Fish risk an even higher chance of dying when anglers gather to vie with each other for prizes. A quarter of fish may die, but this can rise to a third, or even half.
FISH DIE IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND MINNESOTA
"Field experiments indicate a generally low hooking mortality for walleye, but fishing tournament-related data suggest otherwise. Fielder (1992) indicated that total (weigh-in plus delayed) mortality was 21% in South Dakota tournaments, and Goeman (1990 reported high variability (5.7 to 47.1%) in post release mortality in a Minnesota tournament."
THIRD OF FISH DIE IN TEXAS
"Overall mortality of largemouth bass caught and released in fishing tournaments averaged 25% (May, 1973; Plumb et al., 1988). Total black bass tournament mortality was estimated at 25% in Idaho (Bennett et al., 1989), 32% in Texas (Seidensticker, 1977), 19-4% in South Carolina (Archer and Loyacano, 1975), 10.6% in Mississippi (Welborn and Barkley, 1974), 14 to 26.7% in Florida (Schramm et al., 1985, 1987), 3.2% for largemouth bass and 8.9% for smallmouth bass in Maine (Hartley and Moring, 1991), and 4.9% in South Dakota (Jackson and Willis, 1991)."
"Mortalities as high as those indicated above (e.g., 32%) may be detrimental to some populations."
REPEATED CAPTURE INCREASES DEATH TOLL
"Schill et al. (1986) determined the hooking mortality of cutthroat trout subjected to repeated capture to be 3%, whereas mortality rate per single capture was 0.3%. Because these fish were estimated to be caught about once every 5 days, it was imperative that hooking mortality be low."