WEBPAGE UPDATED                  Tuesday  June 22, 2022

January 21, 2021

Tips for Higher Catfish Survival Rates    October 2, 2020 by Dr. Hal Schramm

“Live-release tournaments were a way to conserve a valuable resource and avoid the hideous sight of dead, floating bass after a tournament weigh-in, a situation that would make future tournaments unwanted guests at an access site.”

** “Dissolved oxygen is essential for survival. Ensuring adequate oxygen is difficult because you can’t see it, and measuring it requires an expensive oxygen meter. When fish show signs of oxygen depletion, like trying to gulp air at the surface, it’s too late to recover them. And fish exposed even briefly to low oxygen may die several hours after release.”

**** “The solution [to hypoxia, the low-dissolved oxygen problems in livewells] is to provide the maximum amount of aeration possible. The water, especially surface waters, where catfish are caught usually contains adequate dissolved oxygen for catfish survival, but catfish in a livewell will deplete the oxygen. The rate of oxygen depletion increases with the number and weight of fish in the livewell and temperature. Therefore, it is necessary to add fresh oxygen-containing water. This is accomplished by pumping fresh lake or river water into the livewell. The pump should deliver at least 500 gallons per hour.”

“The livewell water can’t have too much oxygen.”

“Dr. Hal Schramm is a fishery scientist and regular contributor to In-Fisherman publications. He has conducted research on tournament mortality of black bass and other species, and is co-author of the popular publication Keeping Bass Alive: Guidebook for Anglers and Tournament Organizers.

1st Edition Published by: ESPN Productions, Inc./B.A.S.S., 5854 Carmichael Rd., Montgomery, AL 36117: Copyright 2002 B.A.S.S.* Montgomery, AL



Several whistle blowers reported this tournament bass kill to Conservation Officers


Woo was fined $9,000 and had his recreational fishing license suspended for five years.

Bass Tournament Organizer Fined $9,000 For Not Following License Conditions Bass Tournament Organizer Fined $9,000 For Not Following Licence Conditions | Ontario Newsroom


April 23, 2020

Chumming Stripers with Pure 100% Oxygen in Georgia “Oxy-Chum”

Clarks Hill Stripers Finding A More Oxygen-Rich Thermocline

A new oxygen system on Clarks Hill is making for better striper water. by Don Baldwin

About 5 miles upstream from the Strom Thurmond Dam, near Modoc, the corps suspended a series of nine oxygen lines at varying depths through a stretch of the lake.

During the summer, oxygen gas is supplied to these lines, and the oxygen is released along the length of the lines through small openings. The system is simple but apparently effective.

The oxygen tubes are placed upstream of the dam to allow for a longer stretch of improved oxygen levels as the current moves downstream.

The striper population seems to be thriving, and there is still plenty of action even in the heat of the summer.


April 13, 2020

The Best Summer Tournament Bass Care Possible or Less Than The Best Bass Care Possible is every tournament fisherman’s personal choice today. And the choice one makes is crystal clear.

Todd Driscoll TP&WD Fisheries Biologist Summer Fish Care Article with Links to O2 Injection System Specs

Driscoll says, “To maintain livewell-held bass in the best possible shape, pure oxygen-injection systems (oxygen bottle, regulator, and fine-pore air diffuser) can be installed for under $300 [a homemade DIY oxygen-injection system].  Without question, lack of oxygen is the primary reason fish die in livewells.  During the most extreme conditions (i.e., 15 + pounds of bass in a livewell over 85 degrees), these oxygen-injection systems are the only way to maintain optimum oxygen levels.” 

How much tournament fish care are you really willing to provide for your summer tournament catch all day in summer fishing tournaments?

How much tournament fish care is really “too much fish care,” too much trouble, cost too much… and another15 excuses to reject the best tournament fish care possible” this summer?_____________________________________________________________________________

March 16, 2020

“A clarification about using hydrogen peroxide in livewells”

“In the post below about the new special conditions at Diamond Valley, one of the subsequent posters in the thread suggested using hydrogen peroxide in the livewell to produce O2. Gene Gilliland and Hal Schramm, in their booklet Keeping Bass Alive say that H2O2 “can injure fish and should not be used” because it damages the gill filaments. “Damage to gill filaments, suffocation and death may result”, according to the authors.”


The Department of Fish and Game asks that anglers and tournament organizations do not use hydrogen peroxide as a livewell water additive.”

Terry Foreman
Fisheries Program Manager
Fisheries Branch
(916) 445-3777

The booklet is available at:

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.]

