Effects of recreational angling and air exposure on the physiological status and reflex impairment of European grayling (Thymallus thymallus)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonBoreal environment research. 2016, 21 (5-6), 461-470.
European grayling (Thymallus thymallus) is a popular recreational fish that may be lifted out of the water to facilitate hook removal or for admiration. To evaluate the effects of air exposure and angling-induced exhaustive exercise on released grayling condition, we assessed blood physiology and reflexes of grayling after angling and air exposure in the subarctic River Lakselva (Norway) at midsummer temperatures (i.e., 17–18 °C). Blood samples were drawn 30 min after angling and analyzed for lactate anions, glucose, sodium ions, and pH. Reflex impairment was determined with orientation and tail grab reflex action assessments immediately after landing, after air exposure, and after 30 min holding. Blood physiology did not indicate an exacerbating effect of air exposure relative to just angling-induced exercise, but significant and prolonged reflex impairment was associated with the 120 s air exposure interval. Anglers must take care to minimize air exposure to adhere to best handling practices.