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Steven J. Cooke

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Keepemwet Fishing, Fisheries Research

KWF_ScienceDirect.jpg

At Keepemwet Fishing we believe that communication and knowledge sharing between the fisheries science and recreational angling communities is a two way street.   For example, anglers can learn more about fisheries science, and scientist can learn about the issues that are important to anglers and this can help inform their research.  We need this type of dialogue and interaction to make sure that catch-and-release is effective.   Scientists communicate and share their work and ideas through the publication of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, and so, here is our first contribution on Keepemwet Fishing to science literature.

"There is a growing body of catch-and-release (C&R) science showing that adjusting the way fish are caught, handled, and released can reduce impacts on individuals and populations. However, a major caveat is that C&R will be a more effective conservation tool if best practice guidelines stemming from the science are understood, embraced, and adopted by recreational anglers. In recognition of this, Keepemwet Fishing (KWF) has emerged as a nonpartisan movement to provide simple, clear, and accurate C&R guidelines that transcend species and subcultures within the recreational angling community". Full report here.

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Bulkley Steelhead Catch-and-Release Project

Will Twardek photo

Will Twardek photo

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.  

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Understanding the Complexity of Catch-and-Release in Recreational Fishing

Understanding the Complexity of Catch-and-Release in
Recreational Fishing: An Integrative Synthesis of Global
Knowledge from Historical, Ethical, Social, and
Biological Perspectives

Most research on catch-and-release (C&R) in recreational fishing has been conducted
from a disciplinary angle focusing on the biological sciences and the study of hooking
mortality after release. This hampers understanding of the complex and multifaceted
nature of C&R. In the present synopsis, we develop an integrative perspective on C&R
by drawing on historical, philosophical, socio-psychological, biological, and managerial
insights and perspectives. Such a perspective is helpful for a variety of reasons,
such as 1) improving the science supporting successful fisheries management and conservation,
2) facilitating dialogue between managers, anglers, and other stakeholders,
3) minimizing conflict potentials, and 4) paving the path toward sustainable recreational
fisheries management. The present work highlights the array of cultural, institutional,
psychological, and biological factors and dimensions involved in C&R. Progress toward
successful treatment of C&R might be enhanced by acknowledging the complexity
inherent in C&R recreational fishing.

Read full report here.

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