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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Since the original post went south as soon as the Dead Fish post came back on, I'd like to go back and continue the original since it is a very good post.

Where to begin... I will start with some of the links provided and go from there so here they are;

Here are some links, but definitely not all, regarding the issue...

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fraserriver/recreational/recfishery99sprtcatch_e.htm

http://members.shaw.ca/AFGC/fishing study.htm

http://www.flyfishsteelhead.com/stories/playing.htm

http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/angling/protalk/thornton/catchrelease.phtml

http://www.acuteangling.com/Reference/C&RMortality.html


In order listed. Link one is a mortality study on coho salmon, since this discussion was primarily about steelhead, the supplied info is not applicable to this discussion.

Link two. Probably the most usefull of the links provided with direct comparisons between bait and artificial lures. The fast break down, Keogh brood fisheries were used to provide most of the supplied info. Rivers that were also mentioned, but not as extensivly tracked were fish from the Thompson, Coquhalla, Squamish, Somass and Chilliwack. Most of the comparison is centered on the Keogh though and although it is an indepth study, there are very obvious biases against fishing with bait.

During the Keogh experiment, it quickly became evident that, in order to obtain the requisite sample size of steelhead hooked on artificial lures, it was necessary to commence angling sessions with that gear type. Despite a strong bias towards artificial lure fishing prior to using bait, lures caught 99 fish while bait produced 236 or 2.38 times as many for similar hours fished (data on file, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP), Nanaimo).

As noted earleer in section 1.1, Angling was generally prosecuted by highly trained, skilled and optimally equipped agency staff. The large majority of all fish they captured were taken using clusters of steelhead or salmon eggs on single hooks... On the surface, all appears to be equal yet I see a bias towards highly effective bait fishermen, not highly effective artificial lure fishermen. This also begs the question, what artificial lures were they using? Spinners and spoons? Were they using small wool ties? Pink worms? Spin-N-glos? Plugs? Jigs? The wording of artificial lures implies that they were using metal (spoons and/or spinners) but that they were predominantly bait fishermen, Angling was generally prosecuted by highly trained, skilled and optimally equipped agency staff. The large majority of all fish they captured were taken using clusters of steelhead or salmon eggs on single hooks , section 1.1 In easier terms, this implies that they were excellent bait fishermen but poor "artifical lure" fishermen. This is an obvious and very real bias in this study which only serves to put a greater emphasis on the effectivness of bait vs. the ineffectivness of artificials. Just because someone wails on the fish with bait does not automatically make them experts in all fields. After realizing this, many of the conclusions become very vague or irrelevant.

Yet even through a jaded view of bait vs. artificials, we still have this conclusion, Once again the immediate mortality rates (i.e., within 24 hours) were relatively low (5.6% for baited hooks and 3.8% for artificial lures, although barbed baited hooks resulted in a 9.1 % mortality rate) (Hooton, 1987). A difference of only 1.8% difference in mortality.

Taken from Summary and Conclusion #2

Observed differences between hooking mortality rates for bait fishing versus artificial lure or fly fishing relate to the incidence of hooks penetrating critical anatomical locations. Angling with bait consistently produces the highest frequencies of hooking fish deep inside the mouth where rupture of blood vessels (gill structures and heart) and puncture of the esophagus is common. Such injuries commonly result in severe bleeding that, in turn, produces high mortality. Artificial lures result in consistently lower hooking injury and mortality rates, and flies consistently the lowest rates because fish are almost always hooked on the periphery of the mouth or in the jaws where blood vessels are not contacted.

Focusing on the bold points, I would counter that given more adept artificial lure users and the numbers of fish encountered because of such a move, the number of bleeders would more closely match the numbers for bait caught fish. Regarding fly fishing, since there was no mention at all of fly fishing in this study I find it ludicrous that they even bring it up for comparison.

I point this out not to try and debunk this study, but to put into perspective how personal angling skills can push a seemingly transparent and equal study in one direction over another.

