Pic: Dirk Le Roux

As recreational angling continues to grow in popularity, expanding to many developing countries, it is important that data appropriate for specific fish and fisheries are available. The species specific data needed includes information on the: physiological effect of angling on the target species as well as all the different factors that influence the release mortality of that species, reproductive size (age) and reproductive period and population structure and dynamics of the targeted species. In the light of the above information, angling stress has been shown to affect fish differently under various conditions, such as time of year (water temperature, spawning period) and fish size and/or age. It is thus of importance to have knowledge of the fish’s biology to understand the threats that angling may pose to the individual and populations. To understand the biology of fishes, various parameters such as age, growth and sexual maturity (gonadal development) should be studied. In light that this information is extremely important for the development of proper C&R guidelines for freshwater sport fishing as well as the management of fish stocks, this project on a popular African freshwater angling species, Labeobarbus aeneus (smallmouth yellowfish) was undertaken.

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Physiological response of smallmouth yellowfish to angling