Catch & Release
Barbless hooks must be used in Manitoba and make for easy release of fish and minimize injury. Although some anglers may feel they lose more fish with barbless hooks, steady pressure on the line will seldom result in lost fish.
Reducing the handling time and therefore the stress on a fish, is very important in determining the chance of survival of a released fish. Stress and physical damage are the biggest killers of released fish, so caution must be exercised. A fish that is going to be released should be played as little as possible. If you are going to release a fish immediately, don't handle it at all. Simply remove the hook with a pair of pliers while the fish is still in the water. Deeply swallowed hooks should be cut off, rather than removed. The damage done trying to remove the hook could be fatal, but left alone the hook will often corrode and work free.
If you must handle a fish, use a wet wool mitt. Never grab a fish by the eyes or gills; instead grasp the fish behind the gills and lift it out of the water. Be careful not to squeeze its belly. After removing the hook, gently return the fish to the water head first. You can support larger fish from underneath with one hand, while using the other hand to hold the tail.
Do not keep the fish out of water any longer than necessary. The chance of survival will be increased by minimizing the time out of water. Many fish will swim away without being revived, but if necessary, work some water through its gills. Be careful not to pull back abruptly on the fish or push it through the water too quickly, otherwise you may do more damage than good.
Though it should go without saying, never toss fish back into the water as you would your boat anchor or a rock. You may have the satisfaction of releasing a fish without realizing that the return may damage it.