We studied self-reported measurements of initial mortality of black bass Micropterus spp. in 2,072 Texas fishing tournaments. Initial mortality varied by a factor of four among tournaments according to rules and format. The lowest initial mortality was reported for paper tournaments (1.1%), in which fish are captured, measured, and immediately released. Initial mortality was 4.0% in total-weight tournaments, 4.3% in road-runner tournaments, and 4.7% in big-fish tournaments. A lower rate of initial mortality (1.8%) was reported for large tournaments, those with 50 or more participants, than for smaller tournaments (4.1%). This suggests that larger tournaments may be conducted with rules and procedures that reduce initial mortality. For total-weight tournaments, we also compared self-reported measurements of mortality with those derived from a regression model that predicts initial mortality based on water temperature. Self-reported measurements of initial mortality averaged 4.2%, and predicted initial mortality averaged 4.1%. The general agreement between self-reported and predicted estimates of initial mortality suggests that, on average, black bass fishing clubs and tournament sponsors reliably report tournament-associated mortality.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|State||Published - Nov 1999|