Catch and Release
Photographs Documenting the
Catching and Recatching of the
Same Fish

Compiled by Louis Cook
Philadelphia Anglers Club

By releasing their catches instead of eating them (especially fish that are listed in the consumption advisories as not safe to consume), serious anglers do their part to assure that there will alway be
fish in the rivers and streams. An added benefit is that this allows the chance for themselves and
other anglers to catch the same fish again. Louis Cook says that when the catches are well-documented and have specific scars or other features, such re-catches can be easy to confirm. Below are some of Cook's collection of anecdotes and photos of fish that have taken the bait more than once.

Click here for PDF copy of Fish Consumption Advisory. READ IT AND BELIEVE IT!

Click here to view photos of fish caught in the Schuylkill River by the Philadelphia Anglers Club, or
Click here to view information on the Fairmount Dam Fishway. Both pages have many other links
to other information about urban fishing.

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department
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We take pretty good photos and match up markings of a lot of the bigger fish. It's easiest to see in the case of mirror carp, because they are
all so unique. I caught one mirror in the Wissahickon five times. In fact, this happens all over the place with many species, but because fish
look pretty much the same unless you really scrutinize them, few realize it. I have been encouraging the flathead catfish guys to start taking similar notes.

Below is a mirror carp I caught a year after Matt Coll (second photo), a mile downstream from where he banked it:

It took a few of these mirror recaptures over the years before it ever dawned on me that this happened in other species. The story is the same in other places with a lot of fishing pressure and good documentation as well. I have identified recapturing a smallmouth buffalo in Texas that four other people have caught. It had a big, very unique section of its tail chopped off. I caught a mirror in Oklahoma that another guy caught two years earlier, and one in a Chicago harbor twice, only two days apart. I think a number of those 30 lb.-plus carp we caught in the Schuylkill are the same fish too, but they don't have any features to set them apart. There have only been eight 30+ carp to come from the
river that I know of in the last five years. And I'm sure I heard about most of them. :)

Anyway, That illustrates my little point well, and I thought you'd find it interesting. Just in case you are two of my favorite examples from other anglers.

This fish was first photographed in 1995 in the Washington, DC tidal basin. The basin has a small channel that runs out to the Potomac.

Below, in 2001 here it is at the same location, but much bigger. This guy flew from California to fish a Carp Anglers Group social event.

And finally, once more (below) in September 2008 at the Carp Anglers Group (CAG) CCC tournament. This time out in the main river. This guy came from Indiana.

Here is another, also from the Potomac. This fish was caught four times over seven years. You can actually see my buddy Pat getting older.

Here is a link to a thread in the CAG forum with many recaptures like this all over the country if you want to see more:


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Page last modified June 20, 2009