Officials collect dozens of dead bass from Cross Lake
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - City officials say they collected dozens of dead bass fish from Cross Lake in Shreveport on Monday.
Following a tip from a KSLA News 12 viewer, KSLA learned that the fish were a result of a catch and release fishing tournament held over the weekend.
"No, I was surprised to see all these fishes floating. That's why I asked you what was wrong," said an angler, spotted fishing in Cross Lake.
According to Adams, several big bass fish were floating right at the top of the water.
"First I saw em, I thought that they had got out of somebody net or something, he said 'nah they turn them loose at that tournament,'" Adams said.
Adams is referring to the H&W Marine Fishing Tournament held along Cross Lake Saturday.
"It's a little bit of an issue with tournament fishing. This is our first issue in ten years," said Kelly Keith the secretary for Bass Life Associates.
KSLA News 12's cameras were there as city officials picked up about three to five buckets of dead fish totaling in about 50 fish overall. With a survival rate of 90-98 percent following catch and release tournaments, representatives from Bass Life say that number is unusually high.
"At this particular tournament, we had an off-site weigh in so the anglers will come off of the water fish and then they will go to the weigh-in location."
Kelly Keith is the secretary for Bass Life Associates. He says the non-profit organization worked with tournament officials to care for the bass after they were caught.
"In the tank everything was fine, we were at the weigh-in and noticed that the fish were starting to look a little lethargic. So, we immediately rushed from that location back to Cross Lake, released the fish once they hit the lake everything was good," Keith said.
Keith says ultimately the stress of an off-site location, combined with spring spawning stress, and a change in cold water temperatures put a toll on some of the fish.
"As far as tournament fishing with your release and your mortality rate a lot of biologists would consider 10 to 15 percent mortality is a successful release obviously with Bass Life that's completely unacceptable I don't want to lose any fish with it, but it is something that will happen," Keith said.
Bass Life representatives released a statement in response to the incident. To read it in full, click below.
Copyright 2018 KSLA. All rights reserved.