Category Archives: Conservation

Oxygenation or Aeration? Tournament Bass Survival….

Here an abstract response to an earlier article that I had posted.

As water temperature goes up, bass consume oxygen faster, and water holds less oxygen”. It takes more aeration to keep bass alive in warm temperatures.” 

In reality, fish metabolism is controlled by water temperature and [ fish metabolism] is limited by available dissolved oxygen saturation and concentration.
The above quote states that more aeration will correct a low oxygen deficits in a livewell with a limit of fish. Actually the treatment of choice for livewell hypoxia is and has always been supplemental pure oxygen administration, not more air (aeration). More aeration only supersaturated the water with nitrogen which increases hypoxic stress and may cause pop eye, gas embolism and gas bubble disease. All of which may increase acute and post release delayed mortality.
It is very common mistake (intentional or unintentional) that most writers call air oxygen and call oxygen air reinforcing confusion. Some writers may know the difference between the 2 gases, but most, obviously do not know the difference. This article presents another confusing example.
More aeration never insures safe oxygenation during live fish transport in the summer or any other time in a bass boat livewell, weigh-in holding tank or release boat haul tank.

Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog

If you enjoy this Blog, consider making a PayPal donation to help me keep it going. No Donation too small, Thanks!

Sports blogs

Sportsmen & Women need to get out and Vote!

Hey All you Hunters and Fishers,

I know a lot of you have not voted in previous elections because you were busy deer hunting or some other outdoor activities.  Here is a quick and simple way to vote via absentee and get your vote counted.

Click on the banner or visit and make the outdoorsmen voice heard.  It is important, that we as Sportsperson’s participate in this election. The future of our natural resources and our hunting and fishing heritage is in your hands. Who we elect to public office will be a major influence in how we go about obtaining out goals.

Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Blog

If you enjoy this Blog, consider making a PayPal donation to help me keep it going. No Donation too small, Thanks!

Sports blogs

Summer Bass Need Special Care

Summer Bass Need Special Care
By Vern Wagner
Conservation Director
Minnesota Bass Federation Nation

Organizers of summer bass tournaments – big and small – need to do a better job of caring for the fish. Many mortality problems are based on scale: The larger the tournament, the more fish to weigh, and the more difficult it is to keep those fish alive.  Small bass clubs that bring 30 to 60 fish to a weigh-in present fewer problems, because their catch can be weighed and released in a matter of minutes.

So, what needs to happen?  Should the DNR have the authority to modify tournament permits if weather conditions are that of extreme heat? Should tournament organizers be required to supply ice and livewell additives such as salt?  What about the weigh-in equipment and practices?  How long can we keep bass in plastic bags without fresh water or added oxygen?

The science and practices that support decreasing bass tournament mortality is growing.  So, when is it appropriate to hold tournament organizers responsible for applying the science? And what should be the official DNR responsibility in this?  These are the questions that myself and Ken Snow, conservation director of the Wisconsin Bass Federation, are asking.

As water temperature goes up, bass consume oxygen faster, and water holds less oxygen. It takes more aeration to keep bass alive in warm temperatures.  Ten pounds of bass in a bag containing only one to two gallons of water will reduce oxygen to lethal limits in two minutes.  The point? It’s vital (literally) to frequently exchange water while handling fish in summer.

Here’s why: a bass’s temperature tolerance depends on the temperature to which it is acclimated. This means that ice should be added to livewells and holding tanks to maintain water within plus or minus 5 degrees of the prevailing lake or river temperatures, especially in warmer weather.

Anglers also must consider survivability in light of fish diseases known to exist in certain areas. Largemouth bass virus has been identified in many pools of the Mississippi.  This disease first was seen in southern waters in the early ’90s and has resulted in significant post-tournament kills. Fortunately, LMBV has worked its way through southern bass populations without any long-term consequences and is likely to do so up north.  But questions remain.  While LMBV is still a comparatively minor threat in the Mississippi, is it appropriate to do DNR fish studies here?  Recent research studies in Wisconsin that held large concentrations of bass in trap nets resulted in very high mortality.  In light of recent tournament-related fish kills, are these studies detrimental to the overall population? S ince bass aren’t routinely kept for dinner plates, losing some fish may not be catastrophic.  But in the eyes of many, floating fish and large mortality rates create serious public relations problems for tournament anglers.  Bass tournament mortality entails more than fish weighed in dead or floaters found after a tournament.

Survivability is an ongoing process, influenced by age, disease, and injury.  Water quality, current flow in rivers, and dissolved oxygen levels also play a part, as does stress caused by hooking, handling and release.  Bass anglers frequently are asked if catch-and-release tournaments harm the fishery.  In fact, most lakes with a history of frequent tournaments don’t show signs of reduced density or lack of recruitment.  Habitat is key in determining fish populations.