Links 3, 4 and 5 while usefull for handling and care of caught steelhead, do not provide information on mortality rates for bait and/or artificial caught steelhead.

I will end for now with some info from Eric Carlisles book West Coast River Angling. Under section 7 titled Managment, he relates that from Jan 1, 1974 to March 15, 1985 he has landed 1010 steelhead with a bleeder rate with organic baits (shrimp, roe, worms) of 3.67% of 843 steelhead. His bleeder rate on non organic lures from 167 steelhead was 3.59.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Thanks, Kryptonite for re-starting this thread. There are some interesting facts and some questionable statistics in the various links provided.The Coho study group March 2,2000 leaves me to believe these fish were caught in moving water in the Fraser in the fall on traditional gear, then brought to shore,revived in water that is not moving as fast, and may be considerably warmer than the depth caught, then tagged and released to be tracked with telemetry?
Certainly, these fish would have been considerably stressed by the handling, and it also did not say how long a period of time elapsed prior to the fish becoming a mortality statistic.
I have always thought the bait bans on certain streams were not to protect a C & R fishery, but to prevent the public from using bait to intercept smolts released at the various hatcheries, as these fish are known to be roe pigs.
The playing & landing of the fish article is very good and demonstrates the importance of using gear appropriate to the size of the targetted fish. Mr. Thorton's article, although informative has a few "old school" ideas attached to it. The style of hook and the size of the hooks used in any fishery, I feel, are really important.
Some designs are absolutely inappropriate for our fisheries, yet no rules other than "no barbs have been implemented.
Virtually no studies have been done on the effects on fish of rapid temperature changes, or pressures generated on a fish coming quickly to the surface (in the ocean) from a great depth. Recently I saw a short video on the tracking program here in BC and along the Coast where they have monitors injected into the fish so they can follow their migration routes....It appeared that most of the fish survived the out of water open surgery, which was rather amazing!.Once the study is completed, you can bet a few lodges will change their locations.

The last point I want to make is the recapture of steelhead and why these fish can often survive multiple C&R in any given day. I have twice witnessed the same fish being C & R'd within an hour and very recently the same fish was caught just 5 minutes after it was previously caught by the same angler on two completely different presentations. The second time the fish was quickly "surfed in" and released once again without any incident. Any rod can C & R any number of fish on a given day. Perhaps the number landed should be reflected in a limit of some sort, to allow others a chance at a fish before they are caught multiple times...JUst my 2 cents.....Ortho 8)
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Also a great read. Thanx for spending the time to do the research. Makes me cringe at the statistics, considering other factors the fish have to endure during their migration.
It's no wonder C&R is such a debatable fishery. It's one thing to release a non retainable fish when trying to catch one that is retainable , but to purposely catch fish that can't be retained anyway (for the sake of mere sport) seems more damaging than good.
But overall, if within the guidelines of The Fisheries Act, it falls on each individual to decide for themselves if they choose to partake in this aspect of the sport.

I for example, don't participate in C&R, but if DFO allows it, who am I to impose my views on anyone legally fishing within the proper guidelines? Ethics and The Letter of The Law don't mix, therefore, there can't be a right or wrong answer....Each individual have to decide for themselves. Just my :2cents: :peace:
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Lonefisher, you make the guys who choose to fish C & R seem likes it wrong and you going out and whacking fish as the only proper way to fish?

"purposely catch fish that can't be retained anyway (for the sake of mere sport) seems more damaging than good."

Some of us choose to C & R our fish because we love the sport of fishing but need to kill everything we catch to make ourselves feel better..We release the fish to LIVE another day..

The BAIT quota alone show's why the C & R rates are so inflated....Fly alone is roughly around 1% and yet I always here bait guys bash the fly guys over this practice...Even with bait that's a 95% survival rate versus what when you retain your fish?

