Trout Diva’s Overly Dramatic Guidelines for Handling Trout – Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of “Trout Diva’s Overly Dramatic Guidelines for Handling Trout


My husband is on the Volunteer Fire Department, and is also our local, elected Constable.  So, I have been trying to get used to listening to the police radio all day, every day…  And one of the calls that I hear rather frequently is, “911 dispatch for difficulty breathing”.

And as I began to write this series about proper handling of trout, I thought how appropriate this phrase was to describe what I see happening to the trout far too often…  Children need special supervision in this area.  And why not?  They’re kids!

We certainly don’t want to discourage their joy and passion, but it is our responsibility as adults to be conservation-minded and to teach them kindly but clearly, “Trout Don’t Breathe Air!”

Folks, if you didn’t already know, trout are extremely intolerant of being kept out of the water, more than any other species I’m aware of.  They are certainly not like catfish, or even bass!  Although they may not die immediately, if you keep them out of the water for any length of time, they will likely die shortly after your release, even if they were able to swim away.

TIP – Here’s a good rule of thumb that I share with the kids, and one they can seem to relate to and remember:  When you take a trout out of water, blow all the air OUT of your own lungs, and then hold your breath.  (this approximates the fact that the trout just had to fight you to be brought in…)

How fast do you need air?  Get the trout back in the water that fast.  If you want more than one photo, great!  Put them into the water in between your shots, and showing them to your friends.

Regardless of the situation, remembering to keep the trout in the water as much as possible is the first and most important aspect of proper trout handling.

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