Letters to the Editor: Aug. 4, 2021
Letters to the Editor published in the Aug. 4, 2021 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.
To the City of Tomahawk,
My question and concern is in regards to the numerous fishing tournaments that the city of Tomahawk allows and permits on our local lakes…particularly the bass tournaments. I’d like to know if the people who give the final approval on whether these fishing tournaments come to our town are aware of the detrimental affects these tournaments have on our fisheries.
I have attended the official weigh-ins of several bass tournaments over the years and have noticed numerous dead fish being the result. A fish that is caught at 6 a.m. must be kept in a small livewell for more than seven to eight hours with limited oxygen to survive. When the tournament time is over, the fish are collected in a bag and brought to the scales to be officially weighed and remain in such bags (without much water) until the process is completed. Finally, they are dumped back into the lake where I’ve noticed several bass floating dead. When water temperatures are high, the result is an increase in fish mortality.
I’m aware that these fishermen do everything possible to minimize these fish kills but…is it enough?
And, is it worth it to sponsor such tournaments? We, as taxpaying locals who enjoy fishing our waters are the ones who suffer. Personally, I am strictly a catch and release fisherman letting my fish go back into the water immediately after catching which dramatically increases their survival rate.
Another possible detriment would be the infestation of any invasive weeds being transferred into our lakes carried on their boats, trailers and livewells coming from other bodies of waters they fish.
If these one day tournaments brought revenue into our local businesses such as hotels and restaurants, I can understand why you might permit these bass tournaments. However, these fishermen arrive early in the morning, fish all day then depart and return to their out of town Wisconsin homes.
Again, the purpose of this message is to find out if the people who make the final decision on approving these fishing tournaments in our town are aware of how they are run and the damage they are doing to our fragile local fisheries.