Effect of catch-and-release angling on growth of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides
Catch-and-release angling is popular in many parts of the world and plays an increasingly important role in management of recreational fisheries. Although the magnitude of catch-and-release mortality is well documented for many species, potential sublethal effects have been little studied. An experiment was conducted to assess directly the effects of catch-and-release angling on growth of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides Lacépède. Angling mortality was 0.00 ± 0.092% for largemouth bass caught on plastic grubs. There was no difference (P = 0.57) in weight gain between caught and uncaught fish over a 40-day angling and recovery period. Although catch-and-release angling appears to have no effect on largemouth bass growth, previous studies documented sublethal effects on growth and reproduction in other species, suggesting that the occurrence and magnitude of sublethal effects vary among species.