The popularity of tournament angling for largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides remains high, leading to concerns about the effects on populations. Catch-and-release angling and its effects on nest abandonment have been well documented, but few studies have examined the effects of competitive angling on nest abandonment. Nest-guarding male largemouth bass were subjected to one of three treatments: no angling (controls), catch-and-release angling, and simulated tournament angling. Abandonment rates were assessed at 24 h following angling. Both angling treatments experienced higher abandonment rates than the control group (3%) with tournament-angled males abandoning their nests at a higher rate (90%) than catch-and-release males (33%). Additional research will be required to determine the population-level consequences of these angling practices. Until then, a conservative recommendation would be for organizers to consider alternative tournament formats during the reproductive season for largemouth bass.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law