Though all bass tournament anglers should take individual responsibility for keeping summer fish in good condition, the real need is for the large tournament circuits to lead the way. We can’t put all the responsibility on our state DNRs to police tournament ranks.  Leadership should come from tournament organizers rather than state mandates.  Nationally known tours conducted by the FLW and BASS – in league with their respective federations – already have a level of influence and credibility with tournament participants that state agencies may never approach. Organizers should make full use of existing science to make decisions on tournament procedure, because they are in the best position to experiment and quickly modify techniques used for the weigh-in process.

For example, bass tournaments during periods of high heat may require special modifications, such as perpetual weigh-in, and/or a reduced bag limits for that day. Many good publications exist that can help the tournament organizers cope with summer conditions.  Keeping Bass Alive is one example; using the Shimano Water Weigh-in is another.

While tournament organizers have the credibility, state agencies have the clout to mandate action and can move things along in a positive direction.  We see a need for these entities to work together, perhaps by moving bass tournaments to periods when water quality is optimal.
Individual bass anglers can also do their part to keep fish in prime condition. Everyone can: Keep livewells well aerated; run the pumps continuously, not just on a timer cycle; frequently exchange water; monitor water temperatures; and add ice and salt as needed.
What about the future? We see the next best step as creation of a tournament weighmaster certification program. Minnesota already has taken a first step in developing a weighmaster training curriculum for its clubs.

While summer bass tournament weigh-ins can present a challenge to tournament organizers, the science, experience and techniques to keep fish alive and successfully released already exist. We only need to apply what we already know.

Hope you enjoyed this piece!
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Blog

If you enjoy this Blog, consider making a PayPal donation to help me keep it going. No Donation too small, Thanks!

Sports blogs

Stren Series Fish Kill

In a recent tournament held out of La Crosse, WI on the Mississippi River, there was an unusually large delayed mortality from the tournament fish.  It is unclear from the stories that I have read on excatly how the fish were handled and if there were any other factors that could have magnified the problem.

See Full Article.

The main thing, is not to jump to conlcusions until we get all the facts.  A similar study was conducted last year and the way the fish were held for the study was thought to have created eronious results.  My early thoughts is that these largemouth bass, many of them probably carrying the LMBV, were over stressed in combination of the tournament proccess and the holding of them in areas with improper current flow.


If you enjoy this Blog, consider making a PayPal donation to help me keep it going. No Donation too small, Thanks!

Turn In Poachers – 1.800.652.9093

This is a great program, check it out!  TIP Website

What does TIP do?
TIP furnishes rewards to callers providing information which leads to an arrest. Rewards range from up to $100 for fish, small game and non-game species violations, up to $250 for big game and endangered species violations and up to $1,000 for flagrant or commercial violations. Callers may remain anonymous.

TIP educates the public about the effect of poaching on Minnesota’s game and fish through:
• The TIP ‘Wall of Shame’ at sportshows and other events.
• Educational activity books for young conservationists
• Speakers
• Brochures, billboards, license envelopes and newsletters

TIP needs your help!! You may report violations anonymously: Call 1-800-652-9093.

Help Protect our Resources!

If you enjoy this Blog, consider making a PayPal donation to help me keep it going. Thanks!

Make your Outdoors Dollars go Farther

Cruising some other outdoors Blogs and I came across some good info on saving money at the pump – see article.

Basically you just click on this LINK, which takes you to an MSN website where you can just enter your zip code and get all the gas stations in that area.  In Lakeville, MN where I live, there was a $0.26 range between 28 stations.  That is a lot of money when you are filling up an SUV & a Boat.  My tow vehicle takes about 20 gallons and my boat takes 40 gallons.  So lets say I pour 45 gallons between them…..  at $0.20 savings per gallon…  that would be a cool $9.00 in my pocket   It gives prices for premium & diesel as well. 

Hope this helps you all save a few bucks so you can buy more fishing lures!


If you enjoy this Blog, consider making a PayPal donation to help me keep it going. Thanks!

Fins and Feathers Rally for Dedicated Funding, Wetlands & Cleanwater

Hey Minnesota Outdoors People!  If you have not heard about the Duck Rally at our Capitol this Saturday – April 22nd, you have now.  This is a very important event to support legislation for dedicated funding for conservation projects here in our great state.  Check Out the Website –


There are many fun events going on down there.  Duck calling contests, local radio personalities….


This is a great and fun way to get involved and support a very worthwhile cause.  If you are like most sportsmen, you are not much for sitting down and taking the time to phone or write to your representatives.  This is a great way to show your support by getting yourself and your buddies down to the capitol this weekend.  The weather looks like its going to be great, so grab your duck call and your cammo and garner attention from the legislators to get this bill done!

P.S.  Gopher Bassmasters is holding a CastingKids Contest at Gander Mountain in Lakeville as well.  10am-1pm –