Post-Release Behavioural Impairment and Predation Risk in Angled Fishes

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 8:20 AM
301A (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Jacob W. Brownscombe , Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Graham Raby , Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Andy J. Danylchuk , Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Steven J. Cooke , Environmental Science and Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Catch-and-release recreational angling is a popular management and conservation strategy that assumes released fish will survive and experience negligible fitness consequences. However, physiological stress and injury induced by angling can lead to behavioural impairments that inhibit the ability of fish to survive, grow, and reproduce. In systems with high predator burden, post-release impairment may lead to increased predation risk, which may be cryptic. While post-release predation is anecdotally known to occur in many fisheries, it has only been scientifically quantified in a handful of species in specific environments, while the influence of angling practices (e.g. gear types, air exposure), environmental and ecological factors are still relatively poorly understood. Drawing on available examples from the literature, behavioural mechanisms contributing to post-release predation will be discussed, along with the influence of environmental and ecological factors. Potential remediation strategies for this issue will also be examined, as well as current gaps in knowledge and important avenues for future research.