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Earth Day: How to protect fish

Earth Day: How to protect fish

It's Earth day today and at Taskers Angling we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to highlight the ways we can protect fish when out angling. Fish are fragile and when you take them out of the water you are putting them at risk. Making sure we return them safely to the water is something all Anglers should make a priority. 


The stats show that most of the damage caused too fish is done out of the water once they are caught despite what some people may think. When they are thrashing around they can cause themselves injury and they can struggle to breath the longer you keep them out of the water. If the fish you caught has been out of the water for a long time then holding them under the water for a bit before releasing them will give them time to get oxygen back into their gills. 

There are simple steps and gear that anglers can get to help protect fish. Whenever an angler heads to the water they should make sure they have an unhooking mat as part of their essential kit. This offers protected and padded surface between the fish and the ground. You can also buy a cradle which allows for you to support the fish in the water until it is strong enough to swim away safely. Weighing slings are also something you can buy to protect fish while you get them on the scales. Using unbarbed hooks is also recommended. 


As mentioned out of all those items the most important thing you will need is an unhooking mat. Because fish swim through water they are not meant to be pressed against a hard surface. If you put it directly on the bank then you put it at risk of damaging its scales. Making sure the unhooking mat you buy is well padded as well will protect the fish from lumps and bumps on the ground which can still come through even if they are on the mat.

Remember as well to keep your unhooking mat wet with cold water, ideally from  the one you are fishing on. Even when your fish is on the mat pour more water over it to keep the mat wet and the fish cool.


Our store does also stock other gear that you can buy in order to maintain good care for the fish. One example of a product we stock is the Korda carp care kit. This medical kit and ones such as this allow for you to clean wounds or repair damages that yourself or any other anglers may have accidentally caused. No angler wants to know they are releasing a fish when it may be carrying injuries so investing in one of these is something we recommend. 

Our final point is to keep the area that you are angling in clean and to not leave any litter that can damage the fish or any other wildlife that lives in the area. Don't leave any equipment like reel lines and hooks you don't plan on using anymore as these can cause damage to fish if they get into the water. Take any rubbish or debris with you as this will leave it nice for the next angler and more important help protect the environment and nature. For more see our page on limiting pollution when angling.    


We hope you have found the information on how to protect fish helpful. As anglers we have a responsibility to look after the fish we catch and to ensure that they return to the water in the condition we caught them in. 

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