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Releasing Rays-Removing a Hook From a Ray

 

Rays can be a bit tricky to release, due to harmful barbs on many rays. There are varying opinions on how to release rays so use what works best for you. You must keep safety in mind when determining the best method of release.

 

Depending on size, flip the ray over and stabilize. Hold down its tail as the barbs are poisonous. Do not attempt to stabilize the ray on its belly with your foot. That will trigger their self defense, they may swing their tail could lodge the barb into your other foot. Ask others to stand out of the way.

 

Do not cut the barb off their tail - the barb is their means of self-defense for survival.

 

For larger rays that are not safe to bring aboard or ashore for hook removal, cut the line as close to the hook as possible. Use something other than stainless steel hooks so the hook will rust quickly.