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Fishing in the dark: The science and management of recreational fsheries at night


Abstract and Figures

Recreational fshing is a popular activity around the globe, generating billions of dollars in economic beneft based on fsheries in marine and inland waters. In most developed countries, recreational fsheries are managed to achieve diverse objectives and ensure that such fsheries are sustainable. While many anglers fsh during daylight hours, some target fsh species during the night. Indeed, sensory physiology of some species makes them vulnerable to capture at night, while being more difcult to capture during the day. However, night creates a number of challenges for recreational fsheries assessment and management. In some jurisdictions, fshing is prohibited at night (through both effort and harvest controls) or there are specifc restrictions placed on night fsheries (e.g., no use of artifcial lights). Here, we summarize the science and management of recreational fsheries at night covering both inland and marine realms. In doing so, we also provide a review of different angling regulations specifc to night fsheries across the globe, as well as the basis for those regulations. We discuss the extent to which there is both need and opportunity to actively manage anglers who are targeting fsh at night and how this differs from fsheries that occur during lighted periods. We provide two case studies, one for white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus Richardson, 1836) and one for walleye [Sander vitreus (Mitchill, 1818)], for which nighttime closures have been used as a fsheries management tool to control effort and harvest (illegal harvest in the case of the sturgeon case study). Based on the synthesis, we conclude that natural resource management agencies should decide if and how they need to manage recreational fsheries at night, recognizing the practical challenges (e.g., compliance monitoring, stock assessment) with doing so in the dark. © 2017 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.
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Bull Mar Sci. 93(0):000–000. 2017
Bulletin of Marine Science
© 2017 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of
the University of Miami
Fishing in the dark: the science and management
of recreational sheries at night
Steven J Cooke 1 *
Robert J Lennox 1
Shannon D Bower 1
Andrij Z Horodysky 2
Melissa K Treml 3
Erin Stoddard 4
Lisa A Donaldson 1
Andy J Danylchuk 5
ABSTRAC T.Recreational fishing is a popular activity
around the globe, generating billions of dollars in economic
benefit based on fisheries in marine and inland waters. In
most developed countries, recreational fisheries are managed
to achieve diverse objectives and ensure that such fisheries
are sustainable. While many anglers fish during daylight
hours, some target fish species during the night. Indeed,
sensory physiology of some species makes them vulnerable to
capture at night, while being more difficult to capture during
the day. However, night creates a number of challenges for
recreational fisheries assessment and management. In some
jurisdictions, fishing is prohibited at night (through both
effort and harvest controls) or there are specific restrictions
placed on night fisheries (e.g., no use of artificial lights). Here,
we summarize the science and management of recreational
fisheries at night covering both inland and marine realms.
In doing so, we also provide a review of different angling
regulations specific to night fisheries across the globe, as
well as the basis for those regulations. We discuss the extent
to which there is both need and opportunity to actively
manage anglers who are targeting fish at night and how this
differs from fisheries that occur during lighted periods. We
provide two case studies, one for white sturgeon (Acipenser
transmontanus Richardson, 1836) and one for walleye
[Sander vitreus (Mitch ill, 1818)], for which nig httime closures
have been used as a fisheries management tool to control
effort and harvest (illegal harvest in the case of the sturgeon
case study). Based on the synthesis, we conclude that natural
resource management agencies should decide if and how they
need to manage recreational fisheries at night, recognizing
the practical challenges (e.g., compliance monitoring, stock
assessment) with doing so in the dark.
1 Fish Ecology and Conservation
Physiology Laboratory,
Department of Biology and
Institute of Environmental
Science, Carleton University, 1125
Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, Ontario,
K1S 5B6, Canada.
2 Department of Marine
and Environmental Science,
Hampton University, Hampton,
Virginia 23668.
3 Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources, St. Paul,
Minnesota 55108.
4 Fish and Wildlife Section,
Governme nt of British Columbia ,
Surrey, British Columbia, V3R
0Y3, Canada.
5 Department of Environmental
Conservation, University of
Massachusetts Amherst,
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003.
* Corresponding author email:
Section Editor: John F Walter, III
Date Submitted: 4 January, 2016.
Date Accepted: 19 August, 2016.
Available Online: 28 November, 2016.
