Tournament-related death

Authors: Muoneke, Maurice and Childress, W. Michael
Journal: Reviews in Fisheries Science, 2(2): 123-156
Year: 1994
Where: Texas A&M University, and, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
fishing tournament deaths

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.


"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."


"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."


"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."
Archer D. L and H. A. Loyacano, jr., (1974) Initial and delayed mortalities of largemouth bass captured in the 1973 National Keowee B.A.S.S. tournament. Proc. 28ib Annu. Conj. Southeast. Assoc. Game Fish Comm., 28:90-96.
Bennett, D. H., L. K. Dunsmoor, R. E. Rohrer, and B. E. Rieman., (1989) Mortality of tournament caught largemouth and smallmouth bass in Idaho lakes and reservoirs. Calif. Fish Game, 75:20-26.
Fielder, D, (1992) live release fishing tournaments: do they save fish? S. Dak. Conserv. Dig. 59(4):6.
Goeman, T. J, (1991) Walleye mortality during a live-release tournament on Mille Lacs, Minnesota. N. Am.J. Fish. Manage., 11:57-61.
Hartley, R. A. and J. R. Moring., (1991) Initial and delayed mortality of largemouth and smallmouth basses due to tournaments. In: Warmwater Fisheries Symposium I, pp. 269-272. (Cooper, J. L and R. H. Hamre, Eds.). Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-207. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forestry Service.
Jackson, J. J. and D. W. Willis., (1991) Short-term mortality of smallmouth bass caught during a live release tournament at Lake Oahe, South Dakota. Prairie Nat., 23:201-204.
May, B. E, (1973) Evaluation of large-scale release programs with special reference to bass fishing tournaments. Proc. 26tb Atmu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Game Fish Comm., 26:325-329.
Seidensticker, E. P., (1977) Mortality of largemouth bass for two tournaments using a "Don’t Kill Your Catch" program. In: Catch-and-Release Fishing as a Management Tool, pp. 99-102. (Barnhart, R. A. and T/ D. Roelofs, Eds.). Arcata, CA: California Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit.
Schill, D. J., J. S. Griffith, and R. E. Gresswell., (1986) Hooking mortality of cutthroat trout in a catchand-relcase segment of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park. N Am J Fisb Manage., 6:226-232.
Schramm, H. L, Jr., P. J. Haydt, and N. A. Bruno., (1985) Survival of tournament-caught largemouth bass in two Florida lakes. A. Am.J. Fisb. Manage., 5:606-611.
Schramm, H. L,Jr., P. J. Haydt, and K. M. Portier., (1987) Evaluation of prerelease, postrelease, and total monality of largemouth bass caught during tournaments in two Florida lakes. N.Am J. Fish, Manage., 7:394-402.
Welborn T. L, Jr. and J. H. Barkley., (1974) Study on the survival of tournament released bass on Ross R. Barnett Reservoir, April 1973- Proc. 271b Annu. Con/. Southeast. Assoc. Game Fisb Commissioners, 27:512-519.
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