Anglers may be angering fish. Fish that are more aggressive and less sociable are more likely to survive and reproduce, according to a new study.
Researchers studied the survival rate of bluegill fish – a common fishing target in the Midwest United States – and found that social individuals often found themselves at the end of a hook. Sociable behaviors include helping the group find food, locate ideal habitats, and avoid natural predators. Eliminating these “nice” fish could leave a lot of meanies.
“If you’re selectively targeting individuals with certain behavioral traits, the population [may] evolve away from that,” says Mike Louison says, a behavioral biologist at the University of Illinois who completed the study. “Those left behind could be angry little fish.”
Read more about nice fish finishing last in the full study as published in the journal Animal Behaviour.
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