The Department of Natural Resources is helping anglers — people who fish with a specific method using a rod and a line — safely return fish to Georgia’s waters.
More than half of fish caught by recreational fishermen each year in the South Atlantic are released. Many of these fish die.
The FishSmart program gives anglers free gear to help fish safely return to Georgia waters, DNR spokeswoman Kathy Knowlton said.
“So we’re using science-based approaches to try and get at the issue of reducing the mortality of the fish that are released,” she said.
Special rigs with hooks that can’t be swallowed help prevent injuries to red drum, found in inland waters.
Weighted rigs quickly return released red snapper to deep waters so they don't die from the extreme change in water pressure.
The free gear is available now through the DNR.