• Open Access

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Life-history traits and energetic status in relation to vulnerability to angling in an experimentally selected teleost fish

Authors

  • Tara D. Redpath,

    1.  Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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  • Steven J. Cooke,

    1.  Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
    2.  Division of Ecology and Conservation Sciences, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL, USA
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  • Robert Arlinghaus,

    1.  Department of Biology and Ecology of Fishes, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
    2.  Inland Fisheries Management Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Humboldt-University at Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • David H. Wahl,

    1.  Division of Ecology and Conservation Sciences, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL, USA
    2.  Kaskaskia Biological Station, Division of Ecology and Conservation Sciences, Illinois Natural History Survey, Sullivan, IL, USA
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  • David P. Philipp

    1.  Division of Ecology and Conservation Sciences, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL, USA
    2.  Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
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Tara D. Redpath, Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada. Tel.: 613 695 2539; fax: 613 520 3539; e-mail: tararedpath@hotmail.com

Abstract

In recreational fisheries, a correlation has been established between fishing-induced selection pressures and the metabolic traits of individual fish. This study used a population of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) with lines of low vulnerability fish (LVF) and high vulnerability fish (HVF) that were previously established through artificial truncation selection experiments. The main objective was to evaluate if differential vulnerability to angling was correlated with growth, energetics and nutritional condition during the sub-adult stage. Absolute growth rate was found to be between 9% and 17% higher for LVF compared with HVF over a 6-month period in three experimental ponds. The gonadosomatic index in females was lower for LVF compared with HVF in one experimental pond. No significant differences in energy stores (measured using body constituent analysis) were observed between LVF and HVF. In addition, both groups were consuming the same prey items as evidenced by stomach content analysis. The inherent reasons behind differential vulnerability to angling are complex, and selection for these opposing phenotypes appears to select for differing growth rates, although the driving factors remain unclear. These traits are important from a life-history perspective, and alterations to their frequency as a result of fishing-induced selection could alter fish population structure. These findings further emphasize the need to incorporate evolutionary principles into fisheries management activities.

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