WEBSITE UPDATED            Tuesday  June 22, 2022

CAUTION – Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) used to provide supplemental oxygen in livewell/bait tank transport water can oxidize delicate tissue, damage cells and (chemically) burn fish gills, eyes, skin, scales causing excessive scar tissue. 

Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) livewell supplementation is often recommended in bass tournament world as a cheap, cost effective livewell chemical that will insure safe livewell oxygenation all day for a large limit of bass on a hot summer tournament day in June/July/August. H2O2 is an extremely powerful oxidizer recommended to be added to livewell water many times daily.

CAUTION – Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) – the fishery science and scientific facts about using H2O2 to insure minimal safe livewell oxygenation is diametrically opposed to U-tube promos touted by many bass tournament pros, promotional bass fisherman testimonials, recommendations by bass tournament officials and advertisement promoted by many livewell chemical companies.

Visit:  Mortality Associated with Catch-and-Release Angling: An Annotated Review with Special Emphasis on Livewells and Largemouth Bass   by Robert G. Howell.

Livewell, Bait Tank Supplements – Salt, Oxygen, Chemicals

Management Data Series No. 199, 2002

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Inland Fisheries Division, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744

There is no livewell chemical in the world that trumps a continuous supply of pure 100% compressed oxygen delivered in a sufficient doses, volume and concentration and dissolved into a hot a summer livewell full of fish or live bait during summer livewell transport. Fish hatchery live fish transport requires continuous 100% DO Saturation or DO Supersaturation regardless of the stocking density or livewell water volume. The correct dose of pure oxygen is required to achieve and maintain 100% DO Saturation for the duration of the transport.


Hydrogen Peroxide for Bass Boat livewells – by Fishery Biologist Randy Myers TPWD, Inland Fisheries Division, San Antonio, TX Publication 2-14-2012 – A total of 12 one-hour experiments were conducted with oxygen levels measured every 10 minutes.  http://www.slideshare.net/raminlandfish/hydrogen-peroxide-for-bass-boat-livewells

Transporting Fish [using Pure Oxygen and Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2] – Auburn University Alex Bocek, Editor, International Center for Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments, Swingle Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849

The Use of Hydrogen Peroxide in Fin Fish Aquaculture https://thefishsite.com/articles/use-of-hydrogen-peroxide-in-finfish-aquaculture   by Roy P.E. Yanong  The Fish Site, by the Fish Site Editor, February 13, 2009

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as a disinfectant for cleaning wounds in people. Hydrogen peroxide has also been used in aquaculture as an immersion (bath) treatment against many different disease-causing organisms, including external parasites, bacteria, and fungi, on different species and life-stages of fish. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a hydrogen-peroxide-based aquaculture product, which has spurred greater interest in its use.

Is hydrogen peroxide legal for use in aquaculture? In 2007, 35% PEROX-AID® (Eka Chemicals, Marietta, Georgia) was approved by the FDA for control of mortality in (1) freshwater-reared finfish eggs due to saprolegniasis (a common water mold), (2) freshwater-reared salmonids due to bacterial gill disease (Flavobacterium branchiophilum), and (3) freshwater-reared coolwater finfish and channel catfish due to external columnaris (Flavobacterium columnare) disease. No other forms of hydrogen peroxide, including those sold for human use, are approved for use with fish.

Can hydrogen peroxide be used on other warmwater finfish species intended for human consumption and for other indications not on the label?  A veterinarian can prescribe 35% PEROX-AID® for an extralabel use provided that all the provisions in Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 530 (21 CFR 530)   http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=530  are followed. In brief, the client must be working with a veterinarian within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (see description below), and there must be no residues that pose a public health risk. Research using food fish species is much more common in the literature, and biotests will most likely be required to determine the best dose and treatment time for specific disease problems. A summary of unapproved doses and indications used by researchers in food fish species is outlined in Table 2. As for approved uses and species, follow label instructions and contact the appropriate regulatory authorities regarding discharge of treated water.

21 CFR 530:

A valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship is one in which:

(1) A veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of (an) animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and the client (the owner of the animal or animals or other caretaker) has agreed to follow the instructions of the veterinarian.

(2) There is sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) by the veterinarian to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal(s); and

(3) The practicing veterinarian is readily available for follow-up in case of adverse reactions or failure of the regimen of therapy. Such a relationship can exist only when the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal(s) by virtue of examination of the animal(s) and/or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept.     http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa157

Keeping Bass Alive  A Guidebook for Anglers and Tournament Organizers


By: Gene Gilliland [Gene Gilliland is currently the B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director effective January 1, 2014.]

Oklahoma Fisheries Research Lab

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Norman, OK 73072

By: Hal Schramm

US Geological Survey

Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Center

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762

By: Bruce Schupp

National Conservation Director B.A.S.S.*

Montgomery, AL 36117

Published by: ESPN Productions, Inc./B.A.S.S.

5854 Carmichael Rd.

Montgomery, AL 36117

Copyright 2002 B.A.S.S.* Montgomery, AL


Another chemical that has sometimes been used to treat livewell or holding tank water is Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water in the presence of organic matter. However, this chemical can injure fish and should not be used. Most people have used this colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid to disinfect a cut or scratch. You can see it fizzing and bubbling on the skin as it oxidizes. Now imagine what it does in a livewell full of bass. The bass’ mucus coating protects its skin from the oxidation reaction, but there is no such protective coating on the delicate gill filaments. Unfortunately, anglers that use Hydrogen Peroxide think that is a little is good, a little more should be better. Wrong! Damage to gill filaments, suffocation, and death may result.