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Fish Kill Rumors

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What I thought as one of the best C & R tournaments ran by BASS was the Falcon lake Elite 50 event. The bass looked healthy at the weigh in; dorsal fins erect, tails curled or wagging, good coloration. It appeared that the pro's and tank staff were doing a good job of keeping the bass alive and healthy.

The first two days of this type of event requires the pros to have back seaters and also requires the boats to keep up to 10 bass in the livewells designed for 5 bass limits. When you are catching big bass, the problems escalate, big bass are more sensitive to stress from being in a livewell, plus they require more DO and cool water to stay healthy. The big bass bite was also comming later in the day and that met culling bass later in the day, that may have been in the livewell for several hours. This can lead to post stress mortality of C & R bass.

The reports of a big fish kill started a few days after the tournament. True, who knows for sure, but a few dead floaters can create a big stir.

Gene Gillihand is a well known biologist and his aticle is appropriate.

http://www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/Reservoir/blackbass/livebass2.pdf

WRB

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If it turns out that this was connected to the tournament - then the culprit may have been the 90+ degree temps that they kept talking about.  Around this area, when the temps get that high the DNR makes us have weigh-ins twice during a tournament day.

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If it turns out that this was connected to the tournament - then the culprit may have been the 90+ degree temps that they kept talking about. Around this area, when the temps get that high the DNR makes us have weigh-ins twice during a tournament day.

The air temps where in the 90's the water 65 to 70 degrees, so that shouldn't have been a major factor. With the number of big bas stuffed into the livewells, that is a major factor and why BASS needs to pick up big fish from the pro's on the water, when needed.

Thank for replying and 2 weighin's would of helped because of the double limits of 10 bass.

WRB

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BASS needs to pick up big fish from the pro's on the water, when needed.

+1

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BASS needs to pick up big fish from the pro's on the water, when needed.

+1

This definately needs to be put in effect,

but would it count against the angler if they fish died after the tournament took the fish from his boat?

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Texas Parks and Wildlife said 60 fish died after the event.

First off,   there aren't many tournaments out there to study the effects of mortaility with the huge sacks brought to the scales.

BASS took lots of bashing already from bloggers.    

C Rigs played just as much a role with numerous gut hooked fish.

Depths might have contributed some with fish coming from 30 feet.

The heat really played no factor, water temps were ideal even though air temps reached the 90's.

BASS could impose the 3 fish limit on Co-anglers as the FLW has done, but how does this help the pro who like the Pro on day 4 had 3 ten pounders in the livewell before 8am.       Granted on day 4 there was no Co boaters and both livewells were used, but if that happens on days on 1-3, he still has to use one side.

Too many factors to point fingers.     As tournament anglers, its a responsibility that we all should share.

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The numbers on this fish kill are growing by the hour as more information is floating to the surface.

The facts are 138 bass died in the tanks before they could be released. The tournaments big bass, a 13+ died before it could be transported to the Share a Lunker program. The unconfirmed numbers of big bass is around 500, that is approximately a 50% delayed mortality rate.

There will be a report available about 23 April, next week.

Primary cause is holding too many big bass in the small livewells without controlling the DO levels and water temperatures. The 10 bass limits of the combined pro and co anglers over stressed the bass in the livewells, during the 8 hour fishing time.

Post spawner's being stressed by the spawn and pre spawners that were gorging on baitfsih, placed in the livewells became over stressed and the scales from the baitfish being spit out by the pre spawners clogged the gills of the bass in the livewells and they suffocated as a result.

The numbers are staggering; 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of dead big bass from the Falcon tournament.

BASS knew there would be record weights and refused the 3 bass limit which is the norm for both Falcon and Amistad. TV rating outweighed common sense.

WRB

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Disgusting... >:(

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WRB  

What Elite 50's tournament on Falcon did you reference.   E-50's didn't hit Falcon.  This was first stop on Falcon ever I believe. for BASS

Numbers are growing, but there not enough info and never will to fully analyze all the factors.

BASS said 158 died, whcih is 11% and thats alot of good brood stock.

How many fish were culled after being in a cramped livewell by fishermen?   How long being in there?    What was the condition of the fish when released?  

How many were deep fish?  

How many Pro's actually checked their fish regularly?

How many were gut hooked from C rigs?

Who knew that Clear Lake would be shattered, not once but numerous times?   At one event!!!

How often do we see 35+ sacks, 40+lb sacks?    Not a regular occurence.

Don't know where you got a number like that, but 11% isn't even close to those numbers.   3000-5000 lbs dead.

