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New study to help save caught bass - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New study to help save caught bass

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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -

Catch and release is a common fishing practice used in tournaments, but not all fish survive after being released.

Chris Kinney-Hermes is an angler. He's competed in fishing tournaments all his life. 

"Preserving those fish for the future is a big part of what those tournaments are about," said Kinney-Hermes from Plattsburgh.

That's also the reason behind a new study at SUNY Plattsburgh. Researchers want to see if it's possible to reduce stress on bass fish caught and released in these tournaments.

Fishing tournament organizers put such a high priority on keeping the fish alive that they dock points from anglers who bring back dead fish.

"When you catch a big fish and when you return it back into the water, it goes back and it breeds. You're maintaining those good genetics," said Kinney-Hermes.

Researchers recommend releasing the bass back to where they were originally caught quickly to decrease their stress and increase their chances for survival.

"Nobody went home. Almost none of these fish went back to the original location where they were captured," said Mark Malchoff from Lake Champlain Sea Grant.

Researchers didn't specifically look at injuries to bass due to fishing hooks, but say bass are resilient to that and habitat plays a much larger role.

Kinney-Hermes says these studies about catch and release are important to fish and fish anglers alike.

"Catch and release is a great way to make sure that the sport stays alive," said Kinney-Hermes.

There are other factors leading to higher mortality rates.

"Water temperature if it's warm, not as much oxygen available. And the distance/time that a fish is confined," said Malchoff.

Colder waters and less time confined could mean more fish to catch in the years to come. 

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