Female biased angling harvests of Atlantic salmon in Spain
By Juliana Perez, Jorge I. Izquierdo, Jeronimo de la Hoz, Eva Garcia-Vazquez
Fisheries Research, Volume 74, Issues 1-3, August 2005, Pages 127-133, ISSN 0165-7836, DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2005.03.008.
There is a long tradition of Atlantic salmon sport angling in northern Spain. The legal angling season covers the period March-July since 1940. Populations declined over the last decades. In this study, more than 9000 Atlantic salmon caught over 11 years (1993-2003) by sport anglers in the four main rivers of the Spanish Cantabric coast were immunologically sexed and their age determined by scale reading. Females entered the rivers early in the angling season (March-June) whereas males entered mainly in July. 71.7% of the salmons angled during that period were females. Up to 67.7% of individuals were MSW (multi-sea-winter) being 85.5% females. Among the females, 80.7% were (MSW). We concluded that sport angling was based mostly on females in that Spanish region. Significantly decreasing trends of catches exist for the four rivers studied together with a significant increase of the proportion of females angled for the last 11 years. A change in the angling season is suggested by the authors for preserving females from catching and thus increasing natural egg production. The need of revising traditional management policies is discussed in the light of the new knowledge about salmon population biology and demography.
Keywords: Sex-ratio; Sport angling; Natural resources conservation; Salmo salar