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Effects of catch and release angling on Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., of the Conne River, Newfoundland

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The effects of catch and release angling on survival of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., at Conne River, Newfoundland, were investigated by retaining angled (n=49; experimental group) and trap-caught (n=20; control group) fish in holding cages for up to 40 days. Samples were obtained from 8 June to 4 July, 2000, and partitioned among four water temperature strata. Apart from not being angled, control fish were handled, tagged, and transferred to holding cages in a manner similar to angled salmon. Water temperatures and discharge were monitored throughout the duration of the study. Overall, 8.2% of salmon caught and released died, but 12% died among salmon angled in water temperatures ≥ 17.9 °C. No control fish died. There were no significant differences in time associated with angling, exposure to air, tagging, transfer to holding cages, nor total handling time between salmon that survived vs. those that died. Results of the study should encourage managers to continue to use catch and release as a viable tool in the management of Atlantic salmon stocks.
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Keywords: Atlantic salmon; Newfoundland; Salmo salar; angling; catch and release; survival

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Science, Oceans and Environment Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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