Big, hungry fish get the lure: Size and food availability determine capture over boldness and exploratory behaviors

Toniann D. Keiling, Michael J. Louison, Cory D. Suski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fish behavioral phenotypes have previously been shown to influence capture by recreational anglers, and artificial selection of specific phenotypes can occur. However, little is known about how environmental conditions influence which phenotypes are most vulnerable. This study sought to define the interaction between behavioral phenotype and prey availability to influence angling vulnerability using largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède). Behavioral assays to define boldness and exploratory phenotype were performed, and fish were transferred to one of two ponds for angling; fathead minnows, Pimphales promelas (Rafinesque) were stocked as prey into one pond while the other pond had no minnows. Behavioral phenotype did not influence capture, regardless of prey availability, and catch rates were higher in the pond that had no minnows relative to the pond with minnows. Size was the strongest predictor of capture, with larger fish most likely to be captured, despite a narrow range of total lengths across all individuals. Findings suggest that angling of largemouth bass is not influenced by exploration and boldness behavioral phenotypes, no matter the prey density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105554
JournalFisheries Research
Volume227
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Artificial selection
  • Capture rate
  • Environmental context
  • Growth rate
  • Size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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