PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIOURAL IMPACTS OF CATCH & RELEASE ANGLING ON NESTING BLACK BREAM (2015)

Client: Natural England

This project, commissioned by Natural England, was designed to investigate stress responses in black bream associated with recreational catch and release (C&R) angling as a predictor of post release survival and reproductive performance.

Using recreational anglers to capture the fish, BUG scientists joined a charter boat (specifically targeting bream on various spawning reefs) from Poole during Spring 2015. Upon capture, fish  underwent a range of reflex impairment tests prior to testing bloods for lactate and glucose levels. Data variables considered during data analysis included (but were not limited to):

  • Fight time
  • Water depth of hook up
  • Water temperature
  • Air exposure time (accounting for variable unhooking time and photographs, etc.)
  • Individual sex, length, weight and GSI

The outputs of this project will provide the necessary evidence to consider how individual fish respond to catch and release angling, the implications for population level impacts and appropriate fishery management options.

“BUG really were great to work with and went above and beyond to deliver the project’s objective by ensuring the outputs were published in a well-respected peer reviewed journal. I can highly recommend working with BUG’s expert staff” (Natural England)

Sample locations

Fish captured

%

Males

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