Do Angler Handling Practices Influence the Short-Term Post-Release Behaviour of Black Bass?

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LaRochelle, Luc




Black bass (Micropterus spp.) are a popular group of sportfish in North America, caught year-round, providing economic benefits to local communities. Anglers often release Black bass due to seasonal regulations, tournament regulations or because of personal conservation ethic, with the expectation that released fish will survive the angling interaction. Biologgers were used to analyse the short-term post-release behaviour of Black bass that were angled and released during different seasons of the year. Black bass exposed to sub-freezing windchill temperatures during ice fishing had reduced skin temperatures and increased locomotory activity. The type of weigh-in format influenced the water temperature and depth selected during the short-term post-release period, while also influencing locomotory activity of Black bass. Fish held in livewells demonstrated increased locomotory activity and selected shallower and warmer waters relative to controls. These findings will help to inform the development of best practices for catch and release.






Carleton University

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