A popular way to help improve southeastern Minnesota's trout populations is the practice of voluntary catch-and-release fishing. Releasing a few trout, especially those between 10 and 14 inches, might help increase the number of larger fish for anglers to catch again and again. Here are a few tips for successfully releasing trout:
- Release trout immediately.
- Play and land trout quickly. Tired, stressed fish don't survive well when released.
- Handle trout gently, keeping it in the water as much as possible. Unhooking the trout without lifting it from the water is best.
- Remove hooks with needle-nosed pliers or forceps. Using barbless hooks makes releasing trout much easier.
- If a trout is hooked deeply, cut the line and release the fish. The hook will eventually dissolve, leaving the trout unharmed.