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Do fish shrink when they are out of water? I was told by a guy that they do shrink 1/4"-1/2" and I was wondering if this is true? How do the rangers handle a case when a fish was caught and measured to be of legal length then shrinks once in the cooler? I had landed a 18.5" rock after measuring and later measured the same fish to be just over 18". Just wanted to know so I can throw back 18"ers next time.
 

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Yes, you would be wise to presume that all your fish will shrink some. Most of the rangers and other inforcers will not accept a "shrinkage" defense. What they find is what they find. Often a warning is given but don't count on it. If it's close, put it back. You got the best part of the exoerience anyhow. have fun. Granpa
 

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I agree with Granpa, if it that close it dosen't go in my cooler. This is even more relavent when it comes to Drum, Trout and Rock. I may have kept a few short croaker for cut bait when I have nothing else. I feel, the more regulated fish are what the rangers are primarly looking for.

my.02
 
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