2019 Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament Fish Care Study

During the 2019 Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation Qualifier the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation conducted a study to determine how well the OBN Qualifier was operating a successful fish care system. This study was conducting in co-operation with the Canadian Sport Fishing League.  The focus of the study was to monitor water quality at the tournament site, in the live-wells during the weigh-in, in the weigh-in tanks/troughs and the live release boat.

Event Format

The 2019 OBN Qualifier was held on September 28th and 29th on Rice Lake, Ontario out of Golden Beach Resort. The event consisted of 87 teams. Teams selection consisted of a random draw of Anglers and Co-Anglers. Tournament limits consisted of three (3) fish for Anglers two (2) fish for Co-Anglers. Rice Lake contains a healthy fishery of both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass.

Summary of Results

  • There was no difference observed between weigh-in tanks, troughs and live release boat between Day 1 and Day 2.
  • There was a difference between angler live-wells between Day 1 and Day 2.
  • Differences between Day 1 and Day 2 live-wells was attribute to anglers reliance on re-circulation vs. auto/fill settings.


  • Live-wells should be managed using the auto/fill settings allowing for ample exchange of water with the lake to better regulate temperature, oxygen and waste levels in the live-well.
  • Tournament Organizers should be monitoring oxygen levels prior to the weigh-in to determine the baseline conditions (water temperature, oxygen concentration) in their tanks, troughs and live release boat. This is important to organizers can identify any potential challenges prior to the start of the weigh-in.
  • Bass Anglers participating in tournaments should work closely with Tournament Organizers regarding fish care. This includes communicating fish care plans for each event. This can include staging areas, live-well management and more.
  • A review of these recommendations and the findings of this study to enhance fish care are future Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation events.

A full copy of the presentation, including details of the study, can be found below.

This study was presented at the 2020 B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit at the 2020 Bassmaster Classic in Birmingham, Alabama.

For more information about this study or other Ontario B.A.S.S.  Nation conservation projects reach out to Jason Barnucz, OBN Conservation Director. Email: conservation@ontariobass.com



Keeping Bass Alive: A Guidebook for Tournament Anglers & Organizers

Thirty-five years ago, B.A.S.S. introduced catch-and-release to the world of tournament bass fishing. The Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation is very proud of our B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation heritage. The Keeping Bass Alive book is a terrific summary of what anglers and tournament organizers need to know. From live wells to weigh-ins to live release boats, this guide will help anglers and organizers with tips and tricks to help ensure bass are released alive and well after each and every event. If you are an Ontario B.A.S.S. Member and seeking more information about fish care feel free to reach out to our Conservation Director: Jason Barnucz (conservation@ontariobass.com).

Link to Keeping Bass Alive Guidebook: https://www.bassmaster.com/sites/default/files/keepingbassalive_guidebook_comp.pdf

How to Treat Barotrauma in Smallmouth Bass

Here is a great video courtesy of B.A.S.S. featuring New York B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Director, Barb Ellitot. She walks us through the steps involved in properly treating Barotrauma using a technique called ‘fizzing’. For any anglers fishing in deep waters for bass should watch this video.




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