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The influence of selection for vulnerability to angling on foraging ecology in largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides

Authors

  • M. A. Nannini,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sam Parr Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, 6401 Meacham Rd, Kinmundy, IL 62854, U.S.A.
      Tel.: +1 618 245 6348; email: nannini@gmail.com
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  • D. H. Wahl,

    1. Sam Parr Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, 6401 Meacham Rd, Kinmundy, IL 62854, U.S.A.
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  • D. P. Philipp,

    1. Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, 1816 South Oak St, Champaign, IL 61820, U.S.A.
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  • S. J. Cooke

    1. Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology and Institute of Environmental Science, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6 Canada
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Tel.: +1 618 245 6348; email: nannini@gmail.com

Abstract

Several traits related to foraging behaviour were assessed in young-of-the-year produced from largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides that had been exposed to four generations of artificial selection for vulnerability to angling. As recreational angling may target foraging ability, this study tested the hypothesis that selection for vulnerability to angling would affect behaviours associated with foraging ecology and prey capture success. Fish selected for low vulnerability to angling captured more prey and attempted more captures than high vulnerability fish. The higher capture attempts, however, ultimately resulted in a lower capture success for low vulnerability fish. Low vulnerability fish also had higher prey rejection rates, marginally shorter reactive distance and were more efficient at converting prey consumed into growth than their high vulnerability counterparts. Selection due to recreational fishing has the potential to affect many aspects of the foraging ecology of the targeted population and highlights the importance of understanding evolutionary effects and how these need to be considered when managing populations.

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