The influence of environmental temperature and oxygen concentration on the recovery of largemouth bass from exercise: implications for live–release angling tournaments

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The impact of variation in water temperature and dissolved oxygen on recovery of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides from exercise was examined. For this, largemouth bass were first exercised and recovered for either 1, 2 or 4 h at ambient water temperatures (25° C) in fully oxygenated water. Results showed that exercise forced fish to utilize anaerobic metabolism to meet energy demands, and resulted in reductions in anaerobic energy stores adenosine triphosphate (ATP), Phosphocreatine (PCr) and glycogen. Exercise also resulted in a seven‐fold increase in lactate within white muscle. After 2 h of recovery in oxygenated water at acclimation temperature, physiological recovery from exercise was under way, and by 4 h most variables examined had returned to control levels. Next, largemouth bass were exercised at ambient temperatures and recovered for 2 h in environments with either elevated temperature (32° C), reduced temperature (14 and 20° C), hypoxia or hyperoxia. Both elevated and reduced temperature impaired recovery of tissue lactate and tissue ATP relative to fish recovered in water at acclimation temperature, while hyperoxic water impaired recovery of tissue ATP. Moderately hypoxic waters impaired the recovery of plasma glucose, plasma lactate and tissue PCr relative to fish recovered in fully oxygenated water. Results from this study are discussed in the context of critical oxygen and temperature guidelines for largemouth bass. In addition, several recommendations are made concerning remedial treatments used in livewells (tanks) during angling tournaments when fish are recovering from exercise associated with angling.

Keywords: angling tournament; exercise; largemouth bass; oxygen; recovery; temperature

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Queen's University, Department of Biology, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada and 2: Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 5050, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4L5, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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