The Science

Dr. Bruce Tufts Supports Applying Carbonated Solutions to Bleeding Fish
The debate that has been started over the subject of using soda pop or carbonated water to save fish that would normally die from loss of blood is indeed an interesting one. As anglers, we all want the same thing – more fish and better knowledge on how to treat fish.

Dr. Bruce Tufts is one of the most respected biologists in the country with a massive resume of great research work. His work with developing protocols and systems for Canada’s major bass tournaments has save a great many fish. HE HAS SPENT HIS LIFE STUDYING FISH RESPIRATION. Here is a conversation from the Scucog Lake Stewards Association Facebook page from this weekend:

Bruce – You are correct. It is the CO2 in carbonated beverages that constricts blood vessels in the gills and slows or stops the bleeding. The effect of CO2 on vasoconstriction is well established. I spent much of my career working on respiration in fish. Keeping fish in water as much as possible is also important to keep in mind. Oxygen levels in blood drop quickly when fish are removed from water.

Chris Hockley – thanks for this. So in your opinion is this a viable option for an angler of would you suggest against it?

Bruce – It is actually a good option for fish bleeding from the gills. Yes, I support it based on the principle behind it. I had already heard about anglers doing it and provided Gord Pyzer with the reason why it works when he asked me about it. There is science to support the CO2 effect and it just happens to come packaged in carbonated drinks, which is convenient for anglers.

Thanks for all you do Bruce Tufts.