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Catch-and-release fishing is a tremendous way to preserve our fishing resources, but if you kill the fish in the process of releasing it, you haven't accomplished much. Conservation hooks are an easy way to remove the hook. The lack of barb allows the hook to easily back out of the hole that it made while being set, and if you keep pressure on the fish while fighting it, your conservation hook won't be tossed. Just pinch the barb on your barbed hook with a pair of needlenose pliers. The biggest advantage to using a conservation hook is that it'll come out of you more easily, too.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|