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Explaining recreational angling catch rates of Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis: the role of natural and fishing-related environmental factors

Authors

  • L. Heermann,

    Corresponding author
    • Zoological Institute, Ecological Research Station Grietherbusch, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
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  • M. Emmrich,

    1. Department of Biology and Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
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  • M. Heynen,

    1. Zoological Institute, Ecological Research Station Grietherbusch, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
    2. Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden
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  • M. Dorow,

    1. Department of Biology and Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
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  • U. König,

    1. Zoological Institute, Ecological Research Station Grietherbusch, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
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  • J. Borcherding,

    1. Zoological Institute, Ecological Research Station Grietherbusch, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
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  • R. Arlinghaus

    1. Department of Biology and Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
    2. Department for Crop and Animal Sciences, Inland Fisheries Management Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
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Correspondence: Lisa Heermann, University of Cologne, Zoological Institute, General Ecology & Limnology, Ecological Research Station Grietherbusch, D-50674 Cologne, Germany (e-mail: lisa.heermann@uni-koeln.de)

Abstract

Angling catch records are frequently used to reveal fish population developments. It is therefore important to understand the determinants of angling catches. This study focused on angler-related, biotic and abiotic factors influencing catchability of Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis L. A multi-lake (21 lakes) study based on angling diaries collected in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany (2006/2007), found that angler-related factors such as fishing experience, species preference and bait/lure type had a large impact on perch catch rates. Additionally, environmental conditions (nutritional status and water transparency) affected either the size or the number of perch caught by anglers. Catch rates varied seasonally, which was confirmed by an experimental fishery on a gravel pit (2008). This portion of the study showed that altered food availabilities in the course of the year caused food limitation in perch, which in turn facilitated high catch rates and female-biased exploitation in autumn. It is concluded that both angler-related and abiotic factors interact affecting perch catch rates and size of perch captured in recreational angling.

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