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Effects of angling and manual handling on pike behaviour investigated by high-resolution positional telemetry

Authors

  • H. Baktoft,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
    • Correspondence: Henrik Baktoft, Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark (e-mail: hba@aqua.dtu.dk)

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  • K. Aarestrup,

    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
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  • S. Berg,

    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
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  • M. Boel,

    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
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  • L. Jacobsen,

    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
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  • A. Koed,

    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
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  • M. W. Pedersen,

    1. Department for Informatics and Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
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  • J. C. Svendsen,

    1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Central & Arctic Region, Freshwater Institute, Environmental Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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  • C. Skov

    1. Section for Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Silkeborg, Denmark
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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.

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