Physiological response of Smallmouth Yellowfish to angling: Impact of angling duration, Fish size, Fish age, Sexual maturity, and temperature.

Authors:  Smit NJ; Gerber R; O’Brien G; Greenfield R; Howatson G

Organizations: University of Johannesburg

Pic: Dirk Le Roux

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Freshwater angling activities have become an important recreational activity for people around the globe, bolstering both regional and national economies. A portion of the captured fish is sometimes kept by anglers, but many of them immediately release all of the fish that they catch back into their natural environment. This practice of “catch-and-release” (C&R) fishing is growing as a proportion of total fishing in southern Africa and is widely promoted by international and local angling fraternities, such as the Yellowfish Working Group. This practice is considered to be a very popular conservation strategy as well as a fisheries sustainable management tool, due to the assumption that no serious harm comes to pass on the fish that are being caught. There are only five species of fish for which there is an acceptable understanding of the effects that C&R angling poses to them. These species include largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, walleye Sander vitreus, rainbow trout, Onchorhynchus mykiss, striped bass Morone saxatilis and Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. As such no information pertaining to the effects of C&R on local species exists. Two main factors that play a role in the effect of C&R on game fish include the age (size) of the fish angled as well as the reproductive state of the fish.

Authors:  Smit NJ; Gerber R; O’Brien G; Greenfield R; Howatson G

Organizations: University of Johannesburg

Full Research Report

http://www.wrc.org.za/Pages/Preview.aspx?ItemID=9573&FromURL=/Pages/DisplayItem.aspx?ItemID=9573&FromURL=%2fPages%2fDefault.aspx%3f