5000 pounds would be over half  to 2/3 rds the fish died.       Roughly over 3 1/2 ton were caught and your reporting high rate of almost over 60% dead.

Where did you get its the norm of 3 fish limits on Falcon and Amistad.          We haven't had limits like that ever that I'm aware of.   FLW co's maybe, BASS hit Amistad first time ever last year, and that was 5, and Falcon for the first time this year.  

Prespawners, if any?  Not a factor.   I have gorged bass on shad and don't see all the scales as you mention and this is first time hearing that excuse.  

And who proposed a 3 fish limit before the tourney?   I'd like to know where you got the facts from.

Only thing I can say is, numbers like this have never been experienced, so no one really knew anything other than a record could fall.    SAme as Clear Lake last year, except Clear Lake didn't produce the final weights, so how could you predict the outcome.

    It was uncharted waters for BASS.   FLW hasn't came close, so you couldn't look at them for past like experiences.

Remember when BASS went to shared weights?    EVery body got upset and bashed BASS.     I wonder if that rule was still in effect if that wouldn't have solved the overcrowiding issue in the livewells?

  Dang if you do and danged if you don't.  

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Contact; Lane or Tom Gergely; 800/846.6524

Sure-Life, makers of Catch & Release formula, supports the tournaments held on both Amistad, Falcon and work closely with BASS.

Ray Scott, the retired BASS president is reportly extremely upset with ESPN's handling of the Falcon event, contact Ray or ask Bob Lusk on this board, he and Ray are supposed to be freinds.

Most of the Pro's that pre fished Falcon predicted the high numbers of big bass that would be caught during this event. This was the first BASS event held on Falcon, to the best of my knowledge.

The BASS report of the numbers of dead bass were the fish that died in the holding tanks, after the weighin, before they could be released. The number does not reflect delayed motality of the fish released from the holding tanks after the weighin or any culled bass released on the water during competition.

The details will be known soon.

WRB

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We are learning more all the time.    No question about fish dieing.  

Was just curious to know where you read proposed limits of 3 and other things asked in previous post.

Its sad, but anglers as well as BASS are at fault.    One of the biggest factors that contibuted was deep hooked bass from 30 feet of water.

Most of us who fish deep waters know that if your gonna keep'em in the live well, they need to have air bladders bled.   I never see the pros doing this until someone from the tanks does it.   Thats too long to wait for proper fish care in my opinion.

    Hope we all agree, that some times, it takes a sad event to get further education implemented.

    ESPN/BASS need to issue a statement soon.    I see Paper trails coming down the pipe in the near futures if mortailty rates continues.

Wisconsin passed legislation after the FLW tournament and high mortality rates.   Don't remember the new law, but it regulates tournaments.

I have read numerous responses from Lane.   She has a good reason for being upset as well.    She certainly does her part for the sport.  

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Guest muddy

supposed to be friends with Ray Scott; Part of Glenn's report on the trip:

Cool moment: Bob Lusk fishing w/Gene & Keri, chatting on the phone with Ray Scott and Bill Dance.  He even MADE Mr. Bass get on the computer while talking to him and got him to log on to BassResource.com so he could explain to him what we were about and what we were doing there

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I don't want to down play the deep water stress issues in regads to this specific tournament, becuase it was a factor. Not becuase of a 30 foot depth change during pre spawn to post spawn on Falcon at the time this event was held. 35 feet of depth change is considered OK without airbladder expansion issues, if that is the total depth change.

What can and does happen is the bass is down 50 feet and comes up to 30 to feed, then it get caught and brought up to the surface, a total of 50 feet and that is a major depth change. During pre spawn to post spawn most of the bass will be up in 30 feet or less of water, so not a big depth change issue.

However it was reported that some of the bass were in 60 feet of water and those bass difinately needed to be handle with care, fizzed immediately and should have been held over night in holding tanks to be sure they were OK.

Out west our big bass go down to the thermocline in most of our reservoirs, following the post spawn period. This average around 35 feet, so the bass are free to roam up towards the surface and return deeper. I believe the Texas bass are doing the same or very similar depth changes. During the cold water period our bass often go down 60 feet or more to find warmer water and we have problems with airbladder expansion during winter tournaments, with higher mortality rates.

The big issue with the Falcon deep water bass was the water temperature change exceeded 10 degrees in the bass boats livewell circulating warm surface water verses the cooler deeper water the bass were acclaimated to. Thermoshock is another killer of bass due to the extreme stress it causes them.

