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Fish Behavior May Seal Their Fate

KINGSTON, Ontario, Oct. 4 (UPI) — Whether a fish is timid or bold may seal its fate, determining how likely it is to be caught or captured, Canadian researchers say.

Scientists at Queen’s University in Ontario studied the personalities of bluegill sunfish caught by two different capture techniques: angling with a hook on a fishing line and beach seining, dragging a long net through water to encircle fish.

Anglers fishing near rocky outcrops or in areas of water with submerged vegetation may be more likely to catch timid fish who prefer such safe, “hidden” habitats, while those fishing in open water may be more likely to reel in bolder fish more likely to be caught out in the open, a university release said Tuesday.

“Boldness — the tendency of an individual to take risks — is one personality trait of considerable interest to behavioral biologists,” lead author and biologists Alexander Wilson said. “Ours is the first study to have characterized a relationship between capture technique and individual boldness in a wild population of fish.”

 

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