If you only fish because it's for food, why would anyone be on a sport fishing site?
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

I have posted this before, but look at it and seriously listen to what Mel Krieger has to say, and then reflect on it. He expresses this view better than anything I can say.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Personally, I dont feel that bait is the great demon that its made out to be when catching adult salmon and steelhead in most types of fisheries. There are some bait techniques that supposedly result in a higher percentage of deeply hooked fish but either I have not experienced those results or havnt yet tried those techniques.

Of greater impact are the by catches of fish, mostly trout and smolts, that one of the links talked a little about and that ortho touched on. Trout love bait, no doubt about it, and greater mortality can be easily seen if anglers are not carefull. Conversely, one of the greatest catchers/maimers/killers of small trout and parr is a small spinner fished in the summer months. For what ever reason those little fish literally hurl themselves at the spinner and get hooked in all sorts of places. In the body, through the eye, under the pectoral fins. All not good places for a released fish to be hooked if survival is to be maximized.

I for example, don't participate in C&R, but if DFO allows it, who am I to impose my views on anyone legally fishing within the proper guidelines? Ethics and The Letter of The Law don't mix, therefore, there can't be a right or wrong answer....Each individual have to decide for themselves.

If I felt that same view strongly enough, I would not care who didnt like it, I would be trying to change the way that things are done. Change comes from people who are not afraid to stand out. Its not always a change for the better but change its self is inevitable.

If you only fish because it's for food, why would anyone be on a sport fishing site?

Many reasons I'd imagine. The thrill of the hunt, enjoying the surroundings, challenging ones self against nature, different techniques for different scenarios, to become better at harvesting ones dinner.

Wow, one man and one thousand and ten steelhead :eek:

Thats only 101 steelhead per year. Lets put it into perspective and see what actually makes a good steelheader. Lets say you have a steelheader, he fishes for 1000 hours throughout the winter to catch 100 steelhead, thats an average of 10 hours per fish. Then you have a guy who can only manage to get out for 100 hours in a winter but he catches 30 fish, thats just over 3 hours per fish. Assuming they are both fishing the same river, who is the better angler, the guy who catches 100 fish or the guy who catches 30?
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

xgolfman said:
Lonefisher, you make the guys who choose to fish C & R seem likes it wrong and you going out and whacking fish as the only proper way to fish?

"purposely catch fish that can't be retained anyway (for the sake of mere sport) seems more damaging than good."

Some of us choose to C & R our fish because we love the sport of fishing but need to kill everything we catch to make ourselves feel better..We release the fish to LIVE another day..

The BAIT quota alone show's why the C & R rates are so inflated....Fly alone is roughly around 1% and yet I always here bait guys bash the fly guys over this practice...Even with bait that's a 95% survival rate versus what when you retain your fish?

If you only fish because it's for food, why would anyone be on a sport fishing site?
Maybe you should read my post again. Just because I gave my personal opinion and views, doesn't constitute me bashing anyone. If you disagree with what I'm saying that's fine, but don't misinterpret what I've written because you've taken it way out of context. The statements you just posted isn't so much less derogatory (if not more) than mine.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Let's not get this off track guys.

Kryptonite makes some very interesting observations, and some great points. Not only that, but he has also taken the time and effort to share it all with us so that everyone can think about it with an open mind.

Please keep to the subject matter of bait versus gear use, C&R mortality...

Don't make this a personal debate. Discuss for the purposes of understanding and providing information. Everyone has to make their own choices after that.

Thanks...

On the argument of providing more skilled lure fishermen and that the numbers would become more like the bait data as a result, such an observation is unscientific, but it is a valid point to make that the sample sizes should ideally be equal, and that bias should be removed as much as possible in order to truly gain a perspective on the impacts of both.

Ironically, this also means arguing that getting better lure anglers will even out the study and show there is no difference is as poor an observation as the papers ignoring the bias to begin with.

