Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Lab

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Do Bass Make It Back Home?

A question that I am often asked about is whether bass make it home after they have been caught in a tournament and transported to the weigh-in site. This is especially interesting on the Great Lakes because bass are often moved such long distances. Our ongoing bass tagging project on Lake Ontario is providing some interesting information on this issue. To date, we have had reports of several smallmouth that were tagged at the Kingston Canadian Open being re-captured at locations such as the Main Ducks, False Ducks, Henderson Harbour, Mallorytown and Chippewa Bay. Although it can't be proven conclusively at this point, I believe that some of these fish are travelling up to 50 or 60 miles back to their home ranges after being released at the weigh-in site. What might be the most impressive about this is the fact that they made the initial trip in a livewell!

Smallmouth Bass released from tournaments in Kingston have travelled to the Main Duck Islands, a 20+ mile journey!

Smallmouth Bass released in Kingston have travelled to Mallorytown, a 35 mile journey!