Keep Em Wet

Keep ‘Em Wet Campaign + Photo Contest

This winter, Native Fish Society is launching our “Keep ‘Em Wet” campaign to increase angler awareness about the negative effects of air exposure to wild fish.

Now don’t get us wrong, we’ve all taken fish out of the water to snap a photo, Native Fish Society staff members included.  But the more we learn about these issues and take care of the fish we love the more healthy wild fish there will be to catch. Right!?

Even when anglers are taking precautionary measures, like crushing the barb, prolonged air exposure can make it difficult for fish to recover and there are delayed negative effects that may not be apparent even if the fish seems fine when it swims away.

Studies have shown that the longer a fish is exposed to air after exhausting exercise the higher their mortality rates are (Ferguson and Tufts, 1992; Gale et al, 2011).  Even 30 seconds of air exposure reduces a trout’s ability to recover and can provide a significant additional stress even when catch and release fishing (Ferguson and Tufts, 1992).

So, let’s get creative with the way we photograph our wild fish by keeping them wet and in the water.  From January 1 to May 31st 2015, NFS will be holding a photo contest for the best picture of a wild, native fish from the Pacific Northwest with at minimum its gills in the water.

How to Enter the Photo Contest

To enter, email your photograph to and we will post it to our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts with the hashtag #keepemwet. The top three photos with the most likes combined will win prizes!

Prizes for the Top Three Finalists

The first place winner will receive a brand new Gary Anderson Custom 12’0” 7wt Spey Rod donated by NFS Board Treasurer Peter Tronquet.  Our two runners up will get to choose between a day of steelhead fishing with Washougal River Steward Steve Lent on the Sandy River and a day of trout fishing with Willamette Valley Regional Coordinator Kyle Smith on the McKenzie River.

The three winning photographs will be published in the Summer 2015 issue of Strong Runs. Let the contest begin, good luck, and Keep Em’ Wet!

Keep ‘Em Wet Guide Service & Lodge Supporters

To expand the reach of our Keep ‘Em Wet campaign the Native Fish Society is partnering with like minded guide services and lodges who will be working to educate their anglers about the importance of keeping fish wet while practicing catch and release. Keep in mind that while these businesses support Keep ‘Em Wet, they’re just like all of us who have taken hero shots in the past but are now working together to keep more fish in the water. When you see old photos on their blog rolls and websites let’s keep it positive and Keep ‘Em Wet! If your guide service or lodge supports Keep ‘Em Wet send Mark an email at to join us!


Scientific References: