CATFISH CONSERVATION -Trophy Catfish for the Future

Practice Safe Fish Handling All Year Long

Ryan Lawrence prepares his trophy cat for weighing in a sling.

Ryan Lawrence prepares his trophy cat for weighing in a sling.

When cold winter weather comes around a lot of catfish anglers slack off on fish care. There is a common belief that the cold water of winter makes it less necessary to pay as much attention to the fish. Fishlife’s Jody Harrison says that’s not true.

“Don’t take it for granted that it is winter and the fish need less attention,” warns Harrison. “Although it is easier you still need to be running oxygen and practicing safe fish care.”

One thing that anglers can do to take stress off the fish (especially the big cats), is to use a weigh sling to capture its weight and to release the fish. The weigh sling makes it easy to cradle the fish horizontally. The stability of laying them in the sling greatly reduces the physical stress of holding them vertically and makes it less likely that they will be dropped.

More and more catfish anglers are practicing Catch Photo Release (CPR) and that’s good for the catfish population. CPR is easy and any angler can do it. All it requires is the right attitude and a dedication to saving our trophy fish. Couple CPR with good fish handling practices and the results will be more trophy catfish for the future.

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