WRB

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ALWAYS use "Catch & Release" formula.  I'm not saying this because they're a sponsor, I'm saying it because it saves fish!  I was using "Catch & Release" formula long before I ever met Lane & Tony, and well before they became a sponsor.

I KNOW this stuff works!

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ALWAYS use "Catch & Release" formula. I'm not saying this because they're a sponsor, I'm saying it because it saves fish! I was using "Catch & Release" formula long before I ever met Lane & Tony, and well before they became a sponsor.

I KNOW this stuff works!

That I can attest too.  It really is great stuff, saves alot of fish in tournaments for me

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According to the Zapata Chamber of Commerce and others, it is NOT

a rumor that a signficant amount of fish expired during and shortly

after the ESPN/BASS Elite Series. We were told by the chamber that

approximately 500 fish were found.

The owner of a local tackle store reported seeing a couple hundred dead fish in Veleno cove which was the release site, which in our opinion is NOT a good release site. Here is the link to his report.

http://www.tackleandrods.com/lake/flash.htm

After day one they certainly knew what they were dealing with down there. Adjustments could have been made to reduce further mortality,

ie reducing the creel limits. I have no doubt that ESPN/BASS went down to Falcon to break records for TV ratings, and that they got.

There is enough scientific evidence combined with angler reports to

suggest that removing larger fish from the total population is NOT good

for the overall quality of the fishery. The fish caught down at Falcon were BIG post spawn females that were concentrated in small areas.

They were vunerable to exploitation by anglers. The livewells in bass

boats are not big enough to handle 30lb plus sacks let alone 25lb sacks

per livewell. Add to that most of the fish were caught at 25ft on c-rigs.

Anglers must be carefull when using C-rigs because the bass tend to

swallow the bait before the angler knows his bait has been taken. Most

of the pros are pretty good about setting the hook before the bait is

swallowed, but many co-anglers are not. This is what we attribute the high inital mortality to with the co-anglers. The Zapata chamber asked

ESPN/BASS is some of there personel could stay and help with the

clean up of the dead fish, THEY LEFT and went down to AMISTAD!

This folks, is totally IRRESPONSIBLE! What resulted was dead fish

in FULL view for the general public to see, NOT GOOD publicity for

tournament trails and anglers.

another site has posted the article that appeared last Sunday in our San Antonio Express News. Please read it. The article is a preview of things

to come (paper tournaments). They reported the initial mortality, but there was NO MENTION of the dead fish floating Veleno cove, etc.

Paper tournaments would put most if not ALL of our tournaments out of

business here in Texas, ie, BassChamps, Media, etc. We work VERY,

VERY closely with BassChamps as well as being sponsors of the trail.

They run a very clean trail with EXCELLENT fish care techniques.

I have come under attack for being honest and addressing this issue on the various forums. If the issue is NOT addressed and discussed,

it will not be long before tournaments are a thing of the past! While the

pros good use some fish care training, ESPN put them in a NO WIN

situation with fish care. They could have made adjustments.

We will be going down to Falcon next week to not only assist with fish care, but we developed livewell protocol for the anglers. Our livewell

instructions can be viewed and printed out on the homepage of our website (Falcon BassChamps ). This is good information for warm

weather fishing, and deep caught fish. We have increased the dosage

rates of Catch And Release to three times the usual amount. Please

feel free to print it out. We have also completed a fish care DVD that

features fizzing and a whole lot more. It is currently being edited and

will be ready early this summer. It is FREE to all Sure-Life conservation

clubs and trails. The UTube of livewell care has been completed. We

are in the process of totally redoing our website. It will have a brand new looks with LOTS of information. We expect that to be completed

in about a month. The UTube will be up on the new site. We are doing

our best to educate anglers. We fully support tournaments that are

responsible, and hope that these trails will not be affected by the recent events on Falcon. This should not be allowed to happen again!

Please help us conserve the resource so that we all can enjoy the

sport! :)

Sincerely,

Lane Gergely

Sure-Life Laboratories, Inc.

surelife@worldnet.att.net

1-800-846-6524

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Thank you Lane!

8-)

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Guys, fish mortality on Falcon is a problem. I fished the Texas Bass Club tournament back in September and there were well over a hundred dead bass weighed in each day.  It was disgusting(I DID NOT WEIGH ANY DEAD ONES) and I had a limit over 23lbs on day one. I was the only boat on our team not to weigh one though. I used lots of Please Release Me formula and two bags of ice in the live well each day, and left the pumps running all day. It helped. Not sure, but I bet a lot of the ones live released did not make it. It's sad, B.A.S.S., better get a handle on this problem or they may find their welcome wearing out real fast. I watched the show on the air the other afternoon and I never saw any pro check or add any substance to their live well. They could have easily shortened the day or fished  a staggered weighen, or done something to help this. Of course they just wanted the most bang for the televised buck . Myself, I have wished that they had just stayed away in the first place. Getting way to much print.  

