The basics

Catch and release

The proper way to release a salmon after it is caught


Salmon are a very fragile species and must be handled with care. If you intend to release your catch, it is important to ensure that the salmon remains in perfect health. Watch the video below to learn about ethical catch and release techniques.


All of these rules are especially important in warm weather, as the water is less oxygenated. It is strongly advised, or even mandatory on some rivers, to adjust your fishing behaviour by limiting yourself to fishing early in the morning and late in the day, or by skipping a day of fishing if the conditions are too extreme (low and warm water).


1. Minimize the duration of the fight to avoid exhausting the fish

In order to do this, it is essential to get the fish out of the current as soon as possible and to make sure that the tension on the reel’s drag is properly adjusted. Using a net to land the salmon is essential to limit the fight.


2. Do not hold the salmon out of the water

If you are taking a picture, do so quickly and as much as possible, always keep the salmon in the water. When the water temperature exceeds 21 degrees Celsius, it is essential that you never lift the salmon out of the water, even for a few seconds.


3. Use a soft knotless net (avoid using nylon)

It is important to use a net with a soft, knotless material so that the salmon will not be injured.


4. Handle the fish with care

Hold the salmon with both hands, one on the caudal peduncle (the junction of the tail), and the other under the abdomen, holding it parallel to the current. Do not put your fingers in the eyes or gills. Salmon need the mucous membrane that covers them for protection. This is why it is essential to wet your hands before handling any fish and why you should not wear gloves, otherwise you could be removing scales and protective slime.


5. Reviving the salmon before releasing it

Hold the fish’s head against the current in a slow to moderate flowing area. The fish can be released when it begins to show its intention to swim again on its own. Do not move or rock the fish back and forth.



The last but not least step in the catch-and-release process is the declaration to the river manager. This is crucial to river management. You can do it online, by phone, or directly at your river manager's office!