The key finding is this: over a four year period of study, the mortality rate of sport caught released king salmon ranged from a high of 10.6% to a low of 4%. That averages out to 7.6%. The study was conducted with bait and the use of multiple hooks and found that the "frequency of gilled and bleeding fish was small”. It’s important to compare that to where we are today. When ADFG mandates catch and release, fishing is restricted to a single hook with no bait. Single hook with no bait equates to less fish being caught and handled. Common sense would say that today’s mortality percentage would be even less than 7.6% that was established through this study. This, of course, is my own opinion.
In 2017, the mortality rate for a released sport caught king salmon was 6.7%. In 2018, the mortality rate was 6.0%. Both slightly lower than what was observed on the Kenai River thirty years earlier.
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