Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Tennessee
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Kaintz, M.A., and P.W. Bettoli. 2010. Dispersal of smallmouth bass from a simulated tournament weigh-in site. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30:976-982.


Abstract.—Simulated smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu fishing tournaments were staged in Dale Hollow Lake, a 12,400-ha reservoir in Tennessee, between March 2004 and February 2005 to investigate post-tournament dispersal. Smallmouth bass (n = 54) were captured with conventional hook-and-line tackle and artificial lures, placed in live wells, and subjected to a weigh-in procedure before being externally tagged with an ultrasonic transmitter and released. Water temperatures ranged from 7.48C to 29.38C (mean [SE] = 17.68C [2.5]), fish ranged in total length from 330 to 572 mm (mean = 452 [8.3]), and no fish were dead at the weigh-ins. Smallmouth bass dispersed rapidly away from the release site, which was located at the head of a 68-ha embayment. After 3– 5 d, survivors (n =44) traversed an average distance of 1,475 m [213]. Most (72%) fish swam uplake and out of the 385-ha study area after 6 d. The rapid dispersal of smallmouth bass may be relevant in systems that experience heavy tournament activity. The smallmouth bass caught and subjected to simulated tournament conditions on Dale Hollow Lake did not stockpile near the release site.