Tagging effects on three non-native fish species in England (Lepomis gibbosus, Pseudorasbora parva, Sander lucioperca) and of native Salmo trutta

Authors

  • S. Stakėnas,

    1. Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Team, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
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  • G. H. Copp,

    1. Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Team, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
    2. School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Dorset House, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, UK
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  • D. M. Scott

    1. Fish Physiology Group, Hatherly Laboratories, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
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Saulius Stakėnas, Department of Freshwater Ecology, Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University, Akademijos 2, LT-2600, Vilnius, Lithuania; e-mail: saulius.stakenas@gmail.com

Abstract

Abstract –  To address the dearth of information on tagging effects and long-term survivorship of tagged fish in native and introduced species, laboratory and field investigations were undertaken on three non-native fish species (pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus; topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva; pikeperch Sander lucioperca) tagged with coded-wire (CW), passive integrated transponder (PIT), radio (RT) telemetry and/or acoustic tags (AT), with survivorship of native brown trout (Salmo trutta) examined in the field. Laboratory results revealed high survivorship following tag attachment/insertion and resumption of feeding within 24–48 h of tagging (all mortalities could be attributed to an unrelated outbreak of fungal infection), with retention rates being high in both pumpkinseed and pikeperch but low in topmouth gudgeon (excluded from field studies). In the field, short-term post-operation survival was high in pikeperch, pumpkinseed and brown trout. In pumpkinseed and trout, 100% of RT fish survived a 24–30 day tracking study, with 60% and 80%, respectively, recaptured alive at least 3 months post-tagging. Of PIT tagged pumpkinseed, 44% were recaptured (after 6–18 months), with small-sized, CW-tagged fish (0.38 g weight) captured up to 1 year after tagging. In pikeperch, all AT fish except one (the smallest specimen) survived their full expected tracking period (i.e. tag life) – the single lost specimen survived at least half of its expected tracking period (i.e. 6 month battery life). Overall, the tagging methods used were highly effective in pumpkinseed and pikeperch, showing good retention and survival, but PIT tagging of topmouth gudgeon was plagued by low survivorship and tag rejection.

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