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|Angling brings you into close, personal contact with fish, and you have a duty to ensure that you do no damage to them. By following these simple guidelines, you will help maintain the health of the fish you catch and ensure that they can be caught again when they have grown larger. The main rule is that minimum handling = maximum conservation.|
|Use balanced tackle to ensure that you can safely land every fish you hook. If in doubt, ask the bailiffs for advice. Remember that all hooks must be barbless - suitable patterns are on sale in the shop. Barbed or crushed barbed patterns are not allowed and you will be banned if caught using them during the regular checks.|
|Landing nets are essential for all fish caught on the Angel of the North Fishing Lakes and a 42 inch Specimen net is required for Bowes Lake. It is also recommended that you have a pan net as well.. The best are soft nets carrying the Angling Foundation water-lily logo these have been tested and approved to the highest standards. 'Ghost' nets of harsh monofilament mesh must not be used as they can cause significant damage to fish.|
|It is a rule that you must carry and use a plastic, barrel type disgorger available free from the tackle shop or, for larger fish, artery forceps. Learn how to use them correctly, but if in doubt, please ask the bailiffs to show you how. Fish can be unhooked in the net held above ground or on the ground on a padded unhooking mat. These are essential for large fish and carp. If the fish has swallowed the hook and you cannot see it, do not prod around with your disgorger cut the line as close as possible to the hook and return the fish to the water immediately. (It should rid itself of your barbless hook quite rapidly).|
|Always hold fish using wet hands and never use a dry towel (which removes the protective slime from fish). Fish should be held low to the ground so that, if they slip free, they remain undamaged. This is of special importance if photographs are being taken hold the fish over soft, wet ground or a padded mat.|
|Fish must be weighed only in bags or slings; never suspend a live fish from the weighing scales using the weigh hook Knotless weigh bags or 'purses' are suitable for most species, although special slings are preferable for large carp. Plastic carrier bags may be used for smaller fish. In every case, the inside of the weighing container must be wettened before use.|
|Except in approved matches, all fish must be returned to the water immediately after capture; keep nets, carp sacks and retaining tubes are not permitted. Should you wish to photograph a fish, it may be held for the minimum period in the water, in your landing net, while you get your camera ready Fish should be kept out of water for the minimum period and all fish must be returned.|
|Small fish can be unhooked and slipped back into the water after unhooking; larger fish should be transferred to the water in the landing net or weighing container. Only idiots 'throw' fish back you will be asked to leave the fishery immediately if you do this. And finally|
Take nothing but memories, Leave nothing but footprints.
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