winter 12/19

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

Fight ‘em hard, release ‘em fast!

Fight ‘em hard, release ‘em fast!

Catch and release angling is unquestionably one of the most effective conservation tools in protecting wild fish regardless of species. Over the last few weeks we’ve posted links to a few scientific studies that indicate keeping fish wet and eliminating air exposure helps minimize both fish mortality and potential sub-lethal effects including spawning effectiveness.

For those of you interested in taking your catch and release practices to the next level, here are Keepemwet Fishing’s recommended practices:

https://www.keepemwet.org/tips#keepemwet-tips

There are a couple of practices that are particularly relevant when fishing for wild winter steelhead.

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• Reduce Angling Duration: Play fish quickly without playing it to exhaustion. You’ll be in a better position to achieve that by matching your tackle to the targeted species. A single-handed 8-weight or a double-handed 7-weight would be a good place to start. These rods will give you better leverage especially when matched with at least 12 pound tippet although 15 or even 20 pound is preferable.

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• Fish Barbless Hooks: They cause less damage, are easier to remove, and minimize handling time. Of course, we all fish barbless hooks, but every now and then we get caught up in the excitement and forget to pinch down a barb.

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• Photograph Wet Fish: Ideally you keep the fish fully submerged. If not, keep it partially submerged or as close to the water as possible. Fully submerge a fish between pictures. Make the entire process short, and release the fish quickly.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related




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Wild and Wet Winter 12/12

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

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With January approaching California anglers in search of winter steelhead begin to pay close attention to river flow and rain forecasts…all in search of the perfect window of opportunity. And, while we hope you have a chance to come tight to a fresh chromer, we also hope you’ll handle your catch carefully.

To learn more about Keepemwet Fishing principles and tips for handling fish carefully:

Last week we shared some basic scientific evidence pointing out the short term mortality rates associated with catch and release (CR) steelhead angling using bait, lures and flies. Most of the early catch and release research focused on mortality, but recent research has begun to focus on the “sublethal” impacts of catch and release. While that research is not specifically focused on steelhead, the evidence gathered on other salmonid species like Atlantic salmon makes many of us wonder about a similar impact on steelhead.

Some key findings of a Canadian Atlantic salmon study:

• CR salmon spawn at a rate similar to non-angled fish.

• Larger CR fish (over 31 inches) produced significantly fewer fry than same size non-angled fish. The same was not observed in smaller fish.

Reproductive success as measured by the number of fry produced for fish kept in the water can be 2-3X greater than fish held out of water and varies with water temperature.

Again, it’s important to recognize that genetic and regional differences between species caution us in applying these findings to other species. That being said, it does make many of us think about minimizing fight times and keeping fish in the water.

If you’re lucky enough to come across a wild winter steelhead this season, please consider keeping your fish in the water, minimize (if not eliminate) air exposure, and handle the fish carefully.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Wild and Wet Winter 12/5

It’s Wednesday’s Wild and Wet Winter … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead.

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High and turbid winter flows, especially during migration and spawning, make it difficult to accurately assess Northern California’s winter steelhead population. The optimistic estimate is less than 20,000 fish, a mere 10% of historic annual levels, ranging from just north of the SF Bay Area to the Oregon border.

With fewer fish and steady, if not increasing, angling pressure, it’s imperative that we learn how to handle fish carefully and minimize our angling impact on wild fish.

Odds are, if you’re a winter steelhead fly fisherman, you’re also a dedicated catch and release angler. Today there is a small but growing body of scientific research into the impact of catch and release angling not only on mortality, but also on post-release impacts on things like spawning and behavior. And, while little research to date has focused specifically on steelhead, we can extrapolate some generalities from research on other salmonids.

So a few things to keep in mind:

Releasing a steelhead and watching it swim away doesn’t necessarily mean the fish is in optimal shape. And, while that fish is likely to survive, our collective impact is not zero. It’s generally accepted in the angling community that bait is the most effective method to catch a steelhead, followed by lures which in turn are more effective than flies. It’s generally accepted in the scientific community that mortality rates for bait caught fish are higher than lure caught, which in turn are higher than fly caught fish.

