• Evaluating the hooking injury and immediate physiological response of wild rainbow trout to capture by catch-and-release angling

      Meka, Julie M. (2003-08)
      Rainbow trout from the Alagnak River watershed, Alaska, were captured by angling to determine the types of terminal gear contributing to hooking injury and the physiological response to angling based on concerns over high incidences of hooking injuries and the physiological impact of multiple recaptures on individual fish. Landing and hook removal times were recorded for a portion of fish captured, and plasma cortisol, glucose, ions (sodium, chloride, potassium), and lactate were evaluated in fish following capture to document physiological changes in relation to capture duration. The majority of new injuries resulted when fish were captured using barbed J hooks, and barbed J hooks took longer to remove than barbless hooks. Fish were hooked internally more frequently when captured with J hooks compared to circle hooks, but similar overall hooking injury rates were observed for both hook types. Novice anglers injured proportionally more fish than experienced anglers, and experienced anglers took longer to land fish than novice anglers. Plasma cortisol and lactate increased significantly with increasing landing and handling times. Fish captured at cooler water temperatures had significantly lower cortisol and lactate concentrations than fish caught at warmer temperatures indicating that water temperature influenced the magnitude of the physiological response.