After exhaustion brought on by fighting against being pulled of the water by anglers, only one minute in the air caused in trout severe lactic acid imbalance. The angler, satisfied with himself, may be blissfully unaware that the fish’s life is endangered during the 12 hours that follow.
60% OF FISH DIE AFTER ONLY 60 SECONDS OUT OF WATER
"Survival after 12h was 100% in control fish and 88% in the exercised fish, but fell to 62 and 28% in fish which were air exposed for 30 and 60s, respectively, after exercise. These results indicate that the brief period of air exposure which occurs in many ’catch and release’ fisheries is a significant additional stress which may ultimately influence whether a released fish survives."
SEVERE ACID-BASE DISTURBANCE
"One minute of air exposure following exhaustive exercise promotes more severe acid-base disturbances than does exercise alone."
"The amount of lactate accumulated was significantly greater than that seen following exercise alone."
FALSE IMPRESSION THAT RELEASED FISH ALWAYS SURVIVE
"Exercise and brief exposure to air after exercise both had an impact on survival of the fish during the next 12h."
"Delayed mortality" has been observed by other investigators and, in the wild, could give the false impression that released fish always survive."