The influence of catch-and-release on mortality of Salminus brasiliensis (Cuvier, 1816).
Braz J Biol. 2019 Nov 25;:
Authors: Sanches RAK, Piana PA
Catch-and-release (CR) angling has been used to assist management programs seeking to promote the conservation and recovery of some recreational fish stocks by decreasing mortality from fishing. However, without appropriate fish handling, this activity may cause damage and injuries to individual fish, causing mortality. Therefore, CR should be allowed under some circumstances that ensure higher rates of survival to achieve the goals of the conservation measures. Thus, we experimentally tested the CR effects on dourado (Salminus brasiliensis) by comparing caught-and-released fish (CR fish) with uncaught fish (control fish) in a pond and estimating individual mortality rates related to seven air exposure times (AET: 120 s, 240 s, 360 s, 480 s, 600 s, 720 s and 840 s). We also determined a safe limit for fish handling and investigated the length and weight gain variations. We found that an increase in AET affects fish survival and that the limit of handling time for this species was 546 s; after this threshold, the individual probability of death exceeds 5%. The length and weight gain of CR fish did not differ significantly from the control fish. We believe that CR is efficient for S. brasiliensis because it does not significantly impair their organic growth and causes little or no mortality if handling is performed properly; thus, it could be employed to assist conservation programs.