It is often assumed that anglers are neither efficient nor persistent enough to alter the genetic architecture of fish stocks. Challenging this perception, we analyze the possibility for recreational fishing to induce genetic changes in exploited fish populations. An age-structured Leslie matrix model is developed to describe the population dynamics of the highly demanded pike (Esox lucius L.). The model quantifies the impact of major adaptive traits, the resulting density-dependent demography, as well as the effects of angling. By varying trait values, selection differentials on the considered adaptive traits can be computed to assess if, and how fast, evolution is expected to take place.
Last edited: 25 March 2016
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