Awareness, Attitudes, Perceptions, and Use of Best Fishing Practices by Recreational Reef Fish Anglers in the Gulf of Mexico – Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, 2022
Summary – Click HERE to view a brief fact sheet:
- 88% help fish return to depth wen needed and believe this leads to higher survival.
- The majority of private reef anglers fish in waters deeper than 60 feet, except in FL (42%).
- 71% of private reef anglers are aware of venting.
- 32% of reef anglers are aware of fish descending devices.
- Almost half of all reef anglers that are aware of fish descending devices do not use them or have one on the boat.
- Up to 15% of reef anglers use a venting tool that doesn’t meet regulations.
- 56% of reef anglers primarily get their information from other anglers.
- There are concerns that descending devices contribute to predation/depredation.
Discard Mortality of Red Snapper Released with Descender Devices in the U.S. South Atlantic – Runde et al. 2021
- 44 red snapper were tagged with electronic transmitters in 120ft of water off of North Carolina.
- Red snapper were released near the seafloor with SeaQualizer, a descender device.
- The tags reported depth and location within a 0.2 mi^2 area.
- Movements of released-alive red snapper were compared to movements of known-dead and recaptured (known-alive) red snapper to determine survival.
- Statistical simulations accounting for hook type (circle vs J) and associated hooking injury found that ~87 percent of all red snapper would survive if released with descender devices.
Effectiveness of descending devices to mitigate the effects of barotrauma among rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) in California recreational fisheries – Bellquist et al. 2019
- Conducted 24 commercial passenger fishing vessel charters at 11 sites and allowed recreational anglers to use 5 different types of descending devices.
- All fish were released to 46m (150’) or to bottom, whichever was shallower.
- Initial post-release mortality was low at 7.5 percent for depths up to 100m and 16.4 percent for capture depths from 100-130m.
- Results suggest rockfishes should be released at least halfway or all the way to the bottom.
- Angler preference for SeaQualizers which had the lowest error rate.
Effectiveness of Venting and Descender Devices at Increasing Rates of Post Release Survival of Black Sea Bass – Rudershausen et al. 2019
- 1,748 black sea bass were tagged with t-bar tags off North Carolina.
- Fish were released with one of four methods, in rotation: 1) no treatment; 2) venting with 11-ga cannula; 3) venting with 16-ga needle; and 4) descending to the seafloor with a Blacktip descender device.
- The average increase in survival as compared to fish that were not treated was 48 percent, 51 percent, and 51 percent for the cannula, needle, and descender respectively.
- It is possible to injure a fish with venting, though when applied correctly it can be as effective as descending.
- Barotrauma mitigation via venting or descending results in greatly improved survival of black sea bass.
Quantifying Delayed Mortality from Barotrauma Impairment in Discarded Red Snapper Using Acoustic Telemetry – Curtis et al. 2015
- 111 red snapper were tagged with acoustic transmitters over three seasonal trials to assess delayed mortality after release.
- Fish were released with three treatments: non-vented, vented and descended.
- Survival was highest in cooler months and shallower depths.
- Overall survival across all treatments was 72 percent with 15 percent immediate mortality and 13 percent delayed mortality.
- Descended fish were 3 times more likely to survive than non-vented fish and 1.5 times more likely to survive than vented fish.
Venting and Reef Fish Survival: Perceptions and Participation Rates among Recreational Anglers in the Northern Gulf of Mexico – Scyphers et al. 2013
- 604 recreational and tournament anglers were surveyed to understand the popularity and perceived effectiveness of venting fish.
- Approximately 2/3 of anglers vent the fish they release offshore and most perceive it to be effective for improving survival.
- Fishing experience did not influence knowledge of proper venting techniques.
- Misinformation on how to properly vent was common among anglers of all experiences.
- Education and outreach programs are necessary to alter or improve venting practices.