Evaluation of acoustic transmitter implantation and determination of post-translocation behaviour of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides in a South African impoundment

  • CF Huchzermeyer
  • OLF Weyl
  • PD Cowley

Abstract

Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides are an important angling species that are often displaced during catchand-release fishing tournaments. The impact of acoustic transmitter implantation on this species and the effect of displacement distance on their behaviour were tested. In April 2010, 10 fish with surgically implanted dummy acoustic transmitters and 10 control individuals were kept for 20 weeks under laboratory conditions. Wound healing, hepatosomatic index, gonadosomatic index and viscerosomatic index did not differ between treatment and control groups. However, fish with implanted dummy transmitters lost weight more rapidly than control fish. In 2010, an array of passive data-logging receivers was used at Wriggleswade Dam, Eastern Cape, to record movements of 10 acoustically tagged bass that had been displaced for distances ranging from 0.1 to 4.3 km. Fish displaced by up to 3.5 km remained within 3–4 km of their release site, but fish displaced 4.3 km immediately returned to their capture locations. Seven weeks after the initiation of the experiment, with the onset of winter, fish that had been holding in the vicinity of their release site near the Kubusi River inlet moved into the deeper basin of the impoundment. The results suggest that largemouth bass displaced for up to 4.3 km during fishing tournaments return to their capture localities.

Keywords: acoustic telemetry, angling, displacement, health, movement behaviour, specific growth rate

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2013, 38(2): 229–236

Author Biographies

CF Huchzermeyer
Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (DIFS), Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
OLF Weyl
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa; Centre for Invasion Biology, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
PD Cowley
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Published
2013-06-03
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914