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I was watching a tournament recently, and it got me wondering. Have any studies been done on mortality rates of bass caught in tournaments? I know they're put into "live wells", but if a bass is in there for hours it still seems like it would be quite a shock. If the mortality rates are high enough, that could put a significant dent in the population for a body of water. Just wanted to pick some brains out there and see if you guys have heard anything.
 

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Mortality rates can be quite high, as much as 40% in certain circumstances.
It really depends on water conditions, time of year in relation to the spawn and other factors, how bass are hooked, and conditions within the livewell.
There are chemicals in the forms of disolvable tablets that react with water to release oxygenated bubbles and also tablets that help protect the slime coating of bass.
I really do think that biologists and anglers need to take a more careful look at tournament practices. I know for a fact I wouldn't want them on my waters.
 
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