A summary covering a number of steelhead mortality studies published in 2002

assumes the following mortality rates: bait 10%, lure 3% and fly 1%.

These differences are primarily driven by how frequently a fish is deeply hooked, and make sense when you think about how a fish eats a bag of roe versus takes a fly.

A recent study on British Columbia’s Bulkley River wild steelhead showed a survival rate three days post-capture at 95.5%.

This study also demonstrated that fish held out of the water for ten seconds or more

suffered impaired equilibrium and an immediate downstream movement compared

to fish kept in the water. Learn more about the research here.

If you’re lucky enough to come across a wild winter steelhead this season, please consider keeping your fish in the water, minimize (if not eliminate) air exposure, and handle the fish carefully.

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CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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Welcome to a “Wild and Wet Winter”

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Welcome to a “Wild and Wet Winter” … a CalTrout, Keepemwet Fishing and Lost Coast Outfitters initiative celebrating California’s wild winter steelhead. Our goals are to build awareness of the environmental threats and opportunities impacting sustainable population recovery, as well as, to educate the angling community on the rationale for Keepemwet fish handling practices, and to encourage anglers to follow them.

Each Wednesday through the end of the winter season, we’ll focus on one or more aspects impacting winter run steelhead. You’ll hopefully better understand the winter run life cycle and population distribution, top three threats … (major dams, estuary alteration, and agriculture), and conservation efforts ranging from the Smith to the South Fork Eel.

We’ll help you understand ways in which anglers can minimize their affect on fish. We’ll provide insight into the science supporting Keepemwet practices. You’ll understand the impact of landing time, landing practices (netting versus tailing), and barbed hooks, what happens when you take fish out of the water, how long is too long for a fish to be out of the water (and why), thoughts on ways to hold fish to minimize harm, and lastly how to take pictures that celebrate your catch while keeping fish wet.

Hopefully, we’ll help minimize fish mortality and the negative impact some practices can have on spawning efficacy.

See you next Wednesday and have a Wild and Wet Winter

CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead

Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples

Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related

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2018 Release a Breeder Club

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The 2018 Release A Breeder Club, also known as "RBC", is now in its 5th season. The program is

designed by Stripers Forever to promote the release of large “breeding size” stripers, which are

largely spawning female fish. Current striped bass management practices have targeted large

striped bass. The result has been a considerable decrease in the number of these large, old fish

found in the population. Nature never intended it that way.

JOINING THE CLUB IS FREE for both anglers and Guides/Charter boat captains. The rewards are

a chance to win great prizes from our sponsors, an individualized membership package,

recognition on the RBC membership pages of our website, and the knowledge that you are

doing your part to turn around the current decline in striped bass.

3 SIMPLE RULES:

1. THE MINIMUM SIZE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE RBC IS 36” TOTAL LENGTH.

2. THE FISH MUST BE RELEASED ALIVE AND IN GOOD HEALTH.

3. A PICTURE OF THE FISH THAT CLEARLY INDICATES THE FISH WAS SAFELY HANDLED AND

PROPERLY RELEASED.

Large Striped Bass must be handled carefully due to their increased body weight and potential

for carrying eggs. We strongly suggest that you "KEEPEMWET". You can grab a really nice shot

of your fish while minimizing the impact and undue stress on the fish by keeping them in the

water. We will be expanding on our catch and release education in the near future with some

videos that illustrate how to do this in a number of angling situations. Stay tuned!

Visit the RBC Main Page for full rules and requirements.

