Ever run into a bass you just couldn’t catch? Well, a new study may have the reason why. From EurekAlert:
_In an experiment spanning over 20 years, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that vulnerability to being caught by anglers is a heritable trait in largemouth bass.
_The study began in 1975 with the resident population of bass in Ridge Lake . . . .
_”We kept track over four years of all of the angling that went on, and we have a total record. . .,” said David Philipp, ecology and conservation researcher at U of I. “Many fish were caught more than once. One fish was caught three times in the first two days, and another was caught 16 times in one year. . . . Interestingly, about 200 of those fish had never been caught, even though they had been in the lake the entire four years,” Philipp said.
_Males and females from the group that had never been caught were designated Low Vulnerability (LV) parents. . . [and] were allowed to spawn with each other. . . . Similarly, males and females that had been caught four or more times in the study were designated High Vulnerability (HV) parents that were spawned in different ponds to produce a line of HV offspring. . . .
“Controlled fishing experiments clearly showed that the HV offspring were more vulnerable to angling than the LV offspring,” said Philipp.
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