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Temporal Trends in Largemouth Bass Mortality, with Fishery Implications
 

Summary: Temporal Trends in Largemouth Bass Mortality,
with Fishery Implications
MICHEAL S. ALLEN*
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida,
Post Office Box 110600, Gainesville, Florida 32653-3071, USA
CARL J. WALTERS
Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia,
2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada
RANDALL MYERS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 134 Braniff Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78216, USA
Abstract.--We reviewed estimates of annual exploitation (u) and total mortality (Z) for populations of
largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and used a simulation model to explore how temporal changes in u
have influenced those populations. The review produced 32 estimates of u and 30 of Z spanning 51 years.
Fishing mortality was roughly parabolic through time, with a mean of 0.35 for 19761989 and a mean of 0.18
for 19902003. Thus, average fishing mortality rates have declined by about one-half since about 1990. Total
mortality declined with the decline in u, suggesting that changes in u caused lower overall total mortality
rates. The evidence further suggests that the decline in u was caused by the voluntary release of fish by anglers
rather than by changes in overall fishing effort. The simulation model showed that the decline in exploitation
increased adult largemouth bass abundance but reduced the ability of size and bag regulations to improve
population metrics owing to low rates of directed harvest. Discard mortality (i.e., the mortality of fish caught

  

Source: Allen, Micheal S. - Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology