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The Photarium: Get Better Photos While Killing Fewer Fish

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October 11, 2013

The Photarium: Get Better Photos While Killing Fewer Fish

By Kirk Deeter

I enjoyed an outstanding day of fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout yesterday on Puget Sound thanks to guide Chris Senyohl of Intrepid Anglers, and Andrew Bennett, owner of Deneki Outdoors, who is now a fly-fishing ambassador for Eddie Bauer (the company is getting back into fly in a big way, but more on that later).

What really struck me, other than the fact that I caught my first sea-run cutts ever, was that Senyohl uses a plexiglass box called a "Photarium" to shoot detail shots of these beautiful fish.  Photariums are sold by the Wild Fish Conservancy, and they range in prices and sizes (the large one we used costs $105).

Granted, this isn't your typical grip-n-grin scenario. But grip-n-grin photographs kill more fish than most people realize. And the main reason that fish die is because they are held out of the water too long. One study recently showed that as much as 30 percent or more of fish held out of the water for 30 seconds or more will die eventually, even if they initially swim away after release seemingly un-phased.

I'm not suggesting that every guide should be walking down the river canyons with one of these boxes strapped to his or her back.  But for guides--or any anglers for that matter--who operate from boats, they're a pretty enlightened idea.  And they actually come with a built in ruler, which helps limit the fudge factor.  Most importantly, they give people a little more time (and it should still be limited) to admire the detail and beauty of the fish they catch.

That, in my mind, should be one of the key reasons people go fishing in the first place.

Comments (8)

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from Kris24 wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

This is a smart idea/invention. A little pricey though IMO.

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from TAM9492 wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

"One study recently showed that as much as 30 percent or more of fish held out of the water for 30 seconds or more will die eventually" -- all fish will die eventually ;)

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from buckhunter wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

If you've seen one fish, you've seen them all. Just photoshop the fish of your choice into your outreached hand and I will be equally impressed as if it was original.

That box looks heavy.

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from NHshtr wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

I agree with buckhunter. You can make a template and plug in any fish you like based on your outing. Just don't try to make any claims of a state or world record.

I think most fish are pretty much abused after being caught. Just watch most fishing shows on TV. It'll make you want to yell at them!

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from MR AWESOME wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

Seems expensive IMO. And i mainly eat the fish i catch as long as its legal. So thats not a problem in my case. But still a neat idea.

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from buckhunter wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

I rarely photograph fish. When my wife ask what I caught that day I'll respond by saying "Just Google 19 inch smallmouth and you can see it."

You really don't need a camera to fish unless your buddying is peeing or you spot a mermaid.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

It takes less than 10 seconds to get a decent pic if you have your camera set up. Personally I just catch too many fish to be taking pictures of them all.

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from NHshtr wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

Actually, 30 seconds is plenty of time to release a fish from a barb-less hook. Also,we know that most times, removing them from the water is unnecessary. That includes bass as well.

I can see a guide having one of those(and spending that kind of money on it) because most of their clients want pictures - and probably plenty of them. So it makes sense to try to reduce the mortality rate if you do it everyday.

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from Kris24 wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

This is a smart idea/invention. A little pricey though IMO.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TAM9492 wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

"One study recently showed that as much as 30 percent or more of fish held out of the water for 30 seconds or more will die eventually" -- all fish will die eventually ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

If you've seen one fish, you've seen them all. Just photoshop the fish of your choice into your outreached hand and I will be equally impressed as if it was original.

That box looks heavy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

I agree with buckhunter. You can make a template and plug in any fish you like based on your outing. Just don't try to make any claims of a state or world record.

I think most fish are pretty much abused after being caught. Just watch most fishing shows on TV. It'll make you want to yell at them!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MR AWESOME wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

Seems expensive IMO. And i mainly eat the fish i catch as long as its legal. So thats not a problem in my case. But still a neat idea.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

I rarely photograph fish. When my wife ask what I caught that day I'll respond by saying "Just Google 19 inch smallmouth and you can see it."

You really don't need a camera to fish unless your buddying is peeing or you spot a mermaid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

It takes less than 10 seconds to get a decent pic if you have your camera set up. Personally I just catch too many fish to be taking pictures of them all.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

Actually, 30 seconds is plenty of time to release a fish from a barb-less hook. Also,we know that most times, removing them from the water is unnecessary. That includes bass as well.

I can see a guide having one of those(and spending that kind of money on it) because most of their clients want pictures - and probably plenty of them. So it makes sense to try to reduce the mortality rate if you do it everyday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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