Conservation Ideas

Summer Time

Summer time bass fishing requires special fish care and can be done with great success, as long as the angler does his or her part to KEEP THE FISH ALIVE. This quick reference provides you with the basic steps REQUIRED when water temperatures reach 75 Deg F or greater. PLEASE protect OUR resources for future generations to enjoy.


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   · Fill Away from dock
   · NEVER put pump or aerator motors inside water
   · Use a thermometer to monitor water temperature
   · Run aerator continuously after 75 Deg F
   · Flush fresh water 3-5 minutes every 3-4 hours to remove biological waste

Live-well Water Temperature
   · Add ice to reduce temperature, but never more than 10 Deg F below lake/river conditions
   · Don't let water get more than 5 Deg F above lake/river temperature
   · 2 each ½ gallon jugs ice cools 30 gallon live-well about 10 Deg F for 3-4 hours
   · Run oxygen system when temperature exceeds 75 Deg F (if available)
· Open live well lids periodically to ventilate live-well

   · Set hook quickly
   · Don't leave deep hooks in throat
   · Have pliers to cut hook and remove

   · Don't over-play fish
   · Land quickly

   · Don't flip fish onto boat's carpet
   · Lip fish or use rubber coated net
   · Quickly measure and put in live-well
   · Hold fish by lower jaw in vertical position

Air Exposure
   · Do not keep fish out of water more than 20-30 seconds
 Oxygen Systems - GET ONE!!!!!!!
   · Run oxygen system when water is 75 Deg F or greater.
   · Start oxygen system when live-well if filled on lowest setting (normally 0.03 liters per minute (lpm)
   · Increase oxygen one setting for every 10 pounds of fish
   · NEVER store near flammable or combustible materials and never use lubricants or grease on fittings. No Smoking near oxygen bottle storage!

Culling/Handling Fish
   · Never lay fish on deck
   · Cull one at a time
   · Use weigh-bag to hold fish while culling
   · Use weigh tags

Bagging Fish & Weigh Lines
   · 15 pounds per bag maximum
   · Never fish keep in weigh bag more than 1 minute without refilling with fresh/oxygenated water (provided in tournament weigh-line holding tanks).
   · Oxygen can reach lethal levels inside your weigh bag in less than 1-minute.

Live-well Additives
   · Follow manufactures recommendations and research the product being used. Some do harm to fish…. Some are GREAT!
   · Add Non-Iodized Salt at 1/3 cups per 5-gallons of water. Replenish salt as you flush the live well during the day.
   NEVER use Salt with Electrolytic Hydrolysis Oxygen Generators!

Summer Time Fish Care - Conservation Corner
Is there any doubt this summer will be hot? Most areas in the state set heat records before we ever got out of June. Now that we are in the hottest part of the year, we must be ever vigilant to not only take care of ourselves, but the fish we catch. Please take a moment to read this article, then share it with a fellow fisherman who might benefit. Conservation is all our responsibility.

Summer time fishing can be very challenging to anglers and tournament directors who are trying to keep fish alive. No matter what efforts are taken by tournament directors and conservationist, it all begins with the men and women who are fishing. Here are a few Fast Facts to remember and a few Tips and Tricks to help improve your fish mortality rates.

Fast Facts
1. When you put fish in 75 Deg F water or higher, your aerator may not maintain safe oxygen levels in the live-well.
2. Aeration is only adding 20.9% oxygen to the water and is not as effective as pure oxygen.
3. Not flushing your live-well can increase biological waste and can kill your fish.
4. Fish that are stressed due to elevated temperatures or poor water conditions will likely not survive.
5. Dissolved Oxygen levels below 5 Parts Per Million (PPM) will cause a fish to be stressed.
6. Live well additives alone will not keep a fish alive if the dissolved oxygen is low.

Tips and Tricks
    1. Maintain your live-well water temperature around 68 Deg F if at all possible.
    2. 1-gallon (such as 1-gallon milk jug or 2-1/2 gallon milk jugs) of frozen water will lower the water temperature about 10 deg F for 3-4 hours.
    3. Live-well additives, such as Sure-Life Labs Products can help to reduce fish stress and remove ammonia. See: for more details.
    4. If you use an Oxygen Generator (Electrolytic Hydrolysis) DO NOT use live-well additives that contain Salt.    See: for more details.
    5. Adding 1-Ounce per 4-gallons of water (or 6 OZ per 30 gallon live well) can increase the dissolved oxygen in the water (DO NOT OVERDOSE)
    6. Transport fish to the scale and immediately refresh the water in your bag at each dip tank. The oxygen in your weigh bag is limited to what is in your live-well and is being depleted rapidly.
    7. Pure Oxygen is the best option for keeping your fish alive, but should be handled with care. NO Oxygen is NOT flammable, but does support combustion. See:

These are just a few tips to help keep your fish healthy and improve your mortality rates. Though TABC does not directly endorse any of the products listed, these are a few products that may help you learn about fish care and improve your mortality rates. Please do your own research and select what is best for you. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at 832-275-0116 or

Tight Lines!
Jody Jackson

Jody Jackson, CSP
Safety Superintendent
Total Petrochemicals, Inc. - Bayport Plant
12212 Port Road
Pasadena, Texas 77507
281-474-6944 (office)
713-883-0110 (pager) (E-Mail)
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