By: Hal Schramm, US Geological Survey, Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi State University

Published by: ESPN Productions, Inc./B.A.S.S.   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.   DO NOT USE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN THE LIVEWELL


January 30, 2020

Bass Mortality and the Tournament Angler, How to Keep Your Catch Alive, by Bill Hutcheson, Bass Angler Magazine 6/7/2006

This article was written 4 years after B.A.S.S. published Keeping Bass Alive, 2002, nearly 2 decades ago.

The writer writes:

“Oxygen and water temperature are the two most significant factors in determining initial bass mortality.  Colder water retains dissolved oxygen better than warm water.  As such, the cooler months of the year do not pose as great a threat to fish in the live well as do the summer months.”

Water Temperature and Oxygen

“… the number one culprit in initial mortality is water temperature and associated [hypoxic] oxygen levels according to the Texas Tech synopsis.” Texas Tech University professors led by Gene R Wilde. 1972 to 1996,” over 2 decades ago.

December 23, 2019

Bass boat Oxygenators with Sure Life™ Please Release Me™ livewell additives are toxic for your tournament bass.

Bass – Keeping Summer Bass Alive, by Mike Gnatkowski

Pro angler expert Scott Dobson claims, “Other products, like Sure-Life™ Please Release Me™ ( eliminates weight loss, calms, replaces slime coat, and removes chlorine, but is toxic when used with an Oxygenator.”


December 17, 2019

The Bait Shrimp Industry of the Gulf of Mexico 1966

*Transport and Holding Methods – ”A few dealers aerate the water by bubbling oxygen through air stones from oxygen cylinders, but this method is not widely used because the expense is substantially increased without significant increase in survival.”

Aeration (21% oxygen) and oxygenation (100% oxygen) was considered the same thing then as well as by many today. Today this type aquatic oxygenation is called “oxygen-injection.” Pure 100% compressed oxygen, liquid oxygen and commercial PSA oxygen generators are commonly used to insure continuous minimal safe oxygenation for live shrimp transports and live shrimp dealer capability.

*SUGGESTIONS FOR HOLDING LIVE BAIT SHRIMPGreater oxygen demand should be met by increasing the water circulation or by aerating the water (mechanical aeration with ambient air).”


This 1966 published scientific research suggest the primary problem causing bait shrimp dealers high mortality is insufficient oxygenation (hypoxic livewell water). The researchers also recommends that more mechanical aeration and or increased water flow through live tanks will correct the high mortality problem caused by insufficient oxygenation (hypoxia) thus increasing survival rates.


November 24, 2019


*100 % DO Saturation for all live fish transports is required regardless of the stocking density or water temperature.

An opinion and recommendation from Texas Parks and Wild Life Fisheries Division:

 Fishery Science FACT: “At a moderate water temperature of 70˚F, 100 percent oxygen saturation is 8.8 mg/l of oxygen, whereas at the higher temperature of 80˚F, 100 percent saturation is 7.9 mg/l. Both of these 100 percent saturation oxygen levels are suitable for keeping bass alive.”


October 25, 2019

The Care and Maintenance of Crappie in the Livewell http://ww by Lane and Tony Gergely


“Oxygen is vital to all life, and crappie are no exception. Some supplemental oxygen manufacturers use electrolysis to generate oxygen, but we do not recommend these units due to fluctuations in output.
These systems cannot be used with various necessary electrolytes.”


October 11, 2019

Oxygen system for bait well proves major benefit for anglers  Captain’s Corner Outdoors 10/20/2018:


September 30, 2019

Keeping Summer Bass Alive by Mile Gnatkowski

Scott cautions that, “Oxygenator system can be toxic if not used properly. Sure Life Products like Release Me™ is toxic when used with an Oxygenator


September 12, 2019

Ice, G-Juice, the Oxygenator, & TOWELS?!?! How to Keep Tournament Fish Alive During Summer Heat

The oxygenator is temperature cycled, chilled water with ice turns the Oxygenator “OFF.” The Oxygenator generates no oxygen when it is in the “Off cycle.”

Livewell Oxygenator-Electrolysis Type


The Bait Shrimp Industry of the Gulf of Mexico

Published 1966


Contribution No. 211, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Biological Laboratory, Galveston, Tex.

TRANSPORTATION AND HOLDING METHODSA few dealers aerate the water by bubbling oxygen through air stones from oxygen cylinders, but this method is not widely used because the expense is substantially increased without significant increase in survival.

 SUGGESTIONS FOR HOLDING LIVE BAIT SHRIMPGreater oxygen demand should be met by increasing the water circulation or by aerating the water (mechanical aeration with ambient air).

