During live‐release angling tournaments in North America, fish are typically retained in livewells onboard boats during the angling day. Mortality of fish occurs at some tournaments, and wave intensities and livewell conditions may influence mortality levels. This study used two species of fish targeted in live‐release angling tournaments in North America (largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides L. and walleye Sander vitreusL.) to quantify the response(s) of fish in livewells to different wave treatments. Video analyses revealed that largemouth bass were active during low intensity disturbances, but during violent boat movements tended to settle to the bottom of the livewell and orient to face the direction of the disturbance. Walleye were less active than bass for all treatments, and additionally did not orient to face the direction of disturbance, consequently contacting the side of the livewell during boat rocking. These results are considered in the context of mortality at live‐release tournaments.
Video tapping, captured and placed in tanks at QUBS for 48 hours