Scholarship Document (Ichthyology) - Significant Variables Affecting Tournament-Associated Mortality of Black Bass SpeciesThe Effect of Temperature

Scholarship Document (Ichthyology) - Significant Variables...

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Significant Variables Affecting Tournament-Associated Mortality of Black Bass Species The Effect of Temperature, Elevation, Year, and Angler Hours on Tournament-Associated Mortality of Black Bass Species Parker Moon Zoelle Reinke BIOL 3705 Ichthyology Instructor: Johnathan Davis November 27, 2016
Abstract The objective of this study was to determine significant factors influencing mortality of Black Bass during competitive fishing tournaments held within the United States. Competitive tournaments (n = 63) were sampled in 6 states and Puerto Rico. To collect data, we searched through numerous fisheries journals and collected data on 27 different variables of tournaments potentially related to initial, delayed, or total mortality. Our results suggest that temperature (both air and water temperature) is the most influential factor in determining mortality of tournament caught Black Bass. Additionally, angler hours, state, latitude, and elevation may affect tournament-caught Bass welfare. These results may be used to implement strategies and regulations that lower tournament-related mortality rates, promote Black Bass welfare during competitive tournaments , and maintain healthy bass fisheries. Introduction Each year in the United States many Largemouth Bass ( Micropterus salmoides ) and Smallmouth Bass ( Micropterus dolomieu ) tournaments are conducted. In 2000 , there were nearly 30,000 anglers who competed in tournaments at least once per year, and that number is growing . (Edwards 2003). In 2003, more than 20,000 individuals participated in at least one tournament in California alone (Edwards 2003) . These tournaments provide a stimulus for local economies. A single tournament in Lake Fork, Texas generated $126,434 of which $101,061 was contributed by non-local tournament participants (Schlechte 2012). Another tournament contributed $177,533 to the area surrounding Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas (Schlechte 2012). Despite the positive effect of tournaments on local economies, they often have a detrimental effect on
targeted Black Bass populations (Edwards 2004). Basses caught in catch and release tournaments often perish as a result of the stressors they are exposed to during angling, captivity, and weigh- in (Edwards 2004; Kwak 1995; Weathers 1997). Tournament-associated mortality is higher than in non-tournament, catch-and-release fishing which, if fish are handled with care, can report a mortality rate that is nearly zero (Kwak 1995). Tournament-associated mortality can account for a relatively high portion of total yearly mortality of bass populations on lakes with heavy tournament pressure (Allen 2004). Thus, bodies of water with many tournaments per year could experience significant impacts to the health of the fishery (Edwards 2003). In a typical tournament, anglers attempt to catch the highest total weight for a set number of fish over a one or two-day period. Fish are typically held in a live-well with other fish for up to 12 hours before being weighed at the end of the event. During confinement in live-wells and

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