Sport Fishing Best Practice

Fish need to be released in good condition to ensure survival.

Fish need to be released in good condition to ensure survival.

To grow an ecotourism industry around black bass that will support livelihoods into the future, it is essential that black bass populations are healthy. An important component in ensuring the sustainable use of black bass is promoting a catch and release recreational fishery. However, if fish are dying after they are released, then that defeats the purpose of the catch and release fishery. Therefore, information on the species physiology, in particular, its ability to recover after the stress of capture needs to be considered.

If the animals are fragile or vulnerable to certain fishing and handling practices, then the best catch, handling and release practices need to be worked out and adopted fishery-wide. To study survivorship in black bass a number of parameters will be recorded to determine the condition of the fish upon capture, e.g. blood chemistry to determine stress, hooking location, fishing gear used, damage or marks on the fish, fight time on the line, how the fish is handled after capture, water temperature and reflex impairment to judge the exhaustion of the fish. Acoustic tracking and mark recapture methods will be used to monitor the behaviour and survival of fish after release.

 

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