WEBPAGE UPDATED Sunday March 8, 2020
By George Poveromo
Read the full article: https://georgepoveromo.com/content.php?pid=64
George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing
“…a growing number of serious live-baiters have been “supercharging” their baits by injecting pure, compressed oxygen into the live-well water. Doing so allows them to keep their baits alive longer, as well as “recharge” the tired ones to where they’ll swim like they’re on steroids.”
“Oxygen Edge is a commercial oxygen-injection system that was designed to help transport and stockpile large amounts of live bait and small game fish. Capable of delivering a continuous supply of oxygen, it helps maintain the health and energy levels of live bait in even the hottest, saltiest marine environments. By dialing in the precise amount of pure oxygen being introduced to the water, anglers can keep their baits frisky for several days.
The system has proven so effective for some live-bait tournament fishermen that they’ve been trying to keep it under wraps for fear of the competition finding out!” George Poveromo
We thank the author for permission to reprint. __________________________________________________________________________
SUMMER BASS TOURNAMENT MORTALITY IS A PROBLEM
ENTER BASS BOAT LIVEWELL OXYGEN INJECTION AND SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN
THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
State: Oklahoma Grant Number: F-50-R
Grant Title: Fish Research for Oklahoma Waters
Project Number: 8
Project Title: Evaluation of Procedures to Reduce Delayed Mortality of Black Bass Following Summer Tournaments. http://www.nesportsman.com/articles/catch_release_studies/oklahoma_largemouth.html
Period covered: March 1, 1996 – February 28, 1997
Prepared by: Gene Gilliland, Biologist III
Approved by: Dr. Harold Namminga, Federal Aid Coordinator
- Project Objectives:
To evaluate black bass handling and tournament weigh-in procedures recommended in the ODWC Weigh-in Kit program by estimating initial and delayed (6-day) mortality of fish released after summer tournaments using controlled methods.
“Commercially available oxygen delivery systems for boats and live-bait tanks (Dearman 1995) should be investigated to determine if they can supply necessary oxygen safely without supersaturation of live-well water and its associated physiological problems.”
Bassmaster Classic XXV 1995 – enter The Oxygen Edge™
The Oxygen Edge™ was the first commercial livewell oxygen injection system ever approved and used in a Bassmaster Classic C&R fishing tournament. Randy Dearman used The Oxygen Edge™ in the 25th Annual Bassmaster Classic XXV Tournament held on High Rock Lake, Greensboro, NC, August 3-5, 1995.
The conditions required by B.A.S.S. for Randy to use the Oxygen Edge™ in the 1995 Bassmaster Classic Tournament were very specific and super secret. The oxygen injection system, oxygen cylinder and components must be completely hidden from view and absolutely not every discussed or disclosed to anyone. Under no circumstance was any other contestant, the news media or anyone else ever to actually see or hear about the oxygen injection system used in Randy’s boat. The August temperature was hot, the water was hot and the tournament mortality was high as expected, yet, there was no livewell mortality on Randy’s boat. That summer, although Randy did not win, he had a real tournament Edge keeping his bass alive all day.
At that time tournament officials had no idea of the advantage of using pure compressed oxygen with a livewell oxygen injection system to keep bass alive all day compared to the standard bass boat livewell aerators and water pumps used in that era. Most fishermen and tournament officials thought air was oxygen and that oxygen was air, that the two gases were the same thing.
Randy Dearman and the new innovative Oxygen Edge™ oxygen injection system did not go unnoticed as Fishery Biologist Gene Gilliland notes in his research that began 7 months later, March 1, 1996.
OXYGEN AND FISH CARE, BAIT CARE & TOURNAMENT SURVIVAL
By Steve Quinn, Editor, In-Fisherman Magazine Without oxygen, life ends. Just ask the minnows panting in your bucket or those belly-up bass in the harbor after a tournament. Our own need for oxygen is painfully evident if we go without it for even a minute. Since fish extract oxygen from water, though, it’s hard for us to appreciate how much oxygen they need.
Gene Gilliland, a fishery biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, has conducted studies of bass tournament mortality for over a decade.
He’s worked with angler groups to determine causes of mortality and to teach methods to increase survival of released fish.
