Holding trout by the gill covers

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Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by Algyros »

There's a video of Rim Chung (the inventor of the RS2) landing a couple of very large trout in which he lifts them out of the water by holding them by the gill covers (i.e., he grabs them behind the eye with his thumb and forefinger). Apparently, this grip immobilizes the trout. I tried it today, and it seems to work. However, one of the trout that I used the Rim Chung grip on had a very hard time recovering. So, I was wondering if it's possible that such a grip does damage to the fish's gills.

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by TricoDoug »

I don't mean to be judgemental but why would you do that? Unhook the fish in the water and let him go if you are releasing it. Simple as that.

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by Gene »

I was always under the impression that was the worst way to handle a fish. The pink fibers are the fishes lungs so to speak and messing around there would be harmful. I would never stick my fingers behind the behind the gills.

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by Algyros »

To be clear, I'm not talking about holding the fish the way you see it done in old-timey "sportsman's" photos, with the finger behind the gill covers. Chung holds the fish by holding them over the gill covers. Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPzxGeZO06o.

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by tailwater »

I would agree with Trico Doug. I see no reason to remove the fish from the water unless you intend to maybe make a meal of it.

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by Bamboo&Brookies »

Agree with the other folks... try to keep the fish in the water, unless you want to eat it.

Even if you want to just take a photo, it's best to get the fish into shallow water and leave it rest there while you snap a picture, ensuring there is water going through the gills.

Rob J.
Give a man a fly rod, a shotgun and a bird dog and he'll never be worth a d*mn.
-Old New England saying

ted patlen
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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by ted patlen »

The less you touch the fish the better.

We all have had problems releasing fish but we are human and every so often a fish is hurt. We are enthralled with this "blood" sport but take as many precautions as we can to ensure the fish is released as healthy as possible. What galls me, especially as i get older is when we see someone utterly destroy a fish then throw it back. The worst are the clowns who keep the fish on a stringer then switch a bigger fish for the smaller ones that have been tethered.

We return the fish while many do not and keep the waters and the area clean as well. My point is why do we pay the same in license fees as the people who take fish and are irresponsible? I am not saying that we should get free licenses but a reduced rate would be logical. Maybe the reason why there is no differentiation is because it makes sense.

okay sorry for the rant, i'm gonna have my coffee now.

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by catskilljohn »

Wow, yea, I just watched the video and that does not look like a stellar way to handle the fish. I'm sure that guy has landed many more fish than I have, and I would assume he's not killing every one holding them like that but it certainly does look like the trout is "immobilized" doing that.

Also looks like he played it till it was damn near dead too.

However, is that worse than the guy who has his hands all over a trout, drops it twice and then as it's flopping in the grass or sand pins it down to extract the hook?

I guess everyone does it his own way. I too try to "keep em wet" and get them in as fast as possible ( which has been a detriment on at least one big trout of late) but getting them back quickly has always been a priority.

Hate to say it, but it is somewhat like Ted mentioned a blood sport and there will be casualties. CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by quashnet »

"Apparently, this grip immobilizes the trout."

Immobilization is kind of a hint that this grip does the fish no favors. Physiologically, trout have high oxygen demands. Fresh water must flow over and through the gills in order for the fish to breathe. Gripping a trout by the operculums (the covers that protect the gills) blocks the flow, and likely compresses the gills beneath. I imagine it might be analogous to blocking a human's windpipe while also squeezing the ribcage.
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Re: Holding trout by the gill covers

Post by BrownBear »

Probably the best "classroom" for handling large trout is a hatchery spawning operation. They've tried it all and had the fish on hand afterward to see the results.

If you handled a trout that way, your hiney would hit the parking lot so hard your teeth would rattle.

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