Fishing May Be Making Fish Less Sociable, More Aggressive
By removing animals with certain personality traits, angling could have unforeseen effects on fish populations.
Nice fish may not finish last, but they may be more likely to get caught, new research shows.
The bluegill, a fish found throughout the U.S. Midwest and South, is not terribly difficult to catch and many consider it quite tasty. But not all bluegill are created equal: A paper published recently in Animal Behaviour found that bluegill that more readily take the bait tend to be more sociable, and less aggressive, than those that don’t.
Bluegill are relatively gregarious fish and tend to hang out in groups. The more social individuals play an important role in helping the group find food, locate choice habitat, and avoid predators, says Mike Louison, a behavioral biologist at McKendree University in Lebanon,