Compare cost effectiveness of using pure 100% Compressed oxygen vs. mechanical aeration with ambient air 50 years later to date:

Visit – Sea Grant College Program – Texas A&M University Live Bait Recirculating Systems for Coastal Locations


April 2, 2019

Chumming game fish with pure oxygen gas works now!

More Fish Kills Expected This Spring In Oxygen-Starved Lakes


April 5, 2010

Fishing for oxygen

OxSeaVision made a commercial breakthrough toward the end of 2007 with OxyVision controlled oxygen-injection system for offshore fish farms…


March 1, 2019

Aluminum Fishing Oxygen Regulator Failure, Galvanic Corrosion

Click-style aluminum body oxygen regulators are Not “Designed for use in a marine environment” nor are they “Commercial Grade” oxygen regulators contrary to popular internet advertisements, infomercials, salesman talk and fishermen bro-science.

Aluminum oxygen regulators used in marine environments are extremely prone to mechanical malfunction and failure specifically caused by Galvanic Corrosion.


April 5, 2018


Oxygenator Bad Review by drhobbs28

Published on Apr 6, 2017

So after waiting 2 weeks for a new one I have finally installed my new oxygenator. My old one was giving me up to 8 volts in my livewell water. So I installed the new one and had half the voltage [4.5 V]. Every time I would put a fish in my livewell he would turn side up. Well that’s because he was getting shocked. After getting no answers and ignored I decided to pass this on. You might want to check yours out. Check it from negative battery post to the water. It really lights up as the water is draining from the oxygenator. I learned this one day while cleaning my livewell and was leaning on the piano hinge and reached into the water and got lit up.

Independent 3rd party testing confirms substantial electrical current is present in livewell water using a volt meter when livewell Oxygenator is running and touching livewell water.

Positive test results confirms continuous electrical voltage (4.5V – 8.0V) in livewell water when the Oxygenator is submerged underwater, turned on and running.


March 31, 2018

How did B.A.S.S. eliminated their Summer BassMaster Classic Tournament mortality problem?

B.A.S.S. simply changed the date of the Bassmaster Classic Tournament dates from the Dog Days of Summer (August) to the absolute coldest days of winter (February) when the lake water temperature was cold, in the low 40’s F.

Will Classic bass survive?  By Frank Sargeant

February 18, 2014       Bassmaster News

This story originally ran on


March 10, 2018



A child demonstrates a dangerous location on a bass boat for mounting and storing a 2200 PSI high pressure oxygen cylinder in a bass boat battery locker. The child is not aware of high-pressure oxygen cylinder safety in bass boat battery boxes. FIRE HAZARD


March 2, 2018

Chumming fish with PURE 100% OXYGEN in the winter… Happening right now.

Lima area waters to receive trout  By Al Smith – Guest Columnist


August 8, 2017

When your live bait dies in your livewell in the summer…

How to make dead bait look and act alive, This dead bait trick will help you fool more fish

by Brian Cope

“Dead bait is rarely as good as live bait, but with these tricks, anglers can make a slow fishing day a little better.”

“Chuck Griffin of Aqua Adventures in Charleston, S.C… When all I have is dead baitfish and I can’t get a consistent bite on them, I’ll put a piece of styrofoam inside the baitfish,” he said.

Great, live, healthy “SUPERCHARGED” bait will always attract more bites and catch more fish in the summer than fake bait or dead bait packed with Styrofoam.


August 6, 2017     Oxygen Uptake – Live Hauling of Fish National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce

In certain markets, live fish can be sold for substantially higher prices than fresh dressed fish.

The most significant advancement in hauling technology in the last 20 years has been the use of bottled oxygen gas or liquid oxygen to maintain adequate dissolved oxygen levels. These types of systems can maintain significantly higher DO levels than systems using air.


April 30, 2017  Pre-slaughter oxygen – Marine Harvest secures the fish quality with automatic oxygenation.
With a yearly production of 85 000 tonnes of salmon, the Eggesbønes plant is Marine Harvests largest processing unit in Norway.

The [pure] oxygen secures the fish against physical stress. At the slightest drop in oxygen, the systems will deliver sufficient oxygen to stabilize the condition. Oxygen measurements are recorded.   

*If the oxygen drops below 100 % sat., the system will respond by adding oxygen in sufficient quantity, until 100 % is restored.

Oxygen diffusers The diffusers are supplied with pure oxygen in the form of small bubbles. Fish that experience oxygen deficiency becomes stressed and exhausted, which may lead to oxygen debt in the flesh and subsequent loss of quality. Oxygen helps to prevent this from happening…


December 10, 2016   How to keep your catch alive by Bernie Schultz  May 29, 2016  In a game of ounces… You never know … healthier fish could mean a higher finish.