The study would have more "power" and be more helpful however, by manipulating the design somewhat. This does not however make you more right, rather it makes their findings a little less so. Please don't try to apply science only for the benefit of your argument as that is not what science is about, nor is coercing the membership of BCFR into agreeing with a skewed perspective the goal of this site. The original article was posted to bring the topic to the members attention as quickly as possible, allowing for more papers and data to be brought in over time, not for desperate lurkers to seize an opportunity to pounce. So observations are welcome, but providing an equal or greater amount of bias to your counterparts does not necessarily help achieve the goal either.

As for the better angler theory...there's a lot more to it than numbers, anyone can see that. If the guy that goes out and gets 30 only fishes a tiny little creek that has no pressure or competition from other anglers for example and catches the same 5 fish 6 times in a year from the same pool, that might be construed as less skilled than the guy who fishes unknown rivers and explores areas they are unfamiliar with and have more pressure and yet catches the same number of fish...Oversimplifying the argument for the sake of making a point still does not make that point right, nor does it help the discussion to try and sublety brag about fish numbers, hours put in, or how vast an array of techniques and experience one has either.

Please continue the discussion with the purpose of examining the issue, not some self centered desire to prove something to yourselves or others.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Not saying you were lonetrout, I find the C & R debate to be purposely blurred on many fronts..If a guy say's he's C & R fish but his intent is harvesting the one of two bigs ones or does for roe, should that be counted in the mortality rate?
This argument like most can have it's stat's. (which anyone who's taken Stats class can attest) skewed to fit everyone's point of view..
What I question is IF you choose to C&R for whatever reason, wouldn't you then choose to use the method that does the least amount of damage? In other words, If your using a Treble hook and a big gob of roe..but preach the values of releasing all wild fish, does that impress your argument??

I would also like to add, while I might choose to C & R steelhead no matter if it's hatchery or wild..That's just my choice on that fish...I hate as well the holier then thous that proclaim their method as somehow making what they are doing less stressful for the fish etc etc. PLEASE If that's your argument then why use hooks at all? Fish with feathers and count the fish that hit it as your reward, just stay far away from me or I'll throw rocks at you!!

When you've caught a steelhead on the fly after hours and hours of trying, is that feeling of accomplishment because you can now bash it on the head for dinner OR because you've done something that takes allot of time and patience and learning to accomplish? Sometimes I think it's like learning to ride a bike downhill while blind!!

Unfortunately, too many do use this method strictly to their own advantage, which is to catch and whack more fish..Using an example that I can attest to, Tunkwa has a three fish limit? How many of you who have fished there have seen the guys who retain a fish, then catch a bigger one and all of a sudden they are back to one fish? I've seen it quite frequently and of course if someone see's a dead fish and a fly/gear guy releasing fish near it...they assume one and one makes four..
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

OK back on track. If the debate is over the use of bait or hardware, I would have to say it's a wash. I think it's more the response of the fisher to the strike and the way they play the fish that can determine the outcome.
Barfishers for example, who delay the setting of the hook might allow the fish to swallow the bait. Where in turn, someone using hardware with too light of a gear may tend to over play the fish, to the point of exhaustion.

Unfortunately stats have to include mortality caused by people who abuse the system. It's sad, but necessary as a way to help keep tabs on depleting stocks.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

there are three main arguments against bait use:

the fact that it is the best way to target stale fish(retreads). The assumed C&R mortality rate goes up exponentially when fish are caught over and over again. No finer example of the effectivness of this than December in Spences Bridge. When Steelhead are fresh I think all terminal tackle types are close to equal in effectivness and angler success has more to do with presentation and location.

as mentioned above bait is deadly when it comes to Trout bycatch. It's a double edged sword-drop the hook size and risk deep hooking Trout or run with a larger hook and risk eyeballing them.To use the T as an example again.....dead rainbows attached to rocks thanks to bottom bouncers snagging up.

overall deep hooking and and C&R mortality. Lots of studies with a wide variety of results. Personally I think angler skill level comes into play here. Quick hooksets help prevent deep hookings though not all anglers are equal in this regard. Hook size can affect the result. I should also mention that large hooks on flies, spinners and esspecially spoons can have a bad result as well. Responsible anglers downsize their lure and fly hooks.

like I said in an earlier thread we should all take steps to minimize our own impact.
 
