All About that Bass
Bass anglers are passionate about fishing and often practice catch and release. We at theFisheries Conservation Foundation and the Allen Lab in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program at the University of Florida are fisheries scientists and avid bass anglers as well. We too are deeply invested in improving fishing and conserving black bass fisheries in North America.
Lifting that trophy catch into your boat and taking a photo to show off a great day of fishing is a great feeling, but anglers often exhibit their prize by the jaw alone. Hyper-extending of the jaw by some anglers has raised concern that improper handling techniques could damage fish jaw musculature and tendons. This could be of critical importance when handling trophy bass, as the jaw musculature and tendons may not be adequate to support the fish’s body weight out of the water. Damage to jaw musculature and tendons could potentially cause problems with feeding and ultimately affect growth and survival. However, there has been no research exploring this topic in the scientific community. Through a partnership with the Fisheries Conservation Foundation, the Allen Lab at the University of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, we would like to explore this and other issues in black bass conservation. However, we need your support.
Objective The main objective of this project will be to test whether different handling techniques influence the jaw function of Florida largemouth bass. We hypothesize that improper handling could influence feeding effectiveness and jaw mechanics, as well as fish survival.
Methods This study will be conducted at the Florida Bass Conservation Center near Webster, Florida. We will use bass from the hatchery, which includes 90 Florida largemouth bass for use in the experiment. These bass range in size from 3 to 8 lbs. The bass will be handled in three treatment scenarios representing different handling techniques commonly observed based on angler photographs. After handling, each fish will be placed in a tank to undergo a feeding trial whereby the fish will be filmed at high speed while being fed a live minnow. To assess the jaw function and feeding efficiency we will quantify: 1) the number of effective strikes on the prey, 2) the jaw movement rate which is the time required to open and close the mouth in a feeding bout, and 3) the behavior of the fish around the feeding process (for example, the time it takes to consume the minnow).
Your support is needed to fund a scholarship through the Fisheries Conservation Foundation for a graduate student to conduct the experiment in the research lab at the Florida Bass Conservation Center near Webster, Florida. Your support will also go towards travel expenses to the hatchery for the student and outreach materials so we can communicate our results to the bass angling community.
A big THANK YOU! to all the organizations and people that donated rewards for this project. (Please see below for more information on the rewards.)
Bienville Plantation http://www.facebook.com/BienvillePlantation
The Bass University http://thebassuniversity.com/
Gary’s Tackle Box http://www.garystacklebox.com/
Mike Iaconelli http://mikeiaconelli.com/
Ish Monroe http://www.ishmonroe.com
Fletcher Shryock http://fletchershryock.com/
* The Bass University packages will be required to cover their own travel & lodging expenses. These expenses are NOT included. Dates and locations of the classroom instruction vary. Please check the upcoming In-Class schedule at http://thebassuniversity.com
* The weekend trip to Bienville Plantation includes: arrival on a Friday evening with dinner and overnight accommodations. Saturday includes breakfast, boxed lunch, and dinner, plus a full day guided fishing trip and overnight accommodations. Sunday includes breakfast and boxed lunch, plus a half day AM fishing trip. The weekend trip at Beinville Plantation must be fulfilled in the 2015 calendar year (before 12/31/2015). Some blackout dates may apply. Trip dates are scheduled based on availability. For more information on the plantation visit https://www.facebook.com/BienvillePlantation
This package does NOT include travel expenses. The purchaser is required to provide for their own travel to and from the plantation.
Fisheries Conservation Foundation
Member since: April 21, 2015
The Fisheries Conservation Foundation (FCF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes the work and knowledge of aquatic scientists, resource managers, and environmental professionals. FCF strives to ensure that objective, peer-reviewed scientific information about fisheries and aquatic resources reaches policy-makers and the public, so the decisions made about the use of our freshwater and marine ecosystems are logical, informed, and based on the principles of sustainability. We work to connect the scientific expertise with other conservation partners and like-minded organizations to inject current scientific knowledge of aquatic resource issues into the public and political knowledge base.
Member since: April 21, 2015
Mike Allen is a professor at the University of Florida whose work focuses on population dynamics and ecology of fishes. Dr. Allen has evaluated fisheries management strategies for recreational fisheries in lakes, reservoirs, and marine environments. Allen and his students have published over 120 journal articles and book chapters and edited four books. His research uses a combination of field studies, experiments and computer models to explore how management strategies (e.g., harvest regulations, habitat restoration, and stock enhancement) can improve recreational fisheries. In 2013 he served as President of the Southern Division, American Fisheries Society. He joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1997 and is currently investigating fisheries ecology and management problems in the USA and around the world.