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Ambassador Profile: Dr. Robert Arlinghaus

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Dr. Robert Arlinghaus is professor of integrative fisheries management at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. For the last 20 years he has studied the social, economic, ecological, evolutionary and institutional aspects of recreational fisheries around the globe and particularly in Germany. Robert has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has close to 500 publications overall. His work has been acknowledged by key awards such as the 2008 Award of Excellence in Fisheries Management by AFS, the 2012 Medal by The Fisheries Society of the British Isles, 2016 Cultural Award and 2018 Award of Excellence in Public Outreach by AFS. In many of his projects he works intensively with anglers, guiders, and managers in so-called transdisciplinary research settings. Public outreach and science communication are two key areas of Robert’s expertise and interest. Robert has worked intensively on catch-and-release angling, both from a conservation and social/ethical perspective, and included his research results in several high level policy documents that provide recommendations for best-practices in catch-and-release angling; the best example being the Technical Guidelines for Responsible Recreational Fisheries published with UN FAO.

www.ifishman.de

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@ifishman.science

@RArlinghausFish
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Keepemwet Fishing in the Great White North

Multiple perspectives on catch-and-release fishing

by Sascha Clark Danylchuk

It’s always good to balance talking about fishing with doing a little fishing – especially when it means catching your first grayling! 

It’s always good to balance talking about fishing with doing a little fishing – especially when it means catching your first grayling! 

 

While many anglers typically think of catch-and-release as a conservation-minded practice it is not viewed that way everywhere.  In some locations, catch-and-release is less desirable than keeping your catch.  Germany, for example, has banned catch-and-release due to animal welfare issues, and in many other locations catch-and-release is viewed as “playing with your food” or disrespectful.  For communities that depend heavily on fish for food (or traditionally have done so), it’s not surprising that they would have reservations about a practice that has the potential for this food source to be wasted because there is some mortality of fish from catch-and-release regardless of best intentions.  

Message board at the Klukshu fish camp

Message board at the Klukshu fish camp

Traditional fish drying shed

Traditional fish drying shed

I recently spent time in the Yukon, Canada, where perceptions on catch-and-release are mixed.  The Yukon is unlike most places in North American in that the First Nations (aboriginal people of Canada) have a Land Claims Agreement with the federal government that gives them the ability to self-govern, as well as set regulations on their traditional territories that cover the whole of the Yukon.  For the most part, Yukon First Nations do not believe in catch-and-release for reasons along the lines mentioned above.  This makes things challenging as fishing regulations for non-First Nations people in the Yukon are based on slot limits, a practice that mandates the release of certain sized fish.  

Finding common ground

Keepemwet Fishing teamed up with a Yukon based fisheries consultant, Dennis Zimmermann, to investigate some of the issues surrounding catch-and-release in the Yukon.  Through a series of meetings and conversations we explored perspectives on catch-and-release in the Yukon and from around the world, and began to brainstorm some potential solutions to differing views on the practice.  One thing that became apparent is that anglers, regardless of how or why they fish, often share a deep respect for fish and that most anglers want to do the “right” thing, they just are not always sure what that entails.  Finding common ground through education and awareness campaigns will be key to solving issues in the Yukon, as well as elsewhere when conflicts over resource use emerge.  

A multi-stakeholder discussion group on catch-and-release

A multi-stakeholder discussion group on catch-and-release

For me, one of the most valuable aspects of the work was listening to why people did not agree with catch-and-release practices.  It’s easy to get entrenched in common perspectives on how resources should be utilized and treated, yet ‘common’ doesn’t apply everywhere.  Having the opportunity to look at issues from a fresh vantage point is always beneficial, especially when it comes to the conservation of resources, including fish.  There is also no path forward without first establishing respect for views that differ from our own.  

Fall comes earlier in the Yukon

Fall comes earlier in the Yukon

A big thank you to Yukon Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Trust for providing funding, Dennis Zimmerman of Big Fish Little Fish Consultants, Steve Hahn of H2O Troutfitter, and all the Yukoners who participated in conversations and events.  

 

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5 Things for Wild Steelhead

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While we have unpublished and published data on catch-and-release mortality for steelhead, the effects of catch-and-release on wild steelhead health and reproduction is poorly understood. As a result, we also draw upon a large body of catch-and-release research on similar species, including but not limited to resident rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon and sockeye salmon. 
Why is this important?
Today, 70 percent of the major steelhead populations in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California require federal protection and opportunities to catch wild steelhead have greatly diminished in many rivers. 
Despite declines, steelheading remains as popular as ever. In some populations we are catching-and-releasing nearly every fish that escapes harvest. As a result, it is important to balance our desire to catch them with handling practices that give them the best chance to swim away without lasting impairment. 
To that end, @wildsteelhead and @keepemwetfishing share a mutual interest in educating anglers about best handling practices. Whether you fish gear or fly, from boat or bank, we all share a common bond in fishing for and taking care of wild steelhead.

