By Antti Siira, Petri Suuronen, Erkki Ikonen, Jaakko Erkinaro
Fisheries Research, Volume 80, Issues 2-3, September 2006, Pages 280-294, ISSN 0165-7836, DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2006.03.028.

The major wild Atlantic salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea began to recover in the late 1990s. This recovery has been partly due to strict regulations in the Gulf of Bothnia that effectively prevent salmon fisheries during the peak migration. About half of the migrating salmon, however, are reared fish that could be harvested. We simulated a limited trap-net fishery that selectively harvested reared salmon and released wild fish, and studied the survival and migration of the released salmon. We tagged and released 1970 salmon caught in the trap-nets along the coast in 2001 and 2002. The mean maximum capture and release induced mortality of salmon was 11%, ranging between 4% and 21% in different release groups by year, sea age and number of releases. The cumulative mortality for the total salmon population on their spawning migration in the Gulf of Bothnia was below 5%, and it would not increase considerably after the first capture and release events, provided fishing effort is not excessive and fish are handled properly. Survival of trap-net captured and released Baltic salmon appears high and their migration behavior is not altered due to this handling. Several preconditions, however, should be considered before selective fishing is introduced in the Gulf of Bothnia salmon fishery.
Keywords: Survival; Atlantic salmon; Salmo salar; Release; Trap-net; Selective harvesting

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