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Catch-and-release has been promoted as a strategy to relieve pressure on fish populations, yet target species respond to the practice in different ways, and the same fish may respond differently to multiple captures. These nuances are critical in recreational fisheries targeting endangered species, particularly in areas where individuals are likely to experience multiple captures. Recent research efforts examining the responses of the endangered T. khudree to catch-and-release have shown that the species is physiologically and behaviourally robust to the practice; however, in small, popular fishing areas such as WASI Lakes, T. khudree are likely to undergo multiple captures. Our proposed study intends to identify which angling behaviours result in decreased survivorship of released fish. We will angle T. khudree at WASI Lakes, simulate a series of recaptures using different angling techniques including extended angling and air exposure times, and evaluate impairment of individual fish after each simulation and again prior to release. The results of this study will provide fisheries managers with essential information for managing the mahseer recreational fishery sustainably, and provide anglers with concrete information regarding the best practices for mahseer catch-and-release fishing.
Globalink Research Award
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