• boilie;
  • coarse fishing;
  • cultural eutrophication;
  • groundbaiting;
  • phosphorus retention;
  • recreational fisheries

Abstract  To evaluate the suitability of angling groundbaits as a fish feed and the potential for nutrient loss, the macronutrient digestibility of four groundbaits was investigated in carp, Cyprinus carpio L., using a sieving method of faeces collection and chromic oxide. Apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) of protein and lipids were >80% for all angling baits. ADCs of nitrogen-free extracts and phosphorus (P) differed significantly between the test diets, probably because of divergent feed compositions and ingredient treatments. The generally high digestibility estimates indicated that fish feeding on angling groundbait will benefit from this food source. The differences in nutrient digestibility suggested that type of groundbait and ingredient used will have a major effect on potential eutrophication and fish production caused by groundbaiting. The principle of groundbaits to protect the environment should be to minimise the P-content of the groundaits and maximising P-digestibility and P-retention efficiency.