Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Rockfish Deepwater Release
Rockfish are most likely to survive when released quickly at depth by anglers using the following steps.
• Make sure your release device is ready — rockfish are most likely to survive when time at the surface is minimized. With practice, rockfish can be released within two minutes of reaching the surface.
• Reel the fish up as quickly as possible. After unhooking it, hook the release device through soft tissue on the lower jaw. Make sure the hook does not have a barb. Release the anti-reverse on the reel so line can spool out freely.
• Swing the fish slightly to one side and let go of the jig. Let line out as the weight pulls the fish back to the bottom. When the jig hits bottom, lock the reel and give a hard tug to release the fish.
Note: This is a tool that ADF&G recommends sport fisherman use, not commercial fisherman.
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