Posted by Gene Walk on September 06, 2004 at 15:40:57:
In Reply to: Re: Worth pointing out. posted by TroyJ on September 06, 2004 at 09:21:12:
A study conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has shown that an average of 28 percent of bass caught during summer tournaments die within six days of their release. Most tournament anglers are very concientious about protecting bass resources, but many are not equipped to deal with potentially dangerous conditions that accompany summer tournament fishing. Biologists have expressed concern that the biological impacts may negatively impact the largemouth bass fishery. Timing of tournaments (especially during the spawn), post-release mortality due to high water temperatures, and intense fishing pressure are among the most frequently gripes we hear.
Not all released fish survive the stresses associated with capture, holding in live wells for extended periods, and weigh-in. This post-release mortality is termed delayed mortality and is rarely measured. Studies have found that while some bass tournaments have high live-release survival rates of nearly 80 percent, others have recorded 60% mortality rates. Almost all studies found that tournaments held during summer months kill more fish than during any other time of year. Fishery Biologists recommend shorter tournament hours, reduced limits, and total aeration of live-wells. Live-wells in tournaments can become death traps when live-well water isn’t changed or treated. What happens after those releasable bass are brought in for weigh-in can completely neutralize the concerned anglers best conservation efforts if the weigh-in handling, and release procedures aren’t up to snuff. As far as I am concerned, I have seen very few, this year class bass, recently, and that concerns me a lot. Methods to increase the fishery should be paramount to the professional and the average fisherperson alike, but I also feel that the professional is taking far more away from the table than they put back. When this lake (Guntersville) tanks out, and it will, I want to see how many “Professional” bass fishermen will take up the gauntlet, and help to restore the resource, or will they just go on to the latest “Hot” lake and continue to carry on as they have in the past? To someone that doesn’t make a living, or at least try to make a living as a fishing professional, it just seems more responsible to manage what you have now, instead of waiting until it’s too late.
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