As we reported, Representative Paul Seaton has introduced legislation aiming to prohibit the use of barbed hooks for freshwater catch and release fisheries.
The Homer Republican told us that HB 110 would also prohibit the use of barbed hooks when there is a significant probability that there will be bycatch of stocks whose retention is prohibited.
Seaton said that the use of barbless hooks is proven to reduce the mortality of released fish citing studies by the Pacific Salmon Commission Technical Committee which concluded that barbless hook usage reduced mortality by 3.5% in mature fish.
A barbless hook is believed to be faster to remove and results in less trauma to the fish, reducing handling and increases the chance a fish will survive to reproduce.
Washington and Oregon prohibit the use of barbed hooks while Chinook fishing because wild stock fish must be released while hatchery fish can be retained.
HB 110 will allow mixed runs to continue to be fished recreationally while helping maintain the continued sustainability of stocks. The use of barbless hooks will help protect our fisheries resources in times of low abundance while avoiding complete fishery closures.