How To Use A Deep Water Fish Release

Watch the video to see how using our simple release tool can save bottom fish for further generations. These devices are for any fish caught from 60′ or deeper to reduce the mortality rate from barotrauma(decompression). Alaska fish and game estimates the survival rate at 22% when released at the surface,98% when using a release device. This product is not only for rockfish, it can be useful for any species brought from depths of 60′ or deeper.

Russ Morrison was fishing with family in Sitka, including grandson Bradley, and brought up a rockfish suffering from barotrauma.

And little Bradley asked, ‘What happened? Why can’t those fish go back down?’ And Grandpa Russ told him, ‘They can’t go back down because of their air bladder.’

And he said, ‘Isn’t that kind of a waste?’ And then ‘Bing!’ An Idea that would change the survival chances of deep water fish was born.  The Deep Water Fish Release.

I’ve got to do something. If a 7-year-old kid can figure out it’s a waste, something’s got to change,’ ” Morrison said.

Russ Morrison spent days bending wire in his garage, followed by testing in Seward and a round of refining. In the end, he created his Deep Water Fish Release tool, from Yeldarb Ent. (Bradley spelled backward). He made it with heavier wire than others he’s seen, and a sturdy closure so the fish can’t slide off until intentionally released.

The device looks like an oversized hitch pin clip. Place the shaft through the fish’s lip, attach a weight to the bottom, run the line back down and jerk a couple of times to free the fish when it’s on the bottom. The device can be placed inline, so an angler can keep fishing without having to reel up and re-rig.