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Shimano Water Fishing Weigh-In System

Fishing - Shimano

Fishing -Before future fishing tournaments begin, organizers will know who the winners will be. The fish. An extensive three-year research partnership between Shimano, Dr. Bruce Tufts and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has led to some groundbreaking developments at improving the condition and survival of tournament-caught fish.

The Shimano Water Weigh-In System is a new fish handling method for tournaments of all sizes that keeps fish in the water for the entire weigh-in - even while they are being weighed.

So that tournament organizers can use this weigh-in system at their events, Shimano has published and is now making available 'A Fish Friendly Guide' - a handbook based on the research effort.

Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S. explains, “The Shimano Water Weigh-In System has the potential to truly benefit fish populations every time it is used for handling and releasing tournament caught fish. “

Important scientific findings show the weigh-in process is the most critical time for fish caught in a live release tournament. The new Shimano Water Weigh-In System handbook is written for tournament organizers and natural resource agencies everywhere following the successful introduction during the 2003 season at the Canadian Fishing Tour - the premier professional bass fishing tournament series in Canada.

“The Shimano Water Weigh-In System can be used by live release tournaments of any size,” said Phil Morlock, Director, Environmental Affairs for Shimano. “The first-class research by Dr. Tufts and his staff has helped us develop a simple and proven system that can be used across North America. If that means more fish are released in healthier condition, then our time and resources will have been well invested,” Morlock said.

The biggest change for fish is that they remain in water longer than ever. From the time fish leave an anglers live-well until they are placed aboard the Shimano Live Release Boat, fish are in well-aerated water virtually the entire time. Newly constructed water-filled troughs serve as a temporary home to fish as anglers make their way to the stage for the big weigh-in.

The fish are even weighed in water, the accuracy of which is exactly the same as when fish are weighed in air. Time on the scale is considerably reduced because fish are more relaxed.

Research by Dr. Tufts' team at Queen's University indicates that the new weigh-in system has profound physiological benefits for the fish. Bass have 150% higher energy stores when weighed in water compared to the previous system of being weighed in air. Walleye enjoy a 65% improvement. This means that tournament-caught fish should be able to resume normal physical activities almost immediately after release.

The goal of the Shimano/Queen's University partnership is to improve fish handling methods during catch and release tournaments to ensure fish continue to be released in the best possible condition based on current science.

Dr. Tufts comments, “It takes time to conduct proper research, but after three years working with Shimano we are convinced that the fish will receive long term benefits from the applied science that is now possible.”

Shimano introduced the first Live Release boats at fishing tournaments more than 18 years ago. During this time, the Shimano Live Release program has been responsible for the safe return of hundreds of thousands of bass, walleye and other fish to their home waters across North America.

Talking about the Shimano Water Weigh-In System, Ray Scott said, “It works. And I urge tournament organizers everywhere to adopt it. Catch and release fishing is the future of our sport and it reflects the best of our conservation heritage. Shimano is a company that truly understands this.”

Editor's Note: Contact John Mazurkiewicz/Catalyst Marketing if you are interested in attending the Mark's Outdoor Sports Lay Lake Open to see first hand how the Shimano Water Weigh-In System works.
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