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Keep an eye out for our new co-lab with Wild Steelheaders United on techniques for catch and release of wild steelhead. These will be making an appearance at a shop near you soon!

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KWF Builds Momentum at ICAST/IFTD

The Keepemwet Fishing team spent last week at the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, ICAST/IFTD, in Orlando, FL.  The highlight of the show for us was hosting a panel discussion on the branding of catch-and-release.  We were joined by Brian O’Keefe, Jako Lucas, Jennifer Lavigne, Mark Harbaugh, Dr. Aaron Adams, Capt. Tony DiGiulian, and Dr. Jake Brownscombe to talk about fishing, fish science, and the roll of anglers, guides, and the industry in creating sustainable fisheries.  You can watch a recording of the discussion here.

The show was also an opportunity to for us to meet with current partners and establish new connections with likeminded individuals and companies.  While Keepemwet Fishing did not have a booth of our own, some of our partners were kind enough to give us space at their booths.  A huge thanks to Patagonia, Nautilus Reels, Thomas & Thomas, Alphonse Fishing Co, KastKing, Smith, Sight Line Provisions, and Ed Anderson for lending us some real estate.  We also debuted our new principles cards, which we will make available to a wider audience soon.  

 

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Ambassador Profile: Tom Enderlin

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Tom Enderlin is a traveling waterman with a passion for environmental conservation and innovative adventure. He is based in Costa Rica, where he runs a boutique fly fishing outfitter called Release Fly Travel. Programs around the country include pelagics in the Pacific, rainbow trout in the highlands, exotic species like machaca and guapote in various lowland rivers, and the stand-out program, the Jungle Tarpon Reserve.

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At the Jungle Tarpon Reserve, Tom has worked extensively with the local community to help create a community-based fly fishing tourism initiative. Tom has led training workshops in guiding and hosting travelers, collaborated in scientific research projects, influenced local regulations pertaining to tarpon fishing, held tree plantings and river cleanups, amongst other projects. One of the most impactful components of the new regulations Tom helped bring into fruition was that angler’s are not allowed to remove more then 30% of a captured tarpon’s body from the water. This means no dragging fish onto the boat for hero shots, and many a client from around the world has taken the “jungle plunge” in order hold a big silver king prior to release. Tom and his local team truly care about these tarpon, and they are constantly looking for ways to make a positive impact in the region in order to keep the destination sustainable both environmentally and culturally. Check out Castaway Films’ 2018 release of Atlanticus to see the Jungle Tarpon Reserve’s natural beauty and the raw power of the area’s tarpon for yourself.

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To compliment whats being done, Tom founded Conservación Bosque del Sábalo, or Jungle Tarpon Conservation, a Costa Rican non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve a globally unique freshwater tarpon habitat in the Caribbean watersheds of Northern Costa Rica by implementing environmental stewardship, community awareness and education, enhanced scientific understanding, and the creation of sustainable economic opportunities.

When not traveling Tom calls a small organic farm in the mountains of Costa Rica home, where he lives with his wife, son, dogs, a flock of unruly chickens, and an extensive tropical garden.

Instagram @releaseflytravel

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KWF to Host Panel Discuaaion at ICAST/IFTD in Orlando

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The Branding of Catch-and-Release

The rise of social media and smartphones has made the days of anglers telling tales and exaggerating the size of their catch all but obsolete.  While this might mean that anglers are now more honest people, what does it mean for fish intended for release? Does it matter what fish photos ‘look’ like? Is it time to reevaluate the traditional hero shot?  What role does the industry play? 
 

Please join us for a discussion at IFTD on Thursday, July 12 from 1:30 - 2:30


Join panel members Brian O’Keefe, Jako Lucas, Jennifer Lavigne, Mark Harbaugh, Dr. Aaron Adams, Capt. Tony DiGiulian, Dr. Jake Brownscombe, Sascha Clark Danylchuk, Dr. Andy Danylchuk, and Bryan Huskey as we discuss the branding of catch-and-release.

