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Tomorrow the coho season opens. Every wild coho that is released unharmed is very important to all fishermen. All fishermen!!! The more that survive, the more that spawn. The more wild coho that spawn, the better chances we have of a larger run. The larger run of wild coho enhances the future of hatchery coho fishing in the ocean and the probable fishery of wild coho in the ocean and the rivers.

Treat these wild coho like you would a wild steelhead because I feel certain you will intercept them and probably or possibly on a one to one basis.

Try to avoid netting them if you can, and if you can’t, buy a fish friendly net. But best for survival are to release them in the water.

Regardless if you are on a charter boat or private boat, let them know they are handling them wrong and abusive if that is the case. These fish are very important whether you realize it or not and will make the difference of fresh and saltwater fisheries in the future!

Here is some old quotes from an old thread dealing with coho:

I posted this on the main board also and hope that is proper. I felt it important for as many fishermen as possible to take into consideration the catch & release aspect of the thread. I do know a couple private sport boats and a 6 pack charter that release the wild coho the same way as the commercials. They put the net down when they see the fin and grab the gaff.

Dan

WDFW gives away a little tool that slides down the line to the hook. With a little twist of the wrist, the hook comes free. It is just a dowel about 2' long with a small cup hook screwed into the end.

love2fish

The tool is called a "shaker hook." It's been around for a long time. I've seen them in stores, but there are a bunch of home-made versions out there. The key is that the wire diameter for the hook should be pretty slender, like no more than 1/8 inch at the curve of the hook, so that it slides easily between the fish and the hook (that is, the hook on the end of your line). Hold leader in one hand with fish hanging down. Slide shaker hook down lure/bait hook. Lift up fish with shaker hook while at the same time rotating the leader down below fish's mouth. Give a little "twitch" and he's off. This assumes you're using a standard trolling hook & he's hooked in the mouth, not swallowed a small mooching-style hook. Later on, I'll post a picture of some custom-made ones.

Mark Mc


You actually could make one with a coat hangar...just a bend at the end, slide it down the leader and over the hook and pull...put a wooden handle on the other end...

Bill Monroe

http://www.ifish.net/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=001694

Mark MC

My experience with coho is they are so wild that it makes them hard to release without netting them - unless you exhaust them first. I really subscribe to the idea of no nets, so what do you guys do with a wild (as in thrashing) wild (as in native) coho you want to release unharmed?

Tips?

Skein

With a barbless single hook, I can usually shake them by giving some slack and a couple of rod whips. If not, I would rather play them to exhaustion and release them in the water by grabbing the hook shank and turning it upside down rather than netting the fish. I think if you net a salmon it is probably a deader. They lose half their scales.
KB

Thanks, Dan, and I'll watch for tips. I've netted a few of them but quit because as Threemuch says, nets just make 'em dead. I like the idea of a gaff, or gaff-like tool that will slip down the line and get the hook out without touching the fish. I've been thinking of a way to make one of those - so all I need is a bunch of eager coho so I can try it out. Think of it as R&D.

Skein

WDFW gives away a little tool that slides down the line to the hook. With a little twist of the wrist, the hook comes free. It is just a dowel about 2' long with a small cup hook screwed into the end.

love2fish

The tool is called a "shaker hook." It's been around for a long time. I've seen them in stores, but there are a bunch of home-made versions out there. The key is that the wire diameter for the hook should be pretty slender, like no more than 1/8 inch at the curve of the hook, so that it slides easily between the fish and the hook (that is, the hook on the end of your line). Hold leader in one hand with fish hanging down. Slide shaker hook down lure/bait hook. Lift up fish with shaker hook while at the same time rotating the leader down below fish's mouth. Give a little "twitch" and he's off. This assumes you're using a standard trolling hook & he's hooked in the mouth, not swallowed a small mooching-style hook. Later on, I'll post a picture of some custom-made ones.


Thanks from me, wild fish advocates, ODFW, the state and fed’s, and every sports fishermen that wants to catch wild and hatchery coho in the future!

Dan
 

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New rules posted in the WDFW say that no non-retainable fish shall be taken out of the water or boated. I guess thats in response to complaints of charter boats and private boats unhooking wild coho and tossing them on the floor until the rods re-baited and then thrown overboard with no resusitation effort. But then again its okay for the gill netters to "soak" them for 30 minutes.Go figure. :shrug:
 
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