April 15, 2009
Discussion Topic: On The Uncatchable Bass
By Dave Hurteau
Ever run into a bass you just couldn’t catch? Well, a new study may have the reason why. From EurekAlert:
In an experiment spanning over 20 years, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that vulnerability to being caught by anglers is a heritable trait in largemouth bass.
The study began in 1975 with the resident population of bass in Ridge Lake . . . .
"We kept track over four years of all of the angling that went on, and we have a total record. . .," said David Philipp, ecology and conservation researcher at U of I. "Many fish were caught more than once. One fish was caught three times in the first two days, and another was caught 16 times in one year. . . . Interestingly, about 200 of those fish had never been caught, even though they had been in the lake the entire four years," Philipp said.
Males and females from the group that had never been caught were designated Low Vulnerability (LV) parents. . . [and] were allowed to spawn with each other. . . . Similarly, males and females that had been caught four or more times in the study were designated High Vulnerability (HV) parents that were spawned in different ponds to produce a line of HV offspring. . . .
"Controlled fishing experiments clearly showed that the HV offspring were more vulnerable to angling than the LV offspring," said Philipp.
Check out the full article and tell us your reaction.