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Releasing trout after the catch

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Has anyone had any problems with releasing trout after they catch them.( I know I have a hard enough time catching them, let alone releaseing them) but I caught some the other day in about 40ft of water. They were small so I released them back into the water. At first they took off like a bandit, not sluggish at all. But shortly after I released the 2nd one I noticed a trout floating about 30ft from the boat. I motored over to it and it looked just like the first fish I released. Soon after I saw another one floating. That fish looked like the 2nd one I caught.(see a pattern here?) I caught 1 more but did not release it because of the first 2 floaters. I assume they died due to the fact of pulling them up out of such deep water?????? Anyone else ever notice this? I ended up bringing all 3 fish home even though they were pretty small(3/4 lbs?) I guess if I can't catch and release them in deep water, I'm not going to fish in deep water for them anymore unless I know theres big ones down there or I really need a meal:(

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That is weird. I have caught trout in 50 feet of water and it didnt seem to affect them when they swam off. However I guess I cannot be positive, I guess I just figured they were ok. I know Ice fishing for perch on some deep lakes they do not go back down due to inflation of their swim bladder, wonder if its a similar deal. I know when we would reel them up more gradually they did a lot better. But that is weird to hear the trout didnt make it. I have also gotten lake trout in over 100 feet of water and had no problem releasing them. But then again a laker may be a lot different from a stream trout. interesting to hear, hope someone else has an answer for ya.

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It may not be the depth of the water the fish are comming from but the temp of the water they are being released into. Heres some info I pulled from the net...

"Oxygen, an essential ingredient for fish, is directly related to water temperature. The O2 we are interested in is dissolved oxygen, because this is the oxygen the trout breathes through its gills. Dissolved oxygen (dO2) is measured in parts per million (ppm). Trout require dO2 of 3ppm to survive. When water reaches a temperature of 75 degrees fahrenheit 3ppm is the maximum dO2 the water can hold with out some form of turbulence to enhance gas exchange (oxygenation). At water temperatures above 75 f with no oxygenation of the water the trout will suffocate. The dO2 super saturation water temperature is 32 f.

Water temperature also controls the trout's metabolism. While very cold water can hold the maximum of dO2 it also slows the trout's metabolism to the point of suspended animation ( a cryogenic effect ). This is the way it works: from 32 f to 44 f the trout is slowed to the point of needing very little food and he has a over abundance of dO2, up to 30ppm. At 50 f to 55 f the trout's activity increases and they actively feed for long periods of time and they still have an over abundance of dO2. When the water temperature reaches the 55 f to 65 f range you have the ideal fishing conditions. The trout's metabolism is in high gear and they feed constantly, dO2 is in the 18 to 12ppm range and there is plenty of food. The food; aquatic insects and their larvae, minnows of all types and crustaceans are prolific and abundant. The fisherman only has to give a proper presentation and he will hook a trout. The great decline starts when the water temperature climbs to 68 f. Brown, Brook and Cutthroat trout start to feel what I call the frying pan effect. Unless there is a lot of turbulence to oxygenate the water, the dO2 falls rapidly to perilously low levels. The trout's metabolism is racing furiously along and he is burning oxygen as fast as he can adsorb it from the water. As the sun heats the water, he uses the dO2 faster and faster. With out some type of escape valve he will suffocate.The trout reacts to this danger in several ways. The first reaction is to decrease activity as in "the dog days of summer". Fish sulk on the bottom and feeding seems to be nonexistent. When and if they feed it will be in the wee hours of the morning when the water is at its coolest. Water takes a long time to release heat and pre-dawn is when it will be at its coolest. The trout's second reaction is to move to a place where there is more dO2 available. This could be as close as the head of his pool where a riffle provides the turbulence necessary for oxygenation of the water or a considerable distance. If there is a spring feeding the stream, you will find trout stacked up down stream of the plume of colder water. Ground water can be 10 to 15 degrees colder than the stream."

This info was pulled from the Catskill region of NY where most fisherman wont fish streams if the water temp is at or above 68-70. CnR is big in most of that area.

Just a thought and a maybe to your question...

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Yeah sounds like a good answer to me. It was very hot that day and im not sure what the water temp was but it may have been in the 70's suface temp. But what I dont get is if thats the case then couldn't they just swim down to cooler water? This was in a lake and they were Rainbow trout. thanks for the repleys and the reaserch work.

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They don't get an adequate chance to decompress. Especially on a quick return at those depths. Chances are they're imploding on you. I've noticed more so on the bigger fish, often times air sacs outside the tailend. Smaller seem to have a better survival chance. Although I do think drastic temp changes are relevant as well.

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