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Finsights- Translating the Science of Fisheries Reports

Introduction to Finsights- Sasha Clark Danlychuk

I have been seeking water for as long as I can remember. As a child, it was the beach or a mountain stream in which to play. Eventually, I began to search for the creatures living in the water and it was no great surprise that this led me to become a fisheries scientist. I still love to play in the water, and more often than not, that involves fly fishing.

The author Sascha Clark Danylchuk cradling perfection in the form of a bonefish.

The author Sascha Clark Danylchuk cradling perfection in the form of a bonefish.

More and more, however, I find the intersection between my work as a fisheries scientist and my passion as a recreational angler to be messy and convoluted. I admire that innate conservation ethic exhibited by many anglers, but find the lack of scientific backing to their practices frustrating. Likewise, I appreciate my colleagues’ quests to solve issues and find sustainable solutions, but I am aggravated that their ideas rarely make it past esoteric scientific publications.

In my quest to clarify fisheries science to recreational anglers, and to encourage scientists to make their work accessible to a wider audience I have teamed up with Keepemwet Fishing for a blog series I am calling Finsights in which I will “translate” some of the most important scientific studies on recreational angling so that they can be understood by more people.

But, let’s begin with the scientific publications process and why scientists write in such a complex, dense, and let’s face it, dull style. Scientific publications were developed as a means for scientists to make their work known and judged objectively. The process of publication requires a scientist (or, more often than not, the group of scientists) involved in a study to write a manuscript, which follows a very specific format, and to submit the manuscript to a journal of their choosing. There are hundreds of journals, and they vary in subject matter as well as quality. Once a manuscript is submitted it is read by an editor or associate editor who then must find 2-3 anonymous peers to also review the manuscript and decide if it is worthy of publication. Publications are reviewed based on the quality and merit of the study as well as quality of writing. If the manuscript is accepted (usually after some revisions are made) it is published. If it is rejected, the authors can submit it to another journal and try again. Throughout this entire writing process the goal is precision; the writing has to be absolutely accurate and the wording extremely precise, making the journal articles both dense and generally dull (no flowery adjectives or subjectivity allowed!).  There is also a limit to how much the authors can extrapolate their results.

Almost too scenic to fish. Sascha stream side in Patagonia.

Almost too scenic to fish. Sascha stream side in Patagonia.

The advantages of this process is that there is an ongoing body of literature which has been judged as sound and provides the basis of further study for any given scientific subject. The number and quality of peer-reviewed publications has also become the standard by which scientists are evaluated.

The disadvantages are that the whole process (from submission to publication) can take months to years, meaning that by the time one study is published the scientist is often working on the next study. Also, you cannot publish a study in more than one journal, and authors of manuscripts are not paid for their publications, if anything they pay the journal to publish their work.

The realities of the peer-review process can also hinder publication. Not only is it often difficult for editors to find reviewers for a manuscript (reviewers volunteer their time and it can take many hours to properly review a single manuscript), but I have also heard many stories of manuscripts that were rejected because an editor failed to find a peer-reviewer who was a true peer and adequately understood the subject matter of the manuscript.  The manuscript can also be rejected based on the challenge to adequately communicate the science, or that the science simply wasn’t ‘up to snuff’.

Next time I’ll go through the major sections of a scientific paper and provide some hints for discerning the important bits and finding the ‘highlights’ that are important to anglers interested learning more about the fish they are after.

Happy fishing!
Sascha Clark Danylchuk

 

 

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Involving recreational fisheries stakeholders in development ofresearch and conservation priorities for mahseer (Tor spp.) of Indiathrough collaborative workshops

The mahseer (Tor spp.) of India are a group of potamodromous cyprinids currently facing numerous challenges in their native ranges including overfishing, pollution, and hydropower development. As a result of such challenges, four of the seven Indian species of Tor have been listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, including two of the most popular recreationally fished species, Tor khudree and Tor putitora.Stakeholders in the mahseer recreational fishery may serve as an ally for this group of iconic fishes, fostering aquatic stewardship and providing livelihood alternatives for poachers. Yet, information regardings pecies-specific responses to recreational fishing practices is lacking and a 2009 decree equating fishing with hunting in the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) has since 2011 effectively banned angling within protected areas and rendered the future of mahseer recreational fisheries elsewhere uncertain. Read More.

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Evaluating the consequences of catch-and-release recreationalangling on golden dorado (Salminus brasiliensis) in Salta, Argentina

Golden dorado (Salminus brasiliensis) is increasing in popularity as a target of recreational anglers practicing catch-and-release (C&R) in northern Argentina and bordering countries, however science-based best practices have yet to be developed for this iconic freshwater game fish. We assessed the consequences of C&R on golden dorado captured by anglers on the Juramento River, in Salta, Argentina. Read More.

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Inserting the angler into catch-and-release angling science and practice

In August of 2015 recreational fisheries researchers, managers,and stakeholders assembled at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon to discuss the current state of catch-and-release angling science and practice in the 21st century. Beyond providing a venue for participants to share the latest science on the topic, there was a strong emphasis on understanding how the science relates to or could inform practice. Read More.

