Diamond Fishing Products’ new Fish Saver Descending Device is the most effective and simplest fish descending device on the market today. The survival rate for the Fish Saver is right at 100% and does far less damage to the fish than the hypo-puncture venting devices that have been used in the past.
The Fish Saver uses a weight to quickly lower the fish and a retrieval line to bring it back to the surface. This device is simple with no moving parts or triggers and is capable of returning multiple fish at the same time.
Fishermen often catch fish that are too small, out of season, not editable or they just do not want to keep. When these fish are reeled up from deep water, the changes in pressures cause the internal organs and swim bladder to expand, a condition known as fish barotrauma, an injury that occurs due to expansion of gas in a fish’s swim bladder when it is quickly reeled up from deeper water. This condition may result in stomachs protruding from a fish’s mouth, enlarged eyes, and other conditions that keep fish from swimming back to depth. When released, this condition prevents the fish from returning to its habitat causing the fish to die.
Diamond’s Fish Saver has an elongated barbless upside down hook attached to a weight that quickly takes the fish back to the bottom, naturally re-compressing the trapped air relieving the barotrauma effect, oxygenating the fish on the way down and releasing it unharmed.
- Avoid rough handling: Avoid dropping the fish, and touch it as little as possible while also using a wet towel or wet hands. This will help to reduce removal of the fish’s protective slime coat.
- Do not vent: Puncturing the fish’s stomach, swim bladder or other bulging organs is NOT recommended and can cause serious injury or introduce infection. This practice can lead to death.
- Limit surface time: Snapper/Grouper survival rates related to time. Time spent on the surface and survival rates increase as surface time decreases. With practice, bottom fish can be released very rapidly, often in less than two minutes after reaching the surface.
Regulatory Amendment 29, NOAA’s new Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan, requires anyone fishing for snapper and grouper species in South Atlantic federal waters have a descending device onboard and readily available. Plans that will require the use of descenders in Federal Waters in the Gulf and the Pacific are in the works. Beginning in 2020, all vessels sportfishing in saltwater in Alaska must have a functioning deepwater release mechanism (DRM) on board, and all rockfish not harvested must be released at depth of capture, or at a depth of 100 feet.