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Recreational fish-catch data can help save money in monitoring invasive largemouth bass

Date:
June 30, 2015
Source:
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Summary:
Largemouth bass are native to North America, but they have been distributed worldwide for recreational fishing. When they’re in waters outside North America, largemouth bass can cause declines in native fish abundance, disrupting the ecosystem. Officials could save $1 million a year in monitoring for invasive fish, experts say, by using tournament fish-catch data.
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University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers are using data from fishing tournaments to gauge how non-native largemouth bass in Africa are invading lakes and preying on smaller, native fish, a huge cost-saving measure in fisheries management.

Largemouth bass are native to North America, but they have been distributed worldwide for recreational fishing. When they’re in waters outside North America, largemouth bass can cause declines in native fish abundance, disrupting the ecosystem.

UF fisheries and aquatic sciences Professor Micheal Allen and his colleagues at UF/IFAS and in South Africa used existing fish-catch data from bass tournaments in southern Africa, where largemouth bass are non-native and invasive. Scientists examined data from 40 bass tournaments in lakes in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. They compared that information with 41 bass tournaments in the U.S., where bass are native species, between 2011 and 2014.

They found that angler catch data were similar between southern Africa and the U.S. Their data proves that the number and weight of the fish caught by recreational fishermen can be used to monitor the spread of exotic fish that are commonly caught by anglers.

Armed with their finding, researchers now know they can use angler catch data to monitor invasive fish distributions, and this could save over $1 million dollars a year in monitoring costs in countries where lakes are widely dispersed and difficult to access, said Allen.

John Hargrove, a doctoral student in UF’s wildlife ecology and conservation department, is the lead author on the study, published online June 5 in the journal PLOS ONE.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Original written by Brad Buck. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John S. Hargrove, Olaf L. F. Weyl, Micheal S. Allen, Neil R. Deacon. Using Tournament Angler Data to Rapidly Assess the Invasion Status of Alien Sport Fishes (Micropterus spp.) in Southern Africa. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (6): e0130056 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130056

Cite This Page:

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Recreational fish-catch data can help save money in monitoring invasive largemouth bass." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150630100817.htm>.
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (2015, June 30). Recreational fish-catch data can help save money in monitoring invasive largemouth bass. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150630100817.htm
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Recreational fish-catch data can help save money in monitoring invasive largemouth bass." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150630100817.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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