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Best practices for catch-and-release recreational fisheries – anglingtools and tactics

Catch-and-release angling is an increasingly popular conservation strategy employed by anglers voluntarily or to comply with management regulations, but associated injuries, stress and behavioural impairment can cause post-release mortality or fitness impairments. Because the fate of released fish is primarily determined by angler behaviour, employing ‘best angling practices’ is critical for sustain-able recreational fisheries. While basic tenants of best practices are well established, anglers employ adiversity of tactics for a range of fish species, thus it is important to balance science-based best practices with the realities of dynamic angler behaviour. Here we describe how certain tools and tactics can be integrated into recreational fishing practices to marry best angling practices with the realities of angling. While the effects of angling practices vary considerably across contexts and conditions, we also outline available methods for assessing fish condition by examining physical injuries and reflexes, which enable recreational anglers to make educated real-time decisions related to angling practices, as well as when, where, and whether to release captured fish based on their probability of survival. In cases where fish are in poor condition, there are recovery tactics available that can improve survival, although this is among the most understudied aspects of angling practices. Read More.

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Perceptions of recreational fisheries conservation within the fishingindustry: Knowledge gaps and learning opportunities identified ateast coast trade shows in the United States

"The recreational angling community is comprised of diverse stakeholders, including the trade sector responsible for the manufacturing, distribution, and sales of tackle, boats, and clothing, angler-based travel, revenue-generating popular media, and angling services. Through marketing and promotion, fishing companies compete for customers by convincing anglers as to what success means when they go fishing. If the angling trade can influence the social norms in the recreational angling community, then this could hold true for norms related to the conservation of recreationally targeted fishes and their habitats." Read More

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April Vokey's "ANCHORED" Podcast featuring Andy Danylchuk

Join well known angler, April Vokey, as she interviews some of the most influential people involved in the fishing world today. Learn more about their careers, opinions, history, relationships, and life both on and off the water. Click to play podcast.

Dr. Andy Danylchuk is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a passionate angler, and a fellow fly fishing ambassador for Patagonia clothing.  His work covers both marine and freshwater systems, with a primary focus on stress physiology, behavioural ecology, spatial ecology, predator-prey interactions, and adaptations in life history as a response to disturbance.  Andy has been at the forefront of revolutionary science in the Bahamas, and is now currently spearheading a program taking place in Northern BC.  I met with Andy during his time up north to see if I could learn about the project that had so many people around me abuzz.

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Influence of hook type and live bait on the hooking performance of inline spinners in the context of catch-and-release brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis fishing in lakes

The objective of catch-and-release angling is for the fish to survive with minimal fitness consequences. However, fish survival can be compromised by a number of factors, especially anatomical hooking location. To evaluate whether hook type or bait influence hooking outcomes, we tested different combinations of hook (treble or single siwash hooks) and bait (hook tipped with worm or no worm) while angling for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) with inline spinner-style fishing lures. Read More.

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Characterizing information on best practice guidelines for catch-and-release in websites of angling-based non-government organizations in the United States

Recreational catch-and-release angling is an important tool for managing fish stocks. As recreational fishing is often a culturally or community-based activity, many anglers look to local grassroots and other non-government organizations (NGOs) as a source of information regarding their angling practices. Read More.

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KEEPEMWET FISHING REGISTERS WITH USPTO

Keepemwet Fishing™ is excited to receive registration with The United States Patent & Trademark Office for KEEPEMWET®. Thanks in great part to assistance provided by the University of Idaho, College of Law in Boise, Idaho.

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Best practices for catch-and-release recreational fisheries – angling tools and tactics

Just released study involving Keepemwet Fishing Science Advisor Dr. Andy Danylchuk.

"Catch-and-release angling is an increasingly popular conservation strategy employed by anglers vol-untarily or to comply with management regulations, but associated injuries, stress and behaviouralimpairment can cause post-release mortality or fitness impairments. Because the fate of released fishis primarily determined by angler behaviour, employing ‘best angling practices’ is critical for sustain-able recreational fisheries." Read more.

 

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The Release – Fundamentals of fish and the path to responsible angling

By Dr. Andy Danylchuk, Keepemwet Science Advisor

Recreational angling is an incredibly popular leisure activity in North America, spanning a wide demographic of our society and occurring almost every place fish can be found. Tools and techniques for recreational angling are also vast and selecting the right gear often consumes a lot of our leisure time, basements, and wallets. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ sport and, for the most part, I think we like it that way.

Given recreational angling’s popularity, breadth and depth, this also means that many different kinds of fish are caught in many different ways. That is part of why we do it. In some cases anglers catch to keep, but even they have to release fish that are the wrong species, aren’t of legal size, or when the limit is reached. There is also a growing movement focused on voluntary catch-and-release—a way to enjoy the sport but potentially reduce the impact on fish. In theory, catch-and-release is more sustainable and more conservation-minded. If you see it swim away, the fish is fine... right?

Read more....

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