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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Lake Falcon tournament fish kill is beyond comprehension in the day of C & R.
See Elite 50, lake Falcon post for details.
What amazes me even more is the lack of interest from the bass fishing fraternity.
7,000 pounds with over 500 big bass included in the kill and only 3 members are interested enough to commit!
Proof and a report will be out next Wednesday, with pictures of the dead bass.
I'm all for selective harvest and keeping over stressed bass so they don't go to waste. This is what happens when over stressed bass are released and die, some float and people see them, most sink and you don't.
Tom
*source; Lane Gregely; 800/846.6524, Sure-Life, makers of Catch & Release livewell conditioners who assist in the Texas tournaments with C & R.
 

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Wow I heard mention of this!

Is this the fish the pros caught and BASS released???

This is EXACTLY why I am against tournament fishing during the spawn. There is NO ONE that can convince me that this kind of kill, of these size fish, wont hurt this fishery.

I am disgusted! Heck I would almost go as far as saying I even feel embarassed knowing that the sport I love and promote and defend against groups like PETA caused this.
 

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Ron Henry Strait: Falcon Lake's bounty too much even for bass pros

Web Posted: 04/12/2008 10:20 PM CDT

Ron Henry Strait
San Antonio Express-News

Texas is ready for big-time bass fishing, but is big-time bass fishing ready for what Texas has to offer?

Under normal conditions, the answer is yes. Major tournaments such as the Bassmaster Elite Series are ready for most anything a fishery can offer.

That is, until Falcon Lake's offering hit the scales last weekend at the Lone Star Shootout.

In four days, Falcon gave up 31/2 tons of bass to Elite Series professionals and co-anglers.

Professional bass fishing had not seen such numbers before. Among the 1,386 bass (6,811 pounds) were dozens of fish heavier than 8 pounds and one caught last Friday that weighed more than 13 pounds.

That many big bass with a 13-pound headliner is big fishing news.

BASS, an ESPN-affiliated company that operates the Elite Series, took note of it all and the fact that the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's Inland Fisheries Division had donated the 13-pounder to the ShareLunker program.

But Saturday morning, there were whispers that the 13-pounder might have died.

Elite tournament director Trip Weldon last week confirmed that news and more about bass mortality at Falcon. A total of 158 (11 percent) of the bass weighed at the Shootout died before they could be returned to the lake.

The mortality was higher than might be expected under normal conditions, said Phil Durocher, director of TPW's Inland Fisheries Division, and it is a matter of concern for TPW.

"What happened at Falcon was not the usual conditions," Durocher said.

No one, even locals, expected nearly 7,000 pounds of live fish to be brought to the scales.

Weldon said losing one bass is losing one too many, but the two live-release pontoon barges that BASS operates at all its tournaments were overwhelmed by so many huge fish.

Each barge sports a 750-gallon, oxygen-enriched holding tank. As the fish were weighed and sent to the barges, the tanks were trying to support as much as 700 pounds of bass at a time before they were sent to the open lake to be discharged. One gallon of enriched water per pound of bass proved insufficient to revive stressed fish.

Other factors were involved as well: The fish were pulled quickly from deep water to the surface; and the lake water temperature was in the 80-degree range.

Add to that, Weldon said, the 13-pounder was caught at 8:30 a.m. and hauled around in a bass boat live well for more than 8 hours. It made it to the scales alive, but died in a TPW holding tank about midnight Friday.

Randy Myers, TPW Inland Fisheries district biologist in San Antonio, agreed that fish stress, depth, lake-water temperatures and tournament mortality are linked.

That's why TPW is studying ways to increase bass survival, he said, and it's not just to help anglers.

Big bass are good for local economies, Myers said. Huge catches in televised tournaments can mean booms.

Of course, TPW is not alone in its desire to help the fish that are laying the golden eggs.

"I've been talking to BASS about different formats," Durocher said. "(BASS) is a leader in conservation and has been real innovative in its approach to these issues."

Weldon echoed the BASS conservation message and said the immediate response for this weekend's Elite event in Del Rio was to cut the co-angler limit from five to three fish a day. Co-anglers caught sixty-five of the dead fish at Falcon.

Durocher said another innovation to watch is the format for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic set for next weekend at Lake Fork. As each bass is weighed and recorded, it is immediately released alive back into the lake.

