A bass tournament on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes ended badly last weekend. The outdoors writer for the Lakeland Ledger reported in today’s paper that shortly after The Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League tournament ended on Saturday, dead fish began showing up in the Kissimmee River. In total, more than 100 bass died after being released. “Obviously the fish were stressed when they were put back in the water,'’ explained Tim Coughlin of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In bass tournaments, fish are supposed to be kept alive, at least until they can be weighed by officials. But catch-and-release fishing is often unsuccessful. Fish can die days after release from exhaustion, rough handling, or from injuries caused by the hook. What is unusual in this case is that the tournament handled the fish so carelessly that the fish died almost immediatley after being returned to the water.
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