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Throughout the summer, Fly Water Travel is partnering with our friends at Native Fish Society, Women for Wild Fish, and Keepemwet Fishing to host a photo contest to celebrate the best and most creative shots of fish in the water, while promoting good fish handling practices for catch and release fishing. 

About the Sponsors:

Native Fish Society is a non-profit dedicated to empowering everyday people to take action on behalf of fish, their homewaters, and local communities across the Pacific Northwest.  Their Women for Wild Fish initiative was created as a space to bring the voices of women together to champion wild places and wild fish.  Keepemwet Fishing works to increase awareness on how anglers can follow science-based approaches to catch and release fishing to help create healthier fisheries.

How to Enter: 

It is easy to enter and prizes will be awarded every two weeks for the best photos, with a Grand Prize awarded at the end of the summer.  

1. Snap a photo of your best shot of a fish showcasing the 3 principles of Keepemwet Fishing. 

• Minimizing Air Exposure

• Eliminating Contact with Dry Surfaces

• Reducing Handling

2. Post your picture on Instagram and tag the photo.

• Use the hashtag #keepemwetnfs2020 and your photo will be automatically entered in the contest.

3.  Enter as many pictures as you would like!

• Contest ends August 31, 2020.  Prizes will be awarded every 2 weeks, and include a NFS t-shirt, hat, and other great swag from the sponsors.  Each winner will be entered into a final sweepstakes drawing — with the Grand Prize a customized package from Patagonia worth $350, as well as a dozen hand selected flies and more!

Be sure to follow @nativefishsociety, @women4wildfish, @keepemwetfishing, and @flywatertravel on Instagram, and submit your photos using the hashtag #keepemwetnfs2020.


Keep ’em wet Principles:

1. Minimize air exposure

Like humans, fish experience exercise-induced stress causing them to tire and have diminished muscle function. In order to recover from being caught, fish need to stay wet so they can breathe and pump oxygen into their system.

Holding fish out of the water prevents recovery and can lead to death if done for too long. Even shorter durations (as little as 10-20 seconds for some species) can have serious effects on short-term and long-term fish health.

You can reduce these health effects by keeping a fish’s mouth and gills fully submerged in the water as much as possible during handling.

 

2. Eliminate contact with dry and hard surfaces.

Keepemwet’s founding principle is to eliminate contact with dry surfaces. Fish have a layer of protective mucus (“slime”) that protects them from diseases. Contact with dry surfaces, whether they are hands, grass, boat bottoms, etc, can remove this protective slime and make fish more susceptible to diseases. Additionally, if placed on a dry surface, there is an increased likelihood that a fish could injure itself by thrashing around on streamside rocks or the bottom of the boat.

Whenever possible you should try to do the following:

• Land fish in the water

• Wet you hands prior to handling fish

• Hold fish in or slightly above the water, away from dry or hard surfaces

 

3. Reduce handling time.

Generally the less a fish is handled, the better, so you should prepare in advance and take extra steps to minimize handling time. Measures like fishing barbless hooks, having tools easily accessible, and many of the other Keep ’em Wet tips help reduce handling and help you return fish to their natural environment more quickly.

Be sure to check out Keepemwet Fishing to learn some simple easy ways to accomplish all three Keep ’em Wet principles.