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I love to go fishing, and my motto is "catch and release." But I'm worried. Do the fish I let go die anyway?

Hey, kids! Scarlett Fox here, having a terrific time answering your questions. You keep reminding me that there are so many wonders in the world to wonder about. . . .

I love to go fishing, and my motto is "catch and release." But I'm worried. Do the fish I let go die anyway?

Erin Sweeney; Cincinnati, OH

Most released fish swim off and do just fine--especially if they're treated the right way.

Your best bet is to handle your catch as little and as quickly-- but carefully--as possible. Most important, wet your hands before grabbing a fish. This keeps you from wiping off the fish's layer of slime, which protects its skin against germs.

If a fish has swallowed the hook, just cut the line. (Trying to get the hook out could cause injuries.) Fish have strong stomach juices that dissolve their food. These juices can also dissolve a hook.

"Catch and release" is a great motto to follow, Erin. It means more fish are left in the water. And that means more fish for others to catch and release.

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Title Annotation:Ask Scarlett
Publication:Ranger Rick
Date:Sep 1, 1995
Words:178
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