Metabolic phenotype is not associated with vulnerability to angling in bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus)

Michael J. Louison, J. A. Stein, C. D. Suski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior work has described a link between an individual’s metabolic rate and a willingness to take risks. One context in which high metabolic rates and risk-prone behaviors may prove to be maladaptive is in fish that strike fishing lures only to be captured by anglers. It has been shown that metabolic phenotype may be altered by angling; however, little work has assessed metabolic rate in fish and its relationship to angling vulnerability in a realistic angling trial. To address this, we subjected a set of bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque, 1819) to a series of angling sessions. Following this, a subset of 23 fish that had been captured at least once and 25 fish that had not been captured were assessed for metabolic phenotype (standard and maximum metabolic rates, postexercise oxygen consumption, and recovery time) via intermittent flow respirometry. Contrary to predictions, captured and uncaptured fish did not differ in any measurement of metabolic rate. These results suggest that metabolic phenotype is not a determinant of angling vulnerability within the studied context. It is possible, therefore, that previously described alterations in metabolic phenotype owing to angling pressure may be context-specific and may not apply to all species and angling contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1264-1271
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian journal of zoology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2018


  • Aerobic scope
  • Angling vulnerability
  • Bluegill sunfish
  • EPOC
  • Fisheries-induced evolution
  • Lepomis macrochirus
  • Respirometry
  • Standard metabolic rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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