Life-history traits and energetic status in relation to vulnerability to angling in an experimentally selected teleost fish

Tara D. Redpath, Steven J. Cooke, Robert Arlinghaus, David H. Wahl, David P. Philipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In recreational fisheries, a correlation has been established between fishing-induced selection pressures and the metabolic traits of individual fish. This study used a population of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) with lines of low vulnerability fish (LVF) and high vulnerability fish (HVF) that were previously established through artificial truncation selection experiments. The main objective was to evaluate if differential vulnerability to angling was correlated with growth, energetics and nutritional condition during the sub-adult stage. Absolute growth rate was found to be between 9 and percnt; and 17 and percnt; higher for LVF compared with HVF over a 6-month period in three experimental ponds. The gonadosomatic index in females was lower for LVF compared with HVF in one experimental pond. No significant differences in energy stores (measured using body constituent analysis) were observed between LVF and HVF. In addition, both groups were consuming the same prey items as evidenced by stomach content analysis. The inherent reasons behind differential vulnerability to angling are complex, and selection for these opposing phenotypes appears to select for differing growth rates, although the driving factors remain unclear. These traits are important from a life-history perspective, and alterations to their frequency as a result of fishing-induced selection could alter fish population structure. These findings further emphasize the need to incorporate evolutionary principles into fisheries management activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-323
Number of pages12
JournalEvolutionary Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009


  • Artificial selection
  • Energetics
  • Largemouth bass
  • Life history
  • Micropterus salmoides
  • Vulnerability to angling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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