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The article that everyone is talking about can be viewed on another site.

We are STILL waiting for an OFFICAL response from ESPN/BASS,

something would be better than NOTHING.

I want to set the record straight. Sure-Life fully supports our conservation partners within the BASS Federation Nation groups.

The various federations work hard everyday on conservation

issues,etc. They are the heart and soul of BASS, NOT ESPN.

We do NOT have ANY affliation with corporate ESPN/BASS. My

husband is a lifetime member of BASS. He issued a very LONG

post on a Texas forum regarding his history with BASS. He also defended me! I married to a GOOD GUY! :)

BTW, I MISS YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Saw your post on the other site.  

No matter what the final tally is, it was a sad day that no one could have predicted.     There has never been 7000 pounds of fish weighed in ever!!!  

Can't wait for your new DVD to come out.

Thanks for the education that ya'll have dedicated your time and research to  for the growing of the sport.

I always have a bottle of Sure Life in the boat.   And you know Chad makes sure he gives us a sample if we don't.    And that sample was provided by Ya'll.

   Thanks for your time and efforts on a subject that is dear to me.

Matt

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I blame the state. They determine what legitimate creel limits are and if the state is concerned that an X amount of fish killed throughout the year, month, event, whatever, they need to lower the limit on that lake. Isn't it their job to figure that out and enforce it?

What the state of Texas is telling me, is that they aren't concerned before or after this event. They have creel limits and anglers can keep their catch of X amount of fish to eat or whatever; rather that is a tournament or weekend warriors using live bait.

I am not suggesting for a second that BASS and tournament officials and anglers shouldn't have done more, but remember that the state agencies set creel limits to preserve current populations. Texas knew BASS was coming to Falcon Lake last year; apparently, they weren't concerned. You can't tell me the state biologists didn't know BASS was coming and what kind of impact a tournament that size could have.

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I agree with all that has been said.  BASS/ESPN has to grab the ball on this and run with it, making the appropriate changes.  However, I also have an issue with the anglers involved, as Matt Fly suggested.  Should there not have been an outcry from the anglers to the organizers after the first day?  What person with any knowledge of livewells doesn't know that carrying sacks of this size could very well be detrimental to the livelihood of the fish?  I would think that most anglers of this caliber know when to fizz their catch as well.  BASS has the ultimate responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen again.  But tournament anglers have a responsibility too.  

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Duke, good thoughts. Fact is in Texas you can't just go changing limits. It has to have input from everyone instrested by having open meetings around the state to collect public opinions and that goes for every item in the Parks and wildlife item listed in the book. After an item is approved in January it goes into effect in September. they would have had to start two years before to get the limit changed for one lake. Best thing to do would be to tell BASS to take a hike. Also, are you aware that cities bid for the right to hold a BASS sactioned event on Sam Rayburn? Not sure if it is done elsewhere, but the city of Jasper did for the Sam Rayburn events held there.

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I blame the state. They determine what legitimate creel limits

Which were set for harvest, not for a day in a livewell and then to be released.   TPWD doesn't set the "harvest regulations" based on Tournaments.  Actually though, they should have a set of regs for tournaments and a set for harvest!  Good Idea.

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The issues really isn't about the fish kill at lake Falcon, it's about the preception of B.A.S.S., the top organization in the bass tournament business mishandling tournament caught fish. B.A.S.S. has several professional biologist and a large support team that knows how to handle tournament caught bass correctly and they failed.

We bass fisherman all suffer from that failure because we are a targeted group by the nut case PETA types out there, well organized with political power, that want sport fishing stopped.

It is nearly impossible to have 100% survival rates, 2% to 3% delayed mortality is very good and would be about 20 to 30 dead bass, which is acceptable. 50% mortality rates will kill tournament fishing and hurts the sport of bass fishing for everyone and that is what is at stake here.

B.A.S.S. can't afford to repeat the mistakes made at Falcon.

In regards to a fishery being harmed by harvesting bass for food, big lakes with a good bass population can easily handle sport caught fish harvest. However Mexican lakes can legally be gill netted and commerical harvest of inland waters with gill nets will collaspe a healthy fishery quickly. The fish kill is a barometer of how well the tournament was run and that is the issue, it was run poorly.

WRB

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