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DEPT. OF MARINE RESOURCES
Tips on Releasing Salmon
The angling season for Atlantic salmon in Maine is CLOSED YEAR ROUND until further notice
While fishing for other species, an angler may inadvertantly hook an Atlantic salmon. In the event that this occurs, please keep the following tips in mind:
1. Time is of the essence. Play and release the salmon as quickly and carefully as possible.
2. Keep the salmon in water at all times. A salmon out of water is suffocating and may injure itself on the rocks or shore. Even a few inches of water under a thrashing salmon acts as a protective cushion.
3. Be gentle when handling the salmon. Keep your fingers away from the gills. Don't squeeze the fish as it can be held securely by holding the tail and the bottom jaw area. If a net is used, be sure it is a fine mesh (made of knotless materials) to avoid injury to the gills and eyes.
4. Remove the hook with small pliers or use your thumb and forefinger to shake it loose. If the fish is bleeding profusely or injured in any way it may not survive. If the fly cannot be easily removed, then cut the leader as close to the eye of the hook as possible. Barbless or pinched-down hooks are recommended.
5. To revive the salmon after a struggle, gently hold the fish by the tail and move it back and forth to circulate water through the gills. Release it after it recovers.
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