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Research cautions to catch-and-release in less than 4 minutes
Date:9/27/2007

ion. The study also showed that the longer duration of the catch-and-release, the longer the time the fish needed to recover and the greater likelihood of the fish being caught by predators.

The fish in the study were caught in nets, put into dark tanks and allowed to rest. Later they were chased to simulate angling. Blood samples were taken at various time intervals after the angling simulation in order to monitor the levels of calcium, lactate and glucose during recovery.

"We found that it took two to four hours for the fish to recover to normal levels. We also observed that early during the recovery time the fish were acting kind of woozy -- that behavior would mean they would be less likely to out-swim a predator," said Suski. "Our study indicated that the four-hour recovery for bonefish is sufficient for at least some physiological variables to return to baseline values."

Suski likened the fishes' physiological changes when being caught to the lactate that builds up in a runner's muscles after running a 100 yard sprint. The runner's heart rate and breathing may return to normal fairly quickly, but the lactate build-up can take a much longer time to return to normal.

The study identified several strategies for fisheries management in catch-and-release settings:

1) Minimize the length of time spent angling the fish

2) Minimize the length of time the fish is exposed to air after being caught

3) The longer that the fish is presented with challenges, the longer it will take to recover after being released

4) The temperature of the water can also affect recovery time -- warmer water may increase recovery time.


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Contact: Debra Levey Larson
dlarson@uiuc.edu
217-244-2880
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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