Lake St. Clair Fishing Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following information was posted on the Bass Fishing Home Page to address a question posed by a Southern angler regarding fish mortality. The information presented is by Ralph Manns who is a highly respected writer for In Fisherman and other fishing publications. The reason I re-post Mr. Manns response here even though the response is directed toward Southern fisheries is I think a majority of the information he presents can/does relate to what is currently happening to Lake St Clair and this information might help us protect against further damage. Anyone interested in reading the entire thread to put things in context (so you can come back and say; "This doesn't relate to Lake St Clair") the link is; http://www.wmi.org/bassfish/bassboard/fish...s/T38441.htm#14

1. 11/15/03 1:02:00 PM Submitted by Ralph Manns from TEXAS says Wish I'd got to this thread first rather than fishing Alan Henry
Lots of accurate statements and some very bad info in this thread.
If we included the deaths of eggs, fry and fingerlings, the natural death rate of bass would be 99.999% in their first year. This rate is so high that figures are meaningless in most cases. Bass spawn millions of eggs and make millions of fry with every successful spawn. But only one or two must grow to adult size and spawn at least once to keep a population at full size and replace bass killed by natural causes. Most bass fry are fish food in lakes with large adult bass populations.
Natural mortality is the fish-biology term for deaths of ADULT fish caused by natural causes (disease, aging, parasites, predation, water quality failures, etc.). In unfished and lightly fished waters this can run from about 15% to as much as 40% per year, providing there is no special "fish-kill" factor operating. Angling mortality is not included.
Angling mortality is the number of fish removed from the ADULT population by anglers - either killed and eaten (or mounted) or that die of stress and diseases after release due to poor handling during unhooking and release, combined stress, excessive exposure to air while photos are taken, improper livewell oxygenation/temperature control, and tournament weigh-in abuses.
Angling mortality and natural mortality are not directly additive. There is often some "compensatory" decrease in natural mortality because fishing mortality reduces competition and allows other bass that might have died naturally to survive. Compensatory survival often allows lightly and moderately-fished waters to sustain healthy, near capacity bass populations year after year. But, moderate to heavy fishing pressure overrides this compensatory factor, and the population of larger bass tends to decrease. The problem is made worse by the tendency of anglers to keep larger legal bass and toss back smaller adults, thinking this is C&R. But, C&R requires release of the anglers largest fish while keeping small adults often benefits bass populations by making more food available to larger bass.
Immediately released, well-handled bass tend to live (97-99% ). Any additional stress and livewell incarceration reduces survival so that for the worst club tournaments held in warm months in which handling techniques are poor and livewells are improperly utilized (not cooled and oxygenated) may kill up to 70-80% of the fish brought to weigh-ins. Proper handling, livewell, and weigh-in procedures can reduce this to less than 90% in cool water and less than 70% in even the warmest waters. But, only a few tournaments require anglers to properly handle bass and use effective livewell procedures. There are many discussions of proper procedures on these pages and on the BFHP articles pages and B.A.S.S. offers a definitive handbook..
The judgements of healthy/living fish to assess penalties are often very poorly made at tournaments. The penalty systems used do NOT assure that released bass will survive after release. Unhealthy dying fish are all too commonly seen after "live release" events held by minor tournament groups and many clubs. A fish may not live long even if it wiggles on the scales if the livewell wasn't well oxygenated, the ride in the boat relatively smooth, and the water temperature not excessive. To judge survival with any accuracy, the tournament officials should measure livewell oxygen and temperature as well as view the movements of the fish. Even then, the bass should be monitored in a holding/chemical treatment tank for signs of excessive stress and anglers penalized for fish that eventually appear to be sick.
Fishing mortality of adult bass can range from 10% in lightly fished waters to as much as 80% in newly opened water that expose naive fish to intense fishing pressure. Moderate pressure can remove 25-40% of an adult population every year, while heavy pressure can take 40 to 60%.
Natural and fishing mortality combine to form total mortality. It's total mortality that determine whether or not fishing is good or slow. It takes a lot of bass, a dense bass population, to create good to excellent bassing. A few adult bass can spawn enough to replace the crop of 12-inchers every year, so even heavy fishing pressure usually doesn't totally destroy a bass population, if dinky bass are all you want. But, heavy pressure without a limit protecting larger fish almost always reduces the average size of bass to just under the size anglers are willing to keep. a 12-inch limit and moderate to heavy pressure combine to build populations of 11.8-inch bass. (Please read my two articles on Regulatory C&R for details).
The biologist in Alabama was either misunderstood, misquoted, or mistaken. Southern waters are highly productive. As a result they can and often do replace big fish removed by anglers with little fish, and some little fish make it to larger sizes. But, killing-off the larger fish does impact the quality of any fishery. It takes years to grow replacements for the 4-12 pounders killed by poor tournament procedures.
Successful release of live and healthy bass is desirable if angling quality is to be maintained in waters subjected to many tournaments (at least two or more major events every month and/or a constant stream of club events) - even in Alabama. Lake size modifies this impact. Little waters are more easily damaged than large reservoirs.
Without careful handling, even super-productive lakes like Fork in Texas can have the quality of the fishery reduced by excess mortality of the rarer, larger, bass. That's why, in great wisdom, the better educated fish biologists ask for slot limits and other appropriate protective special limits. The limits create better fishing by keeping larger numbers of quality-size bass in the water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
WHEN IS THE NEXT CRAPPIE TOURNAMENT, I COULD USE A BREAK.
PRETTY SOON WE WILL HAVE "TREE HUGGERS" AT ALL BASS TOURNAMENTS........
I`M DOING MY PART TODAY, SO MY KIDS CAN ENJOY BASS FISHING TOMMOROW........WHY DON`T WE ALL DO OUR PART AND THIS WILL WORK OUT.
IT`S FUNNY BUT NOTHING IS STATED ABOUT WINTER KILL AND IT`S EFFECT ON THE FISHERY IN ALL ARTICLES.....ARE WE THE WORST PREDATOR?
IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE SOME OF THE REVENUE GENERATED FROM FISHING PUT BACK,INSTEAD OF PUT INTO SOMEONES POCKET...........MAYBE WE SHOULD LOOK THERE?HOW ARE THE MONIES DELEGATED BACK TO THE FISHERIES.........................
 

·
LSCN Sponsor
Joined
·
2,482 Posts
It's not late enough into the off-season to rumble yet is it?
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top