Study Shows Impacts of Fishing in Warm Water

August 19, 2023 By: Spencer Durrant

The Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) conducted a study last year on the impacts of catch-and-release on trout mortality. While the study was published last summer, it’s started making the rounds again on social media, so it’s worth bringing to your attention.

The study specifically looked at catch-and-release mortality for trout in warm water conditions. What the study found was that mortality for trout caught and released in water 73 F or warmer was 69% higher than when water temperatures were below 66 F.

What’s particularly interesting, however, is that biologists then applied their findings to fish populations throughout a given river system using a method that counted angler encounter rates with a percentage of that river’s trout population. In that case, only about 2.8% of the trout population died due to being caught and released in water warmer than 73 F.

It’s incredible to have real-world results around our science-based best practices for catch-and-release fishing. You can read the entire study here.