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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Whistler said:
The assumed C&R mortality rate goes up exponentially when fish are caught over and over again. No finer example of the effectivness of this than December in Spences Bridge.
Can I see some of your pics of dead T steelhead from Dec that can proven that being caught by bait over and over again was their demise? Who is assuming the exponential increase in mortality rates? You? Not me. Wheres all the dead Vedder steelhead littering the banks?

overall deep hooking and and C&R mortality.

I'll (mostly) ingore your c&r mortality since you seem to hark on and on ad nauseum with it, and we already went over it. Fly guys catch fish too... Over all deep hooking? By who? Not me, ever, no matter what bait was being used or when in my steelheading career I hooked them. Out of all of the steelhead that I have ever hooked, or seen hooked on bait, only one was deeply hooked. That fish was tubed for the hatchery, held for 7 weeks and successfully spawned, and released again. It puked up the hook on the second day in the hatchery. I have a video of that fish where I clearly state that the fish is deeply hooked, so I cut the line and tube the fish.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

One important distinction should be considered: summer run steelhead ( overwinter in the river then spawn) spend a much longer time in the river and will suffer greater consequences of repeat hooking compared to winter run steelhead ( fish that enter the river and spawn) by the simple fact that summer run fish are in the river a lot longer than their winter run cousins....
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Kryptonite said:
Whistler said:
The assumed C&R mortality rate goes up exponentially when fish are caught over and over again. No finer example of the effectivness of this than December in Spences Bridge.
Can I see some of your pics of dead T steelhead from Dec that can proven that being caught by bait over and over again was their demise? Who is assuming the exponential increase in mortality rates? You? Not me. Wheres all the dead Vedder steelhead littering the banks?

overall deep hooking and and C&R mortality.

I'll (mostly) ingore your c&r mortality since you seem to hark on and on ad nauseum with it, and we already went over it. Fly guys catch fish too... Over all deep hooking? By who? Not me, ever, no matter what bait was being used or when in my steelheading career I hooked them. Out of all of the steelhead that I have ever hooked, or seen hooked on bait, only one was deeply hooked. That fish was tubed for the hatchery, held for 7 weeks and successfully spawned, and released again. It puked up the hook on the second day in the hatchery. I have a video of that fish where I clearly state that the fish is deeply hooked, so I cut the line and tube the fish.
Kryp,

"bait is for little fat kids" ;)

in all seriousness..........

my first point is pure math, the more a times a fish is caught the greater the chance for problems. If C&R mortality is 2% for the first capture what do you think the percentage is if the same fish is caught 5 times? People bottom bounce bait in these runs because it is the most effective way to capture these fish over and over again. Stale fish are less likely to move for a fly, especially one swinging well off the bottom. To me this is the main argument against bait use, esspecially on wild summer run streams.

It is true that fly anglers catch fish, albeit less than their goo chucking counterparts(duh-this is the reason for stinky fingers right?) So if fly anglers catch less fish and even if their C&R mortality is similar to bait chuckers(similar but slightly less in reality) their overall impact is going to be less as 2% of a lower number of fish captured is less than 2% of a higher number of fish captured.

In the case of the T there is science and statistics to back this up. Angler creel surveys show that overall fly fishing and lure fishing are both less productive than organic bait fishing(anyone surprised by this?)

I know the mortality rate mantra can get tiring but honestly it's a bit of a red herring as it is really the catch and by catch rates that are most important. The actual C&R rates can vary by the anglers skill level, regardless of angling technique and terminal tackle choice. The fact remains there are steps the individual angler can take to lower their impact. Ditching the bait on C&R streams is a pretty obvious step and does not discriminate against any one group of anglers.

