Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Journal or Book Title
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Tournament anglers typically possess extensive knowledge of the habitat and seasonal movement of their targeted species. While fish‐angler behavioral relationships are critical to understand fish catchability, few studies have assessed how fish behavior influences their vulnerability to capture by tournament anglers. Our objectives were to determine if Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides behavior, angler behavior, and environmental conditions affect tournament angler catch rate (CPUE) and bass capture probability at fishing tournaments. Forty‐nine bass were tracked weekly using radio telemetry during a four‐month period. Five tournament anglers were also selected at weekly tournament events and tracked continuously using a handheld GPS unit. We quantified individual bass behaviors (home range, weekly movement rate, depth use, and spatial overlap with anglers), angler behaviors (depth use, angler movement rate), and environmental conditions (air and water temperature) and used these estimates as covariates in a multiple regression model to assess their effects on tournament CPUE and then used a multistate mark‐recapture model to estimate bass capture probability at tournaments. Our results indicate that bass movement rate, angler fishing depth, and air temperature were highly correlated to tournament angler CPUE. Mark‐recapture models also indicated air temperature and angler‐bass overlap were positively associated with bass capture probability while bass total length, home range, movement rate, and depth use were not successful in characterizing individual variation in capture probability. Our results indicate that bass that are encountered by anglers are more likely to be captured. Whereas, mismatches between angler and bass behavioral factors including depth use and movement rates may result in decreased tournament capture rates. Consideration and continued evaluation of the relationships between bass and angler behaviors and environmental variables is critical to fisheries management as tournament pressure paired with high capture probabilities and selective angling can have large‐scale population level impacts.
American Fisheries Society
Sylvia, Andrea; Maahs, Brandon; and Weber, Michael J., "Influence of Largemouth Bass Behaviors, Angler Behaviors, and Environmental Conditions on Fishing Tournament Capture Success" (2019). Natural Resource Ecology and Management Publications. 330.
Available for download on Thursday, November 19, 2020