October 23,  2016  Seagrant College Program @ Louisiana State University   Tips for Keeping Bait Alive for Healthy Sale   Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) and much more…


August 24, 2016    Rules are rules: The dead fish penalty

Ray Scott and the Bassmaster Classic scales are about to give Dalton Bobo some very bad news.

No one knows the cost more than Dalton Bobo, the former Alabama pro who — if not for the dead fish penalty — would have won the 1997 Bassmasters Classic.

Like every other competitor in the field, Bobo tried to keep his fish healthy and alive, but one expired prior to reaching the scales. The resulting penalty was a 4-ounce deduction off his total weight. When all was said and done, he lost the title by 1 ounce to Dion Hibdon.


August 16, 2016

Livewell Oxygenators

The Biggest Fishing Company Nobody Knows

“The newest product Huntley [T-H Marine] himself has designed is the Oxygen Generator System, which literally separates oxygen from the air and pumps it directly into the livewell.

Nano bubbles are special, they are too small to escape the livewell water column, stick inside fish gills, eye corneas, scales, skin and fins… everywhere.


July 23, 2016
Multi Speed Oxygenated Live Bait Fishing Aerator

ONLY $19.99          ON SALE NOW – SAVE 20% TODAY

Wordy advertisement is common and confusing, catching many live bait fishermen.

What is the real difference between bait Oxygen Systems and bait Aeration Systems?

See: Guide to Fishing Aeration and Oxygen systems –

Did you know that some pure oxygen systems DO FAIL TO OXYGENATE SAFELY –


July 1, 2016

Anglers put GRDA on the hook for fish deaths: Questions arise after photo surfaces on social media 

Posted June 30, 2016 @ 6:54 PM by Kayla M. Huston-Miller

Terrell said he questioned Townsend, when GRDA officials probed the water in the release trailer, one side indicated that the oxygen level was 2.8 on one side of the tank, and 3.1 on another.

[How much dissolved oxygen do fish need during live transports?  ]

Townsend said while the release trailer’s oxygen levels were lower than the state recommended levels of 5 milligrams per liter, the trailer’s water had an adequate supply of oxygen. “That’s a recipe for disaster,” Terrell said.


June 2, 2016

Keeping Croaker Alive by ”ReefBuster”
“I made this last week. 75qt igloo and my pro air [Pro-O2 high pressure oxygen cylinder, 2200 psi 100% oxygen] off my boat. Its a great way to keep croaks alive. … “  See this U-Tube video.

CAUTION – This U-Tube video demonstrated a dangerous Homemade oxygen rig using a Pro-O2 Brand high-pressure oxygen cylinder attached to the thin plastic lid of an ice chest. This video shows gross disregard for high pressure oxygen cylinder safety, pure 100% oxygen gas safety and passenger safety disregarded.


July 1, 2016  

The Reel Deal: Check live wells before tournaments, by Cindy Joint

Nothing is more devastating then seeing a fish not survive a long day in the fisherman’s livewell. When fish die, they lose weight too!

Maintain healthy oxygen and water quality in the livewells… to avoid penalties!


June 2, 2016 

In catch-and-release angling competitions, freed bass still face risk

“It’s public relations,” said Mr. Wilde. “If every fish caught in every tournament in the United States was killed, it would not have an appreciable impact on fish populations.”

Texas Tech University biologist Gene Wilde, who has spent about 10 years studying fish deaths after tournaments, said they are believed to die from a combination of conditions.


December 18, 2015  

Fishing Oxygen Systems, understanding a life support system’s characteristic




*Fishing Oxygen Systems fail when they DO NOT and/or WILL NOT deliver the minimal safe dose of pure 100% oxygen continuously whether the livewell is stocked correctly or overstocked.



November 13, 2015 

Bass Tournament Fish Care – The Tournament Angler’s Responsibility

Surviving the Summer, by Hal Schramm, Ph.D.

Survival by definition – Once a bass is caught, it’s up to the angler to help the bass survive the dog days of summer. And by “survive,” I don’t mean “still wiggling at weigh-in.” Survival means alive and a part of the catchable bass population months after the release.


July 22, 2012    DNR suggest ways to keep bass alive in livewells… but

Wengenroth says, “…the rule’s a ‘shill game.”   Fearless Carl Wengenroth, National Conservation Director of the International Federation of Black Bass Anglers from Texas is not shy as he boldly comes forward blowing the whistle on common abusive Tournament Bass Care exposing the ubiquitous Bass Tournament “FUNCTIONAL LIVEWELL RULE” with his little Dissolved Oxygen Meter. Mr. Wengenroth’s DO meter doesn’t lie and State politicians are watching this.