Feel free to pass this invitation along to others attending IFTD/ICAST who may be interested in joining the conversation.

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Ambassador Profile: Daniel Goez

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German Daniel Göz was born and raised in France. He has a base in Frankfurt/Germany, but resides in both countries.

Daniel is an experienced and successful outdoor filmmaker, a seasoned cinematographer, director of photography, director, producer, editor, cameraman, multi award-winning for human-led as well as wildlife-led outdoor and documentary work producing small scale to large scale content.

He has worked in very remote locations and harsh conditions such as the strenuous climates of the Central American jungle to freezing climates of the North producing rare images in all these adverse conditions.

He is capable to produce iconic and stunning visuals through technically innovative approaches. His fortes are challenging underwater works be it oceanic or riverine, shooting and filming rare billfish species, incl. large free-swimming blue marlin and yellowfin tuna. His has further filmed the entire spawning act of Atlantic salmon and European lake trout underwater. His underwater photography spans well over a decade.
Some of his film works are the legendary flyfishing film "Tapâm" produced with Danish Jan Bach Kristensen, where both venture off the beaten path to catch giant tarpon from their float tubes. Other works include stills and film work on the Gaula River in Norway. Daniel was also involved in one of Animal Planet's most successful River Monster episode with presenter Jeremy Wade, in which Jeremy chases giant tarpon.

Beside his film and still work, Daniel holds an M.Sc. in geography/hydrology. He does camera based monitoring on rare trout species, using the trout's spots as bio markers to identify trout individually. His monitoring work is totally stress-free to the fish. 
Fun fact: Daniel is president of the fishery's guild in Frankfurt which was founded 945 ad. He takes care of all fish ecological aspects of the large Main River in Frankfurt.

Daniel is often amazed how anglers react to his images; many say they didn't know how beautiful fish look underwater. Daniel, being an angler, fish conservationist and environmentalist, is super proud to support the keepemwet movement with his knowledge and stunning visuals.

http://danielgoez.com

http://www.tapamthemovie.com

https://vimeo.com/user4502703

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http://danielgoez.com

http://www.tapamthemovie.com

https://vimeo.com/user4502703

 

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Catch Magazine- A MOBILE VIEW featuring KWF Ambassador Team

Our longtime friends at Catch Magazine have consistently produced the highest quality digital publication for many years now. And when it comes to representations of best case handling of fish that are released, they absolutely get it!

It's awesome to have our own feature article "A MOBILE VIEW" which can be found in the  April/May 2018 issue. If you don't already subscribe to Catch Magazine but can't get enough of the greatest fishing adventures on the planet, you're missing out!

Enjoy this excerpt from issue #56 with photo and C&R handling tips from our own Keepemwet Fishing staff and Ambassadors!

Make sure you have enough phone storage before you get on the river. Erase photos you don’t want. I’ve been in the middle of taking photos and received a message saying storage full.  Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Make sure you have enough phone storage before you get on the river. Erase photos you don’t want. I’ve been in the middle of taking photos and received a message saying storage full. 
Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

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Left - 3. Use the video mode for lens option different than photo mode and the ability to capture more of the experience then simply save the best still frames from the video!    Photo by Sascha Clark Danylchuk, KWF Operations/Science Liaison.    Right - 4. A common misconception about Keepemwet is a perceived opposition or conflict with grip and grin photos. While we work to raise awareness of the impacts surrounding various handling practices, it's a no-brainer to handle fish with care and get great photos too. My better half Ali demonstrates with ease on a cool October day last fall.    Photo by Bryan Huskey

Left - 3. Use the video mode for lens option different than photo mode and the ability to capture more of the experience then simply save the best still frames from the video! 
Photo by Sascha Clark Danylchuk, KWF Operations/Science Liaison. 
Right - 4. A common misconception about Keepemwet is a perceived opposition or conflict with grip and grin photos. While we work to raise awareness of the impacts surrounding various handling practices, it's a no-brainer to handle fish with care and get great photos too. My better half Ali demonstrates with ease on a cool October day last fall. 
Photo by Bryan Huskey

    Captain Rob Kramarz holding a Permit in the Florida Keys. This fish was caught as part of a Bonefish and Tarpon Trust tracking study led by Jake Brownscombe aimed at understand habitat connectivity in the region. The visible dart tag is used for individual identification in case of recapture, while an internally implanted acoustic tag transmits a unique signal that is used for spatial tracking.    Photo by Dr. Jake Brownscombe, KWF Science Ambassador.

