Cooke Lab collaboration with OTN and Montana MacLean at Dalhousie yield media attention in the Vancouver Sun
“A new international study is raising serious questions about a lucrative catch-and-release sport fishery for threatened white sturgeon in the lower Fraser River.
The Canadian-led study, published in the online journal Conservation Physiology, simulated fishing conditions using 24 wild-but-captive sturgeon in winter and 24 in summer at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facility in Longview, Wash.
The results found that sturgeon suffered wide-ranging physiological stress and some even died during the experiment. Researchers noted that actual fishing conditions could be worse due to warmer summers in the lower Fraser River and the potential for some large sturgeon to be played for more than two hours before being reeled in.
The study called for further research and raised the spectre of fishing restrictions in summer, at a minimum, when sturgeon are most vulnerable to catch-and-release fishing. It also suggested that there is little science to support catch-and-release sport fishing for the species.”