Rutledge Lake Lodge Practices Safe Catch and Release.
With proper handling, lake trout can be successfully released safely with minimum stress. Lake Trout have the ability to inflate and deflate their swim bladders to compensate for changes in water pressure.
Bringing your catch in slowly will help to ensure the lake trout has time to fully complete the pressure adjustment process. You will often notice when bringing a lake trout through the thermocline to the surface, air bubbles are the first sign your catch is getting close. Once your catch has been landed, the fish will burp releasing pressure and expelling air from the swim bladder. If you suspect the fish is having difficulty or hasn’t expelled air from the swim bladder, hold the fish with one hand around the wrist like area in front of it’s tail. Then with the other hand gently but firmly push up on the fish’s stomach causing the fish to burp or gurgle. Once your catch regains strength, it’s time to release it to catch another day!