 

Captain Rob Kramarz holding a Permit in the Florida Keys. This fish was caught as part of a Bonefish and Tarpon Trust tracking study led by Jake Brownscombe aimed at understand habitat connectivity in the region. The visible dart tag is used for individual identification in case of recapture, while an internally implanted acoustic tag transmits a unique signal that is used for spatial tracking. 
Photo by Dr. Jake Brownscombe, KWF Science Ambassador.

This is the most air he saw, and it was only for a quick second. I tell people to hold the fish completely under the water and just lift it enough so I can see it's eye. Only takes a second or two and I shoot as many photos as I can, rapid fire. One usually turns out crisp.    Photo by Jeff Hickman, KWF Ambassador.

This is the most air he saw, and it was only for a quick second. I tell people to hold the fish completely under the water and just lift it enough so I can see it's eye. Only takes a second or two and I shoot as many photos as I can, rapid fire. One usually turns out crisp. 
Photo by Jeff Hickman, KWF Ambassador.

Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

Photo by Dr. Aaron Adams, KWF Science Ambassador.

Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Left - Nets allow the fish to recover IN THE WATER while you compose shots. Gentle a-okay grip around the wrist of the tail with non camera hand can point and steer the fish angle and direction. Keep the head in the water and use the net to support the fish for various positions at water level.  Photo by Bryan Huskey  Right - Take lots of photos in seconds by holding the button down. Get as many photos as you can fast.   Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Left - Nets allow the fish to recover IN THE WATER while you compose shots. Gentle a-okay grip around the wrist of the tail with non camera hand can point and steer the fish angle and direction. Keep the head in the water and use the net to support the fish for various positions at water level. 
Photo by Bryan Huskey
Right - Take lots of photos in seconds by holding the button down. Get as many photos as you can fast.  
Photo by Marty Sheppard, KWF Ambassador.

Blue Marlin: Two time Stanley Cup Champion, Tofino Resort and Marina owner and Keepemwet supporter, Willie Mitchell releases his first Blue Marlin in Abaco, Bahamas.  Photo by Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador Captain Tony DiGiulian.

Blue Marlin: Two time Stanley Cup Champion, Tofino Resort and Marina owner and Keepemwet supporter, Willie Mitchell releases his first Blue Marlin in Abaco, Bahamas. 
Photo by Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador Captain Tony DiGiulian.

Keepemwet Ambassador Anthony DiGiulian releases a sailfish with IGFA President Nehl Horton. Leaders lead by example, 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Keepemwet Ambassador Anthony DiGiulian releases a sailfish with IGFA President Nehl Horton. Leaders lead by example, 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Known as the "fish who can stop dam construction," "fish of a thousand casts," "cousin of Taimen, our king of the streams Hucho hucho (Danube salmon)"... Take a snap, release it and you will have the lifelong memory of your fish of a lifetime.   Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Known as the "fish who can stop dam construction," "fish of a thousand casts," "cousin of Taimen, our king of the streams Hucho hucho (Danube salmon)"... Take a snap, release it and you will have the lifelong memory of your fish of a lifetime.
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Sometimes you find big things in small details, even if it just sun coming through a dorsal fin of a nice brown trout. Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Sometimes you find big things in small details, even if it just sun coming through a dorsal fin of a nice brown trout.
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Nice example of pure Danubian strain brown trout from the Obrh River... they fight hard to push out the introduced Atlantic strain of brown trout from our rivers.    Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Nice example of pure Danubian strain brown trout from the Obrh River... they fight hard to push out the introduced Atlantic strain of brown trout from our rivers. 
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Not equally loved around the planet, but really important for the fly fishing community here in Slovenia, this trophy grayling "Lady of the Stream", was caught and released in early spring on the Iščica River.    Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Not equally loved around the planet, but really important for the fly fishing community here in Slovenia, this trophy grayling "Lady of the Stream", was caught and released in early spring on the Iščica River. 
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Here's a wild rainbow trout buck from the Idrijca River. They are almost native now, but at the same time totally alien ... future unknown?!    Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Here's a wild rainbow trout buck from the Idrijca River. They are almost native now, but at the same time totally alien ... future unknown?! 
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Here's a baby marble trout from the emerald daughter of mountains, the Soča (Isonzo) River . Please #keepemwet and Catch & Release for generations to come. About the net - This amazing "floating" landing net was a game changer and a clever simple design/innovation from a man who is a total fly fishing enthusiast. His name is Glen Pointon from England, and the name of the  net is  Glen Pointon Living The Dream Catch and Release Net .  Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

