MSU professor co-authors bass handling handbook


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Posted: 7/25/2003


A Mississippi State professor is the co-author of a detailed new guidebook for fishing tournament organizers and the anglers who compete in the wildly successful aquatic challenges.

Hal Schramm of the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center has collaborated with Gene Gilliland of the Oklahoma Fishery Research Laboratory to produce "Keeping Bass Alive: A Guidebook for Anglers and Tournament Organizers."

Focusing on ways to maximize the survival of bass caught and released during tournaments, the 44-page booklet is published by BASS/ESPN Productions Inc. The guide also is designed as an aid to tournament hosts and bass boat owners, dealers and manufacturers.

"All of these groups have interests in and responsibilities for maximizing the survival of bass caught and released during tournaments,” Schramm said. "By following procedures described in this book, we believe survival of bass caught and released in tournaments can consistently be over 90 percent, even under the toughest conditions.”

In addition to leading the MSU-based U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Schramm is a professor of fisheries in the academic department of wildlife and fisheries. A member of the faculty since 1993, he holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University.

Gilliland said the catch-and-release concept was introduced by BASS—Bass Angler Sportsman Society—30 years ago. The conservation ethic caught on and now is practiced worldwide.

"Our guidebook emphasizes the least-stressful ways to handle captured bass, as well as live-well management techniques, weigh-in procedures, and release strategies,” said Gilliland, an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation fishery biologist and graduate of Texas A&M and Oklahoma State universities.

"Keeping Bass Alive” is divided into three chapters: "Why Bass Die (Initial and Delayed Mortality),” "The Angler's Role in Improving Survival of Released Bass” and "How the Tournament Organizer Ensures High Survival.”

Begun in 1967 by Montgomery, Ala., resident Ray Scott, BASS now enrolls more than 600,000 members worldwide. Since its beginnings, the organization has worked to create "a credible and honorable tournament trail, improve the environment by uniting and amplifying the voices of anglers, and secure the future for youth.”

BASS is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN, the Entertainment Sports Programming Network. The national multimedia sports entertainment company purchased BASS in 2001.

Copies of "Keeping Bass Alive” may be obtained by contacting the BASS Conservation Department at (334) 272-9530 or

Wildlife and Fisheries