“I checked oxygen levels of tournament boats as they returned to the dock,” Gilliland says. “Many livewells had less than 4 parts per million dissolved oxygen.
Though most bass were alive, high stress levels caused excessive delayed mortality in the days after the competition. I then questioned anglers on their use of salt, livewell additives, ice, and the operation of their aeration systems.
“Most anglers mistakenly believed that running their aerators on the automatic timer was sufficient for as many bass as they could catch,” he says.
“They often told me that they didn’t know how much air bass needed. Obviously, livewell design, size, and efficiency varies. Human variables and weather conditions, particularly water temperature, affect water quality and fish mortality.
If the lake is over 75 degrees, it’s impossible to keep the dissolved oxygen level in your livewell much over 5 or 6 ppm, even with no fish in it.”
When you consider that levels below 5 ppm are stressful and that walleyes require nearly three times as much oxygen as bass, it becomes evident why fish are so hard to keep alive with standard equipment.
Part of the problem with aeration is that air is only 21 percent oxygen. Fish need oxygen, not the extra nitrogen and trace gases that make up our atmosphere.
The answer is injecting pure oxygen into livewells or bait tanks.
David Kinser of Anahuac, Texas, has developed oxygenation systems for tournament boats, boat baitwells, and dockside bait tanks. His systems supercharge water with oxygen, boosting dissolved oxygen over 20 ppm, even in water over 80 degrees.
These systems are popular with freshwater and saltwater anglers. Kingfish and striper tournament boats are increasingly equipped with oxygenation systems.
Not only don’t baitfish die, but they’re unusually more active on the hook and they draw more strikes.
Short-term oxygen supersaturation hasn’t been shown to harm fish, as some observers had feared. Instead, it seems to suppress the stress response that occurs in captive fish.
Gene Gilliland and other researchers have tested the system in bass tournament conditions in Oklahoma and have found it capable of reducing mortality in summer to below 10 percent; continuous aeration resulted in mortality over 20 percent; and the use of ice and salt resulted in 18 percent mortality.
Gilliland says, “Adding oxygen to the livewell is the best option for keeping bass healthy in summer.”
Oxygenation systems involve a cylinder of medical or welding-grade oxygen and flow regulators to maintain adequate oxygen levels. Tubing and finely porous airstones or micro-pore tubing provide flow into the livewell or bait tank.
The cost of an oxygen system ranges from about $350 for a boat unit to $600 or more for a larger bait tank unit. Once installed, cost of running pure oxygen is just a couple cents per hour, as the small onboard tank will provide supersaturated oxygen for several days and can be refilled from a larger tank at home, or at a welding shop, fire station, or hospital.
Kinser also has built systems that release pure oxygen into lakes during summer stratification, attracting large schools of baitfish and predators to the oxygen-saturated water.
Pure oxygen demands caution. While it doesn’t burn, oxygen does intensify fire. As a result, onboard tanks should be mounted securely and away from sources of fuel or vapors such as the bilge.
Gilliland mounted his tank in the small compartment under the driver’s seat, running the tube rearward into the livewell of his Champion boat.
For more information about Kinser’s oxygenation system, contact David Kinser, Oxygenation Systems of Texas, PO Box 383, Anahuac, TX 77514, 409/267-6458, www.oxyedge-chum.com.
We thank Steve Quinn for permission to reprint.
LIVE AND LET LIVE: Catch & Release
April 1, 1999 by Frank McKane, Jr.
You can avoid the weigh-in penalties by caring for your caught bass.
Hot weather will stress livewell-confined bass. As heat stress increases, the bass consume more oxygen as they attempt to control their body temperature.
They [tournament bass] must endure the heat and lack of oxygen – the two deadliest livewell conditions.
The low oxygen problem is a little difficult to solve. Livewells only hold 10 to 25 gallons of water. If you had a good day, a limit of bass can quickly deplete the oxygen within the livewell.
Another alternative for increasing oxygen livewell levels is the “Oxygen Edge” from Oxygen Systems.