Mortality at last year's TTBC? "I'm not aware of any bass that died at the (TTBC)," Durocher said.

Zero mortality is a Texas bass record that all tournament anglers are ready to see.
 

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It's sad to hear and avoidable. Makes me feel bad about the 2 bucks I caught off bed this evening. :sad2: But, at least I know that they will survive. Had them outta the water long enough to get the hook outta their mouth, and they were back in.

If BASS had anything to do with this, I do hope that they and ESPN step up and help the lake rebound.
 

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I hadn't heard about this before now, what a shame.
It always sucks to see some floaters, esspecially when it is avoidable to a degree.

Imo, ESPN should be held liable for such a disater to some degree.
 

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Joe B said:
please make sure you have the facts before you go off on someone. Falcons spawn was over already.
Not 100 true. While they were still catching the majority of the fish deep, many of the BASS personalities said that there were a few spawners still up. Just the water isn't that clear to fish for them.

This is one of the many reasons as to why Falcon is as good as it is (or was).
 

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Don't jump to conclusions everybody,

If you read the article in it's entirety, NOBODY was ready for the size of the fish that Falcon produced. Not the anglers, BASS or Texas Wildlife; the rate and size at which these fish were caught was a surprise to everyone.

I know from firsthand experience that BASS works VERY hard at protecting the resource, and if they couldn't keep up; it was EXTREME.

I was backstage as Clear Lake exploded last year and those two BASS Live Release boats made three trips each during the weigh-in to release fish, and I'm sure they made more trips than that at Falcon. From the article, it seems that much of the concern stemmed from too many Big fish in the livewells of the competitors' boats.

Both BASS and FLW work very hard to be cutting edge with fish care, and if Texas officials were taken by surprise at the catch, we shouldn't be too hard on anyone, besides, if you read carefully, the tone of the piece was more informative and encouraging to make improvements than it was a double barreled blast at the situation.

From research with CA DFG biologists for articles, it only takes on successful spawning female to populate an entire cove, so losing 150 fish is a lot, and should be improved for next year, it is not going to destroy that fishery. But, rest assured, the organizations will make adjustments.

Dan O'Sullivan
 
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I was shocked when Tom mentioned this and I am still appalled at it.

Bass needs more live release boats and should actually do what they did at Lake Fork. Did anyone catch that or did you just read over it? "Durocher said another innovation to watch is the format for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic set for next weekend at Lake Fork. As each bass is weighed and recorded, it is immediately released alive back into the lake.

Mortality at last year's TTBC? "I'm not aware of any bass that died at the (TTBC)," Durocher said"

I am sorry but why do they not do this at every freaking lake they fish in? This pisses me off and to be honest I hope some of the environmentalist groups make some noise about this because it sure seems the bass fishing community sure isn't. I wish people would stop justifying this and call it what it is. It stinks no matter how you slice it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BASS was promoting topping all previous weight records at Falcon with limits that could average over 30 pounds and some may break 50 pounds, doesn't sound like they didn't expect heavy weight bags.
The tournament was scheduled to be an eye popping event and it lived up to all expectations and broke the California weight records. What is more incredulous is Texas claiming 100% survival rates on tournaments held at Falcon before this event.
The statement of only 138 bass died is also misleading. The 138 bass never made it out of the holding tanks, what about the dead floaters being counted the days after the event with totals up 500 big bass so far, although unconfirmed by BASS.
The fact that the big bass for the event died Saturday and BASS awarded the winner a check on Sunday still claiming the bass was returned to the Share A Lunker program successfully was a lie.
BASS knew the Texas Parks wanted a 3 bass daily limit for this event and BASS wanted to set records and ignored the request. 3 bass limits are the norm for Falcon and Amistad during pre spawn thru post spawn. Well BASS set a record by having a nearly 50% mortality rate as it now appears. The final numbers may never be known, but it is a fact that they are very high.
BASS or any tournament organization needs to be honest and fix the problem. Bass boat livewells need to be improved, I have said this for years and is the reason I use a weighted stringer for big bass. Refrigerated livewells with DO aeration systems are essential to keep big bass alive for more than an hour during the tournament.
The value of big bass is too great to be wasted for TV ratings and that is what BASS did, sacrifice a few big fish for the TV audience.
Tom
 

