View Full Version : Releasing (No Retention) Rock Fish ALIVE

08-31-2005, 03:05 PM
This topic seems to come up now and again. There are some new fishermen out there and I just wanted to share this with all. There has been many methods discussed about the best way to release your "illegal" or "unwanted" fish. I've been using the "SFD" (Shelton Fish Decender) http://www.sheltonproducts.com/SFD.html for a while now it is by far, the best method I've found. I've brought fish up from deeper than 150 feet (eyes bulging) and sent them back down with the tool and to my delight, felt them fighting like you just caught them and you can make one of these little beauties yourself. More importantly there is no further injury to the fish. While you can put the tool on your main line, I find it much easier to set up another light convetional rod/reel to do the work. You'll come back to the dock with nothing but BIG fish.

09-01-2005, 08:20 AM
I think someone (maybe you) posted this before. This looks BY FAR the best method to keep rockfish alive. They should make it manditory to have a device like this on party boats. You could probably do it some how with more then one fish at a time too.

09-01-2005, 09:25 AM
That looks like a pretty good method. Last time I went rockcod fishing all the fish died. If we would have used this type of method, then we could have thrown back the tiny fish that we caught.

09-04-2005, 07:16 PM
How do you make one?

09-05-2005, 08:12 AM
What is the concept here? Is the objective to force the fish back down to deep water?

09-05-2005, 08:40 AM
yes the concept is to send a dying fish to the bottom where the crabs can get them and we all feel better for letting endangered fish go and there is no dead fish floating around the boat to make us feel bad.

09-05-2005, 09:11 AM
no matter what i hear
my opinion stays the same
there is no way any fish can survive after having its guts, eyeballs, and who knows what else turned inside out and then to send it back down to reverse this trauma


better to have us take the first 10 to the boat
no matter what size or shape

now people think it is ok to catch and release these fish

lets all go out and catch 100 fish a day and don't forget to release them to the bottom
mark the spot for better crabbing
for a few years we may enjoy some better crabbing with all the killed fish

play the game as you see fit and maybe....
nah not worth even posting

09-05-2005, 06:35 PM
TSL and fishbutt, if you look on the website you'll see that in order for the SFD to work, the fish have to swim away on their own. So they are obviously still kicking. Also the rockfish tagging study that Moss landing marine lab did involved the use of the SFD, and they are catching fish that were tagged several months earlier and released using the SFD. I'm preeeetty sure it works.

09-05-2005, 06:49 PM
every one has their own idea on survival rates of fish being it small salmon that are gill hooked or rockfish brought up from deep water.I just think you need to be realistic and act as sportsman and women. I just think if we all took the legal limit with no BY KILL we can all have a better fishery

09-05-2005, 07:18 PM
TSL and fishbutt, if you look on the website you'll see that in order for the SFD to work, the fish have to swim away on their own. So they are obviously still kicking. Also the rockfish tagging study that Moss landing marine lab did involved the use of the SFD, and *they are catching fish that were tagged several months earlier and released using the SFD. I'm preeeetty sure it works.

So, I looked on the website because I was very intrigued by the debate... I didn't see where the "Fish have to swim away on their own." I saw where "It jolts and shocks the fish at the time of the release and surges it forward when releasing to help the fish get safely on its way." and also where "When fish signals by tugging, quickly snap line upward to release fish." Which means to me that when you feel something on your line, yank it really hard to pull the device out of the fish's mouth.

I could not find any information on the website about the study at Moss Landing but would love to read that information too if you could provide a link. I am particularly curious about what depths the fish were originally caught at prior to being Tagged and released using this device.

I did notice on the website the following statement regarding the state of the fish: "A fish that is unable to remain upright and struggles on the surface is severely oxygen starved and/or has an over-inflated gas bladder. This fish stands a poor chance of surviving." I haven't done an official case study but off the top of my head I can confidently say that probably 95% of the rockfish I have brought up from depths of more than 60 feet is unable to remain upright... etc... etc...

With all that said, we all have opinions and my opinion is this: I am going to save my money and not buy one of these gadgets. I'm going to put my money aside so that when the day comes I can actually go vote on some sort of measure or bill that will change the regs I have enough money to put gas in my car to get me to the poll.

09-06-2005, 07:36 AM
It's a feel good thing for rockfish. Almost none will survive when brought up from more than 80 ft no matter what you do. Those releases and other solutions do work reasonably well for some freshwater species such as macs.

Finmuffin, do you have a reference for that release study. I'd like to scrutinize it.

The regs are stupid. >:(

They should require that all fish up to the limit should be retained regardless of size. Put the limit back at 15 to keep everyone happy. There would be less impact on the total resource as well as the threatened species.

09-06-2005, 05:02 PM
i saw a notice for the study on coastside a couple weeks ago. they were asking for anglers to help out. one of the the replies had a video of them releasing rockfish and lings earlier this year. i mat have been wrong about the swimming away on their own part. i thought i heard that somewhere on the site.

09-07-2005, 09:14 AM
We should also remeber that the sportfisherman kills only a very small percentage of sport caught fish. The idea and principle is good to see. I agree with the first ten caught is the limit. Remember as prestigous as Alaska is you can only keep TWO non-pelagic rockfish in a day. We are lucky to get ten and our fishery is not nearly as stable as theirs. Take what we can eat not my dad, neighbor, boss, the entire block, etc, Have them come along if they want to eat some fresh fish!!

09-07-2005, 06:14 PM
i agree and have em kick in a couple of bucks for gas


09-14-2005, 01:10 PM
I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to get back to the boards in a while.
I must say, I'm a little surprised at some of the response from some of us on this topic.
Let me first say; I didn't mean to suggest that using a device of this nature would guarantee a %100 survival rate of the fish we catch. I was only trying to share with everyone, an alternative to letting the fish die on the surface with no possible chance of survival. I still believe this is an acceptible alternative. I wonder if those of you that are so critical about the method have actually used the device. For those that have used it, I'm sure you would agree, it speaks for itself. For those of you that throw your unwanted catch over the side, you may want to review the regs.

Chapter 1. General Provisions and Definitions
1.87 Waste of Fish. It is unlawful to cause or permit any deterioration or waste of any fish taken in the waters of this state.

So if nothing else, using the SFD will keep you in compliance with the DFG

Best Fishes,

09-14-2005, 06:17 PM
i have made a similar device to send down the cannarys
but in my opinion i still say the culling of small rock fish should not be done
a fish that is hooked, drug up to the surface, has it eyeballs, and inards blown out of every orfice on its body is hurt so severely that it might be able to swim away after being sent back to its original depth but cant help but to be so stressed that it becomes nothing more than bait for the others.


peace out