Angling for muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) is a specialized endeavor involving species-specific equipment and handling procedures. The latter were developed by anglers with little influence from fisheries managers or the scientific community. Today, release rates approach 100% for specialized anglers; therefore, a formal evaluation of these procedures was warranted. Using two handling treatments – one to mimic current handling procedures with a period of air exposure and another gentler alternative without a period of air exposure – we assessed the physiological and behavioural disturbances as well as mortality associated with the catch-and-release process.
To read the full study, follow the link: http://fishlab.nres.uiuc.edu/Documents/Landsman_et_al_Muskellunge.pdf