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I am all for paper tournaments. I am sure there are kinks to work out, but this was a huge kink that a lot of people involved did not get worked out! With the available technology today there has got to be a way to document and weigh each fish as it is caught and then released. How about a total weight of all the fish you can catch paper tournament. No 5 fish, just catch and release as many as you can. Get them weighed, photograph, documented and released. That would be a huge twist. Just think, no more dead fish penalties. No more holding on to a dead 1 lber and being unable to cull it. I'm sure ESPN could find a way in all there media wisdom to make this just as exciting as a weigh in. One more reason I am becoming less interested in tournament fishing. I only joined a local club to learn more, but of course nobody is sharing info. I get more from this site than the club has ever offered me. Just my 2 cents.

Britt
 

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Lets hope this will prompt a solution QUICKLY.

I had one idea, even though it isn't a solution for the problem at hand, but it could put the ' dead ' fish to good use.
Why not have X amount of holding tanks that the bass have to stay in for a period of at least 24 hours ( after being weighed in etc... ) before they can be released. Then if there are any dead fish, donate them to an orphanage or to a soup kitchen etc...
 

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I'll bet you Deb Wilkerson the director for the WBT is pissed off about this more then anyone. I met Deb the first time on Lake Darenelle in AR. She was working for the parks at the lake. I guess the story goes that when she got there the lake percent of fish that died during tourneies was really high. She is the one that designed all the holding tanks for the weigh-ins as well as she had another set of tanks down stairs were she would keep fish for more then two weeks before she would take them back into the lake. She even had cameras for underwater were she would go out and check on locations. I watched her at torunies there and let me tell you what not only would she get up your butt for throwing something on the ground but if you were not treating your fish right around those tanks she would get you hard. So I bet that Bass needs to use that lady and let her jump in there and over night changes would happen. Said to hear about all the dead ones and I bet they fix it before it happens again. :tbh_flag: :stayncharge: :tbh_flag:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Although I don't fish tournaments often, tournament bass fishing is the motor that runs our bass fishing sport. B.A.S.S. is the largest bass tournament organization in the business and this fish kill isn't necessarily about dead bass, it's about how well the Falcon lake tournament was run and it was run poorly. B.A.S.S. has a large staff of well trained support people and biologist who know how the properly handle tournament caught bass and they failed.
The Falcon lake fish kill gives the PETA type nut cases something to target B.A.S.S. with in their goal to kill sport fishing. B.A.S.S. has put all of us at risk by mishandling the Falcon event and this is the issue, not the dead bass.
Everyone should realize that a 2 to 3% delayed mortality rate is acceptable and that is about 20 to 30 dead bass in a tournament like Falcon. Falcon can easily handle harvest of sport caught bass, however the Mexicans allow the use of gill nets to commercially catch bass and that will lead to the collapse of the fishery, not well run tournaments.
Tom
 

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Dang it Tom would try to give more of a honest opinion next time :rofl1:You really think that Mexico is not upset about the kill?? :rofl1: :rofl1:I didn't even think about that part of the deal. Miracle anyone even knew about the kill. Thought there might be little brown guys in wood boats going around and scooping them up for the big fry across the lake. Those were really good points,, thanks :tbh_flag: :stayncharge: :tbh_flag:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is amazing that they found so many floaters with those hungry folks across the border running all over the lake with their nets.
Just a thought; my keep alive stringer would have saved the day for the pro's at Falcon. It's simple and proven track record of keeping hundreds of my big bass alive.
Yes, I know you can't use it gator filled lakes, but it would work well at Amistad and Falcon.
Tomhttp://www.thebassholes.com/bassin-forums/index.php?topic=2451.0
 

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oldschool said:
The Lake Falcon tournament fish kill is beyond comprehension in the day of C & R.
See Elite 50, lake Falcon post for details.
What amazes me even more is the lack of interest from the bass fishing fraternity.
7,000 pounds with over 500 big bass included in the kill and only 3 members are interested enough to commit!
Proof and a report will be out next Wednesday, with pictures of the dead bass.
I'm all for selective harvest and keeping over stressed bass so they don't go to waste. This is what happens when over stressed bass are released and die, some float and people see them, most sink and you don't.
Tom
*source; Lane Gregely; 800/846.6524, Sure-Life, makers of Catch & Release livewell conditioners who assist in the Texas tournaments with C & R.

So where are the photos??
 
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