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Impacts of Collecting on Fish Populations


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#1 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 26 October 2016 - 07:46 PM

I'm sure some of you have been concerned, or someone has asked you before about collecting fishes and how you can do that when we are supposed to be about the appreciation, study and conservation of the continent's native fishes.  Some of you may have had different thoughts about the subject. But here is a scientific evaluation:

 

http://trace.tenness...s/vol1/iss56/1/

 

If you don't want to read the whole thing the short conclusion is that data suggest that even intensive, regular sampling and removal of modest numbers of individuals from the same reach of a small stream (< 10 m wide) had no measurable long-term impact on stream fish populations.  While this does not mean we should take an 'anything goes' attitude, it certainly offers scientific support that we are not likely hurting most populations with the kind of activities we engage in for educational and even personal collecting purposes. 


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#2 Dustin

Dustin
  • Forum Staff

Posted 27 October 2016 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for posting this Michael.  I hope this gets read by as many people as possible.


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#3 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 28 October 2016 - 11:38 AM

I think it depends on the biology of the species in question.  For many broadcast-spawning fishes, the conclusion above may be valid.  But I think there are some, especially nest-guarding species with relatively few, large eggs, and limited by availability of good spawning sites, where a relatively small number of breeders probably sustains the local population.  Carolina madtom is one that comes to mind.  I'm guessing that population collapse from over-collecting could happen at a much lower threshold with species like these, as compared with most minnows and darters.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#4 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 28 October 2016 - 01:34 PM

One of the points that was made in the paper that it is not necessarily the next generation that shows up when you remove fish from a stretch of stream. It is likely that up and down stream recruitment is just as significant.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#5 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 28 October 2016 - 03:46 PM

Also, the few fish most people remove is just a daily meal for the resident smallmouth, kingfisher or heron.


The member formerly known as Skipjack





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