Fish Handling Code
Always use well balanced tackle and accept that the objective is to land a fish as quickly as possible, thereby causing minimum distress and exhaustion to the fish.
Line does not last forever, therefore examine and test it frequently. If in doubt change it! Land and remove fish from the water using a large knotless landing net and allow a few minutes recovery period before removing the landing net and fish from the water.
Unhook the fish while it is still in the net and in the water, if this is not an option place the fish (still in the net) on a wet unhooking mat never on bare gravel, stones etc.
Release the fish if it is not required for weighing or photography and do not retain large fish without reason. Only return a fish where you can hold it in the water; if it is a high bank area take it in the landing net or unhooking mat to a lower area.
hold the fish with head facing upstream in the best available flow of water, watching for steady working of the gills and the ability of the fish to maintain its balance
Holding the fish with a hand round the root of the tail fin, is a good way to see if the fish can maintain its balance.
Release only when the fish is making consistently strong attempts to swim off.
Only retain exceptional fish for the shortest time possible and use tubes, tunnels and keep nets with great caution. Use large friendly keep nets and position them where the fish receive adequate oxygen and protection from strong sunlight.
Avoid using keep nets off high banks where there is a danger of insufficient submerged net. Please do not retain Barbel in nets other than for recovery purposes.
ALWAYS MAKE FISH WELFARE YOUR PRIME CONSIDERATION.