Recreational fisheries for steelhead are primarily catch-and-release, including the famed run of the Bulkley River, BC. The success of catch-and-release as a conservation tool is based on the premise that released fish survive and do not suffer any negative consequences. Science has shown, however, that angler behaviour can have dramatic influences on the outcome of catch-and-release angling, and that research is needed that specifically focuses on wild steelhead to identify opportunities for refining handling practices to ensure the best outcome for fish.
Scientists on this project worked alongside volunteer anglers on the Bulkley River to study wild steelhead from Sept 2016 to April 2018. During this time, 126 wild steelhead were caught and used in one of two studies on the impacts of catch-and-release. Click here for a full summary of the project.