By Skip Clement, Contributor
You idiot (me too), “holding” and force reviving a fish by moving it forward (into the current) and backwards is totally wrong – you may be killing it
If you just de-hook it (by not holding it at all is best) and let it swim away without your interfering, you’re doing the right thing. Of course, if it can’t swim away on its own, then try to revive it, but ONLY then.
Here’s an excerpt from Sascha Clark Danylchuk’s “Can you revive fish?” – as explained by Keepemwet Science and News.
Water needs to flow in one direction for fish to respire effectively
I would guess that most anglers have heard of, if not performed, revival techniques for fish. If you haven’t, it’s the practice of holding fish into the current or moving them in the water before letting them go to help them get more oxygen and recover from the exhaustion of angling. When I first heard about this I was encouraged to move fish forward and backward in the water. This technique was soon replaced with an “only forward” or “figure-eight” method. But why and how have these techniques become part of our catch-and-release toolkit?
For now, the research suggests that there is no benefit to reviving fish, that we shouldn’t hold fish longer than necessary, and that letting them go when they are ready to go is ideal.