Petersen, M.J., and P.W. Bettoli. 2013. Mortality of palmetto bass following catch-and-release angling. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 33:806-810.
Palmetto Bass (Striped Bass Morone saxatilis x White Bass M. chrysops) have been stocked into reservoirs in the southeastern USA since the late 1960s and have gained widespread acceptance as a sportfish. These fisheries are growing in popularity and catch-and-release (CR) fishing is commonplace; however, there is a dearth of information on CR mortality of Palmetto Bass. We experimentally angled Palmetto Bass (n = 56; > 373 mm total length) in a Tennessee reservoir using traditional angling gear in water temperatures ranging from 13 to 32 oC. Ultrasonic transmitters equipped with floats were externally attached to fish, which were released immediately and tracked multiple times within 10 d of release. Mortality was negligible (3.6%) in fall and spring at cool water temperatures but was high (39.3%) in summer when water temperatures exceeded 26 oC. The best logistic regression model based on AICC scores relied on water temperature alone to predict CR mortality of Palmetto Bass; there was little support for other models that included all possible combinations of the six other predictor variables we tested. Palmetto Bass in our study experienced lower CR mortality than Striped Bass in other systems, but CR mortality rates for Palmetto Bass that approach or exceed 40% during summer are still problematic if the goal is to maintain fishing quality.