Onset of death

Authors: Muoneke, Maurice and Childress, W. Michael
Journal: Reviews in Fisheries Science, 2(2): 123-156
Year: 1994
Where: Texas A&M University, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

A percentage of fish later die after being released by anglers. The figures below are examples of the most severe data gathered in this comprehensive scientific review of literature.

Species Percentage dead after
Atlantic salmon (lake) 74% 24 hours
Atlantic salmon (stream) 100% 24 hours
Brown trout 71% 24 hours
Brook trout 66% 24 hours
Stripped bass 79% 71 hours

"Hooking mortality" in fish is defined as the proportion of fish dying after being caught by angling and then released.


die angling cruelty "Catch-and-release mortalities were reported to be highest soon after hooking in Atlantic salmon. Mortalities occurring within 24 h were 74% for a landlocked population (Warner, 1979a), 100% in a stream (Warner and Johnson, 1978), and 22.5% in hatchery raceways (Warner, 1976)."

"In brown trout, mortality within 24 h was 71% (Hulbert and Engstrom-Heg, 1980). Nuhfer and Alexander (1992) reported that 66.6% of brook trout mortality occurred within 24 h."


"Harrell (1988) found that most mortality (79.4%) in striped bass occurred within 72 h of hooking."

Harrell, R. M, (1988) Catch and release mortality of striped bass with artificial lures and baits. Proc. 41st Annu. Conf. Southeast Assoc. Fisb Wildl. Agencies, 41:70-75.
Hulbert, P. J. and R. Engstrom-Heg, (1980) Hooking mortality of worm-caught hatchery brown trout. I NY Fish Game]., 27:1-10.
Warner, K., (1976) Hooking mortality of landlocked Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar in a hatchery environment. Trans. Am. Fisb. Soc, 105:365-369.
Warner, K. and P. R.Johnson, (1978) Mortality of landlocked Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) hooked on flies and worms in a river nursery area. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc, 107:772-775).
Fish Pain