Examining the effects of authentic C&R on the reproductive potential of Northern pike

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Flink , H , Nordahl , O , Hall , M , Rarysson , A , Bergstrom , K , Larsson , P , Petersson , E , Merila , J & Tibblin , P 2021 , ' Examining the effects of authentic C &R on the reproductive potential of Northern pike ' , Fisheries Research , vol. 243 , 106068 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2021.106068

Title: Examining the effects of authentic C&R on the reproductive potential of Northern pike
Author: Flink, Henrik; Nordahl, Oscar; Hall, Marcus; Rarysson, Anton; Bergstrom, Kristofer; Larsson, Per; Petersson, Erik; Merila, Juha; Tibblin, Petter
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
Date: 2021-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Fisheries Research
ISSN: 0165-7836
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334186
Abstract: The practice within recreational fisheries to release captured fish back to the wild, known as catch-and-release (C&R), is an increasingly important strategy to protect fish stocks from overexploitation. However, C&R is a stressor and since animal reproduction is particularly sensitive to stress there is reason to suspect that such a practice induces sublethal fitness consequences. Here, we investigated whether and how C&R fishing influenced the reproductive potential in an anadromous population of Northern pike (Esox lucius). First, female pike were exposed to authentic C&R using rod-and-reel fishing in a coastal foraging habitat prior to the spawning period. Next, we observed the migration to the freshwater spawning habitat and compared both the timing of arrival and maturity stage between C&R-treated and control individuals. Finally, to evaluate effects on the quality and viability of eggs we stripped captured control and recaptured C&R-treated females, measured egg dry mass to assess nutrient content, conducted artificial fertilisations and incubated eggs in a controlled laboratory experiment. We found no evidence of C&R causing alterations in either arrival time, maturity stage, or the quality and viability of fertilised eggs. In combination, our results suggest that long-term effects of C&R-induced stress on key reproductive traits of pike, if any, are minor.
Subject: Angling
Migration
Recreational fishing
Reproduction
Stress
WILD ATLANTIC SALMON
RELEASE ANGLING ALTER
ESOX-LUCIUS
POSTRELEASE MORTALITY
CATCH
BEHAVIOR
QUALITY
FISH
CONSEQUENCES
SURVIVAL
1172 Environmental sciences
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