Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Published in Fisheries Management and Ecology, 2007, 14, 115–121


Catch-and-release angling is popular in many parts of the world and plays an increasingly important role in fish conservation efforts. Although survival rates associated with catch-and-release angling are well documented for many species, sublethal effects have been less studied. An experiment was conducted to directly assess the effects of catch-and-release angling on growth and survival of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). Catch-and-release events were simulated in laboratory tanks maintained at 15–16 °C with hooks manually placed in pre-designated locations in the mouths of the fish. There were no differences in standard length (P= 0.59) or wet weight (P=0.81) gained between caught and uncaught fish over a 1-month angling and recovery period. Survival was 96.99 ± 0.06% for rainbow trout caught and released, and did not vary with number (one, two or four) of captures. Thus, catch-and-release angling appears to have little effect on growth and mortality of rainbow trout hooked in the mouth.