Please don't turn this into a fly vs gear thing as this is really a lure/fly vs organic bait issue.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

I had a long post to put up but will keep this simple.

This whole business of all these guys that are bouncing bait over stacked steelhead in the town water on the Thompson is rediculous.
For the past 10 years I have been driving by that water and quite simply the only guys who I see polluting that area are the fly fisherman, often standing in line waiting to have their go at the water.

I seldom see any gear fishers at all in that section and all the guys who I know who caych alot of T steel, do not even fish over those stacked up Steelhead.

No to make this a Fly vs Gear thing, but when dudes make false statements about what is happening up there, how can we take there opinions seriously.

Education is the key to catch and release mortality problems, using the right size hooks, being aware of what your presentation is doing along with good handling of fish is the true key to very low mortality rates.

The guys who use bait because they can't catch steel anyhow are not the problem, the guys who can catch them well who use bait are not really a problem either as they do all the right things to allow a safe release.
So were left with the guys who catch alot and do not handle fish well, and are constantly trying to catch more of the stale over caught fish. I say these guys are so few and far between that they are really not a problem either.
Every other problem Steelhead face, IS the problem and we need all anglers in those groups to join together and fight for the fish or we can just all fish for the lat of these great beasts and continue to argue amongst ourselves like spoiled children.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Rod,

I suggest you read the first post in this thread. No one is suggesting that there are not a wide variety of issues that Thompson and other Steel face though that is not the title of this thread.

The fact remains that C&R mortality is slightly higher with bait than both artificial lures(jigs too :thumbup:) and flies. Flies have the lowest percentage as it is easy to always hook fish in the corner of the mouth. That said these overall percentages are fairly close.

As I mentioned when you look at the overall C&R mortality of bait it is esspecially high due to it's overall effectivness, esspecially when it comes to recaptures.

Rod I know you like to 'discuss and banter' on the net and honestly I enjoy it too, though if you think about it you really are in a little over your head here if you would like to discuss the T specific. I never said that some fly anglers don't choose to clog the town water. Personally I think it's great as it keeps them out of the way. We could certainly try and figure out what percentage of the overall angler effort this is but honestly it is not relevant as I have science and statistics supporting my point. More fish are caught and recaught on bait than by any other method(like I said earlier I guess this is the attraction-or is the stinky pink fingers?).

So in the case of the T MOE has gone to great expense harrassing anglers daily in their creel surveys in the name of science of sorts. Personal bias and assumptions aside, this data shows conclusivly that more fish are caught on bait than any other method, esspecially in late season(December).

More fish caught multiplied by a slightly higher C&R mortality rate is a higher number than less fish caught multiplied by a slightly lower C&R mortality rate.

OK Rod now take this statement and go back and read Kryps fisrt post in this thread.

When you are done Rod pick the relevant point that you would like to discuss rather than continuing with the noble anti fly stance.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

Guys, this doesn't have to be schoolyard pissing match! You are both makig some valid points (many of them overlappin), but seem intent on showing the other guy up, rather than lisyen to what he is saying. Try dialogue rather than ego.
 

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Re: C&R Mortality, (not the dead fish post)

ive been fishing bait for quite a few years...ive had one steelhead that bled a little bit and a couple others hooked fairly deep but they make up about 2% of the total in my experience...with proper release techniques they are fine.. but im sure mortality occurs often enough as we all saw a while back. Now from my understanding(as i dont fly fish that much) rarely do they take flies deep.. but ive seen fly guys using rods that have no business tackling steelhead and salmon.. could that lead to mortality? probably, build up of lactic acid... overplayed fish dies... there is chances for mortality with both methods.. best bet is to play them quickly with adequate gear... keep them in the water and properly release them and you shouldnt have too much problems
 
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