According to Dave Kinser, owner and technical expert at the company, lack of oxygen is the primary cause of bass death in livewells. Chemically, the air we breathe has approximately 21 percent oxygen. In extremely well oxygenated water, the oxygen content is only 8 to 12 parts per million (PPM). Your bass will begin to suffocate when livewell oxygen levels fall below 6.5 PPM.
Standard livewell aeration systems use the 21 percent atmospheric air to replenish the livewell oxygen. Unfortunately, oxygen and water do not mix well, especially during hot weather.
Therefore, the “recycle” pumps are not very efficient at mixing oxygen into the water. Even with the best “recycle” pumps, livewell oxygen levels will drop below 6.5 PPM when the water temperature increases above 90 degrees!
The Oxygen Edge, which is similar to the oxygen bottles used in hospitals, dispenses pure oxygen gas from a storage bottle into the livewell water. With this system, oxygen levels in the livewell have been recorded above 20 PPM!
Now, even on the hottest days, the oxygen levels remain high enough to keep bass alive.
Oxygenation Systems of Texas, P.O. Box 383, Anahuac, Texas, 77514. (409) 267-6458.
ONLY A FISHERMAN CAN SUPERCHARGE LIVE BAIT
Live bait fish and shrimp supercharged with high doses of pure oxygen in livewells and bait tanks is unnatural. They are *stronger, *more energetic, *healthier and *last longer than any fresh caught bait.
Supercharged baits will attract aggressive strikes quicker than fresh caught bait. There is nothing in the world like Supercharged live bait.
After a few minutes on the hook, when the blood oxygen saturation drops to the normal environmental water DO saturation energy falls, slows down and bait behaves like normal normal aerated baits.
In a few minutes when bait slow down on the hook, reel them in, a 30 second dip still on the hook in an oxygenated live well charges them up again for round 2, 3, 4, 5. You get plenty of use with oxygenated baits.
Only a fisherman can make Supercharged live bait. Mother Nature , mechanical aeration and livewell pumps do not produce pure oxygen. She can not make a fresh live bait behave abnormally like a Supercharged bait on pure oxygen.
“Marlin, Kingfish, redfish, bonefish, bass, crappie, walleye, redfish, speckled trout and striper tournament boats are increasingly equipped with oxygenation systems.
Not only don’t baitfish die, but they’re unusually more active on the hook drawing more aggressive strikes plus they remain healthy for hours and days.
Live bait fish and shrimp supercharged with high doses of pure oxygen are unnatural, stronger, more energetic, healthier and last longer than any fresh caught bait. When live baitfish tire and slow down on the hook in hot summer water, reel them in, a 30 second dip still on the hook in an oxygenated live well charges them up again for round 2, 3, 4, 5.
Providing the right dose of supplemental oxygen with the Oxygen Edge ™ system is the “Fix” for livewell/bait tank mortality caused by overcrowding and hot summer livewell water that is aerated, low on dissolved oxygen.
Failure to insure minimal safe oxygenation in the summer with all mechanical aerators, livewell pumps, some fixes dose oxygen generators and fixed dose oxygen regulators can be deadly when the oxygen system fails to deliver enough oxygen in overcrowded summer livewells and bait tanks regardless of the shape of the livewell.
What makes a “Livewell Functional?” The fisherman’s ability to insuring excellent water quality all day continuously during live transports is what makes any livewell “Functional.” Specifically DO Saturation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livewell
Any overcrowded livewell or bait tank that does not or fails to maintain minimal safe DO Saturations continuously all day or several days with live bait fish or tournament game fish is “NOT A FUNCTIONAL LIVEWELL.”
IS YOUR LIVEWELL “FUNCTIONAL?”
THE FUNCTIONAL LIVEWELL TEST: Test the DO Saturation in livewell water with a DO meter. The test is valid only when livewells are full of live bait or contain a limits of tournament game fish. Testing DO’s in boat livewells, holding tanks, live haul tanks, bait tanks and in live release boats containing no live bait or fish is meaningless. The Functional Livewell Test is quick, takes only seconds and simple to preform.
The DO Saturation Gold Standard for live fish transport practiced by all Fish Hatcheries is – 100% DO Saturation or greater, maintained continuously during transport using supplemental pure 100% compressed welding oxygen or LOX.