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Keywords:

  • acoustic telemetry;
  • angling;
  • catch-and-release;
  • Esox lucius ;
  • temperature

Abstract

Human disturbances such as angling and manual handling may have long-term effects on the behaviour of pike, Esox lucius L., an ecologically important species. Using continuous high-resolution positional telemetry, this study compared the swimming activity of handled and unhandled pike in a small lake. Pike pre-equipped with acoustic transmitters were angled and exposed to a handling protocol including measurements of length and mass. Pike not recaptured constituted an unhandled control group. Results demonstrated that the handling protocol caused temperature-dependent changes in pike activity, with higher temperatures leading to lower activity of the recaptured pike. The effects, however, were transitory and not detectable after 48-h post-release. These findings indicate that pike are relatively resilient to handling and quickly resume pre-handling activity.