Here's a baby marble trout from the emerald daughter of mountains, the Soča (Isonzo) River . Please #keepemwet and Catch & Release for generations to come.
About the net - This amazing "floating" landing net was a game changer and a clever simple design/innovation from a man who is a total fly fishing enthusiast. His name is Glen Pointon from England, and the name of the
net is Glen Pointon Living The Dream Catch and Release Net
Photograph by Uroš Kristan, KWF Ambassador.

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AFFTA Fisheries Fund Awards Grant to Keepemwet Fishing

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Keepemwet Fishing is about releasing fish in the best condition possible.  We believe that recreational anglers are a key component of fish conservation, and that science-based approaches can help create healthier fisheries.  Our education campaign provides anglers with easy to use principles and tips that help create the best outcomes for fish that are caught-and-released.  

“The grants we have received from the AFFTA Fisheries Fund have allowed us to reach a greater audience through our education campaign on the best handling practices for catch-and-release.  We couldn’t have done it without the help of AFFTA.” Sascha Clark Danylchuk, Operations at Keepemwet Fishing.

We thank AFFTA and the Fisheries Fund for another year of support for our work!

 

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It's Not Just the Catch - June Contest by Loon

Congratulations Connor R! The folks at Loon Outdoors have selected your image as winner for this round of  It's Not Just the Catch. Get stoked for the assembly of prize items that will be heading your way and thanks to all who have taken time to describe and share what they love and appreciate about clean water and healthy fisheries.

Trout Lake Siesta. The location is under a tree next to Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. After a nice hike up to Trout Lake with my wife and three month old daughter, it was time for a relaxing nap in the shade overlooking this beautiful view.    We set up the eno, had a bite to eat and rested up before heading down to the lake to try our luck with the native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout! The nap extended our day trip up at the Lake and was well worth the hike!

Trout Lake Siesta. The location is under a tree next to Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park. After a nice hike up to Trout Lake with my wife and three month old daughter, it was time for a relaxing nap in the shade overlooking this beautiful view.

We set up the eno, had a bite to eat and rested up before heading down to the lake to try our luck with the native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout! The nap extended our day trip up at the Lake and was well worth the hike!

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We are stoked to continue our photo contest that deemphasizes photographing and posting every fish that's landed. Instead, we want to see the greatest parts of your time on the water that wasn't the catch. 

For the rest of June, show us your best images of what clean water provides for you. It could be quenching your thirst right from a New Zealand stream, an epic hatch on your favorite trout stream, or simply gazing deep into the waters you love to fish. Show us what you love and appreciate about clean water.

The healthy prize package courtesy of our friends at Loon Outdoors.    Fly Tying Tool Kit , Iconic Kit , Lochsa , Top Ride , Bearded Shirt , On The Swing Hat

The healthy prize package courtesy of our friends at Loon Outdoors. 

Fly Tying Tool Kit , Iconic Kit , Lochsa , Top Ride , Bearded Shirt , On The Swing Hat

To enter, email your photos along with a short description of what clean water means to you to keepemwetfishing@outlook.com. The winner will be announced via our "In the Loop" newsletter early July. We'll begin posting entries to a slide show here at the bottom of this post. Have fun out there and be grateful!

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