Subalpine lake in Alberta. Cool overnight temperatures help keep the water cold even when the days are hot. Photo courtesy of T. Vanderloos.

Reconsider where and when you fish.

Do not angle in waters above 22 ºC (72ºF).

Proceed with extreme caution in waters between 18 ºC and 21 ºC.

When water temperatures begin to rise, fish early in the morning or late evening when the water temperatures are coolest.

Avoid fishing when the temperatures are warmest (afternoon and early evening).

Target temperature-tolerant species.

Northern pike and yellow perch tolerate higher water temperatures better than trout.

Seek out cooler lakes or streams.

Hike to a new spot—if the fishing doesn’t pay off, the views will certainly be worth the trip!

Who We Are

The Bow River Chapter (BRC) of Trout Unlimited Canada was formed in 1985 by a group of anglers dedicated to organizing and supporting conservation initiatives in the Bow River watershed. The Chapter operates within the mission statement of Trout Unlimited Canada:

To conserve, protect and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and their coldwater resources for current and future generations.

Contact Us

For questions or information on how you can support BRC projects:



Cover photo courtesy of B. Piche.






Angling and fish handling techniques to reduce catch and release mortality

An angler demonstrates proper fish handling techniques. Photo courtesy of C. Gifford.

Fish mortalities resulting from catch and release angling have potential to become a significant threat to recreational fisheries. While catch and release regulation has been implemented to allow particular species or aquatic ecosystems to recover from impacts such as overharvesting, improper fish handling can negatively impact species or ecosystem recovery.

Proper angling techniques and handling fish with care are essential to minimizing catch and release fish mortalities.

By practicing the following angling and fish handling techniques, we can help to minimize catch and release fish mortalities and preserve the productivity of your favorite fishing spots for years to come!

Limit the time the fish is on the line.

Avoid playing fish to exhaustion.

Using appropriately-sized rods, line and tackle for the species and size of fish you expect to catch can help you to land fish faster.

Use a net.

Using a net (or better yet, a buddy with a net!) can also help reduce the time the fish is on the line.

Avoid using bait.

Fish ingest baited hooks more deeply than flies or lures, making removal without injury to fish much more difficult.

Use barbless hooks.

The use of barbless hooks is required in some areas and is strongly recommended everywhere. Barbless hooks are easier to remove and decrease the chance of injuring the fish during removal.

Streamer with the barb pinched closed using pliers.

Handle fish with care.

Fully wet your hands before touching a fish. Ensure your hands are wet at all times when handling fish.

Handling fish with dry hands can damage the external mucous layer that helps protect fish from infection and disease.

Keep the fish wet. #CoolYourCatch

Even while taking photos, keep fish in the water. Fish can’t breathe air, so holding fish out of the water causes physical distress— much like you would feel if you were held under water!

When holding a fish, grip it firmly by the caudal peduncle with one hand, and cradle it gently underneath near the pectoral fins with the other hand.

The caudal peduncle (just in front of the tail fin) is a great place by which hold a fish. Never squeeze the fish or touch the gills.

If the hook of the fly or lure is deeply embedded, cut the line.

The fish still has a chance of survival—likely more so than if removing the hook causes further injury.

Revive before release.

Help revive the fish before letting it go by lightly cradling it in gently flowing water until it is ready to swim away on its own. Moving water has higher dissolved oxygen, which help fish recover faster.

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