July 30, 2009
Discussion Topic: Should Maryland Ban Summer Tidal-Water Bass Tournaments?
By Dave Hurteau
Local Maryland bass anglers are livid after an FLW Stren Series bass tournament apparently left more than 600 bass floating dead along a six-mile area of the Mattawoman Creek and Potomac River, believed to be victims of delayed mortality after being released alive. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources concedes that even more dead bass may have been carried away on the tide, and the agency has now instituted several new rules to govern tournaments.
From the Washington Times:
Because of the bass deaths, the service has said it will register all large tidal water bass tournaments . . . to discuss procedures and perhaps gather data on contest sizes and bass catches. . . . There also will be a rule stating the water temperature inside tank-equipped release boats should be within 5 degrees of the water temperature . . . .
In addition. . . the DNR will require that bass are kept within well-aerated containers of water (near or above 100 percent oxygen saturation) before and after the weigh-in.
Henceforth, DNR personnel will be present at all large tournaments (100 or more boats) [to] assist tournament directors in matters relating to fish health. . . . Rules eventually can include sharp reductions in the handling of fish.
But according to this story, local anlters want more, some of them calling the new rules “pretty lame” and calling for a total ban on summer tournaments.
What are your thoughts?