Study: Okay to Hold Fish Briefly for Photos

About 2,200 fish held in the air for up to 60 seconds showed no increase in release mortality.

Anglers increasingly photograph and release their catches.Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

Anglers who practice CPR, as catch-photograph-and-release is often called, will take comfort in a recent study showing that cutthroat trout held out of the water for 30 or 60 seconds did not suffer any increase in release mortality. The study, Effects of Air Exposure During Simulated Catch-and-Release Angling on Survival and Fitness of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, was published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management this past December. In total, researchers from the University of Idaho, source of the study, evaluated about 2,200 trout for the effect of brief air exposure.