SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Due to the persist ant hot weather and drought-related conditions, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is recommending fishing tournaments to put into affect precautions of handling and catching fishes during upcoming tournaments.
The IDNR's Division of Fisheries is asking tournament organizers to:
1.) Reduce the length of the tournament and lowering the number of fish that can be brought into the weigh-in as it reduces the amount of time that the bass that has been caught are exposed to the stress of the water quality declining. It will also cut down time spent by fishers and fishes at the weigh-ins, which typically occur during the warmest part of the day.
2.) Maintaining conditions in the live well, as there is research that shows that there is little benefit to bass survival of using ice bottles since variations of water temperature appear to be more stressful on bass than warm, steady temperatures.
3.) Limit the number of bases used to bring fish from live-wells to tournament scales, as water quality in transport bags deteriorate more rapidly than in live-wells due to crowding and lack of aeration, and time out on the water should be minimized as much of possible to help bass survival.
"The IDNR appreciates the efforts tournament organizers and anglers are taking during this brutally hot and dry summer in Illinois. The bottom line for us all who enjoy fishing in Illinois is that adult bass are a precious resource that deserves the utmost care in ensuring their survival to be caught again," said Debbie Bruce, chief of the IDNR Division of Fisheries.
For more information on fishing in Illinois, go to www.ifishillinois.org or www.dnr.illinois.gov.