View Full Version : To Fizz or Not to Fizz

01-28-2007, 02:43 PM
If youve ever caught a walleye in water more than 30 feet deep and attemped to release it, you know the problem instead of swimming back to the bottom, the fish struggles upside down on the surface, unable to upright itself.
What happened is that the swim bladder has expanded because of the change in water preasure between the bottom and the sureface . In some cases the swim bladder expands so much that it forces the fish's stomach out its mouth.
in an attemp to save theses fish tournament anglers and other fishermen have experimented with a technique called fizzing. By inserting a hypodermic needle through the side or the belly and into the swim bladder the excess gas is released (making a fizzing sound) and the fish can hopefully right itself and swim away.
But resaerch recently conducted in Alberta found that fizzing did not increase walleye survival and in some cases survival of fizzed walleyes was lower than that of unfizzed fish. Here is a summery of the study results:
1. Biologists found 100% survival among fizzed walleye and unfizzed wallye caught at depths less than 20 feet
2. the survival rate was 88 to 94% for both fizzed and unfizzed walleye taken from depths of 20 to 25 feet
3.the survival rate for unfizzed walleyes taken from depths of 25 to 33 feet was 80 to 90% the survival rate of fizzed walleyes from those depths was 42 to 66%
Instaed of increaseing the survival of walleyes taken in deep water fizzing signifacently decreased it.
Subsequent tests showed deep-caught walleys had other physiological problems in addition to over inflated bladdrs. The electrolyte and prtien ballence of their blood was off kilyer, and they showed signs of muscle injury and insuffieciant oxygen levels in the blood.
Fish that had been fizzed exhibited additional sighns of stress as reflected by a reduction in certian types of blood cells.
So if you plan on releaseind deep-caught walleyes get them back in the water as fast as you can and dont atemp to fizz them.

information i this post is compliments of The north american fishermans walleye secrets book

walleyebuster/walleyebuster jr

Old School Dave
02-26-2007, 08:31 AM
I have fished the deep waters of the central basin of Erie for 40+ years now and have never seen or heard of anyone fizzing a walleye to release. This method I know has been around for a long time and was mainly used for lake trout which the population in our area is scant.
I & most anglers I know have released hundreds of walleye from deep water and have yet to see any evidence of die off from released fish. Most of the floaters I have come accross had lures,spoons and sometimes dipsies, weights still attached to the lure . These fish were brought up from the depths and the lines either broke or failed at the knot.
Tournements over here are 100% catch and kill whereas the anglers participating must keep the catch . In the case of PWT tournies held on Ohio waters the fish are given to food banks. Never heard of live fish only tournements till I joined this site. another thing I have noticed that is somewhat different is most of the local tournies is it is won or lost by total inches not weight.
Dont have to worry on our inland lakes since most are shallow with depths rarely exceeding 30'.

On Erie
03-06-2007, 06:30 PM
chances of a Walleye surviving a fisherman is pretty rare on Erie..........let alone fizzing. :wink:

Grizzly Gary
03-07-2007, 12:31 PM
Welcome On Erie! Glad to have you aboard. You are surely correct in that Erie eyes won't generally be helped by this method. There has been great debate here regarding this topic & whether it is helpful or harmful to the fish.

I find that having a good well aerated live well does a real good job of keeping the fish healthy on waters like Kinzua & Chautauqua. In these last ten years of tournament fishing I don't remember ever bringing an unreleasble eye to the scales. Hence no need for fizzing.

Grizzly Gary

04-30-2007, 02:55 PM
Sounds like a lot of good info here.

Does anyone know if there is a treatment that you can add to the live-well to help the air bladder go down and at the same time, reduce the acids that everone has mentioned. Sure would like to help the fish out since there were so nice to me and bit on my hook.