Fas t Track
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 20172
Recreational fishing is defined as fishing of aquatic animals (mainly fish) that do
not constitute the individual’s primary resource to meet basic nutritional needs and
are generally not sold or otherwise traded on export, domestic, or black markets (UN
FAO 2012). It is a popular activity around the globe, estimated to be practiced by ap-
proximately 10% of the global population (Arlinghaus and Cooke 2009, Arlinghaus
et al. 2015b). On an annual basis, as many as 40 billion fishes may be captured by
recreational fishers, of which more than half are released (Cooke and Cowx 2004).
Recreational fishing yields numerous benefits around the globe, not the least of which
is generation of tens of billions of dollars of direct and indirect economic activity
(Arlinghaus and Cooke 2009, Tufts et al. 2015). A variety of gear types can be used in
recreational fisheries, but the dominant one is rod and reel (i.e., angling). Although
relative to commercial fisheries, the effects of recreational fishing on global fish de-
cline and the environment are regarded as more benign (Cooke and Cowx 2006,
Lewin et al. 2006), there are certainly examples of fish population declines and even
collapse attributed to recreational fishing (see Post et al. 2002). Increasingly, recre-
ational fishing targets species or populations that are declining, which is creating a
number of management challenges (Coleman et al. 2004, Cooke et al. 2016).
Given the importance of recreational fishing, it is not surprising that in many juris-
dictions, particularly in developed countries, governance structures exist to support
the sustainable management of recreational fisheries. Typically underpinning such
management efforts are science-based fishery assessments. In developing countries
and emerging economies, science capacity is often lacking and governance struc-
tures (in terms of policy instruments) fail to provide natural resource agencies with
the tools and support needed to actively manage fisheries. At the core of recreational
fisheries management are traditional harvest control regulations such as bag limits
and size limits (Johnson and Martinez 1995). However, effort controls are gaining
in popularity (e.g., protected areas, seasonal closures, Cox et al. 2003). Recreational
fisheries management is often regarded as a partnership between government and
various stakeholder groups through formal or informal co-management agreements
(UN FAO 2012). With adequate regulations related to harvest and effort control,
along with requisite habitat protection (see Lapointe et al. 2014), most recreational
fisheries can be managed to achieve multiple benefits.
Nighttime (and its associated darkness) is omnipresent around the globe and many
fishes can certainly be captured during nocturnal periods, reflecting species-specific
differences in sensory physiology and feeding activity. Quantifying the number of
anglers who fish at night has a number of practical challenges (e.g., safety and logis-
tics of working on or near water at night). From an enforcement perspective, night
and its associated darkness can provide “cover” for those that intend to not comply
with regulations. From a science and management perspective, the vast majority of
staff effort is focused on daytime periods. Here, we provide the first synthesis on the
science and management of recreational fisheries at night. First, we describe fish-
ing at night from the perspective of a fish, exploring how species-specific sensory
physiology and biology contributes to vulnerability to capture. Next, we characterize
the state of night fishing, identifying examples of specific tactics used to target fish
at night. en, we summarize the science and assessment of fishing at night needed
to support fisheries management. Finally, we explore strategies used to manage fish-
ing at night with a particular focus on policy compliance challenges using several
case studies where night-specific management regulations have been implemented.
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 3
With increasing recreational fishing effort on a global basis, it is our hope that our
synthesis will provide managers with information to achieve recreational fisheries
sustainability by managing fisheries around the clock, not just during daylight. We
are global in our approach, covering marine and inland recreational fisheries, but
limit our review to recreational angling (i.e., fishing via hook and line). We recognize
that depending on latitude (e.g., polar regions) and season, night and darkness are
not always aligned, but for the purpose of our synthesis, we take night to imply dark-
ness at least in a relative sense compared to daytime periods.
F  N   F’ P
Predatory gamefishes exhibit species-specific diurnal rhythms in both sensory
physiology and feeding activity (Reebs 2002). Physiological adaptations of gamefish-
es to low light levels, including overcast conditions, crepuscular periods, and night,
may explain why catches of many species peak at these times. Midday clouds can
drop aquatic light intensities by one to two orders of magnitude; during crepuscular
periods, intensity can change roughly tenfold every 10 min (Fig. 1A). Natural noc-
turnal light levels are a million to a billion times dimmer than those at high noon,
depending on moon phase (Warrant 1999, Johnsen 2012). Many predatory fishes
forage visually, using rod photoreceptors during scotopic (dim/dark) conditions to
increase sensitivity and form monochromatic images, and cone photoreceptors un-
der photopic (bright) conditions to form high-resolution, contrasting images of prey.
Nocturnal foragers have large eyes, a high rod:cone ratio, slow vision, poor acuity,
prevalent tapeta lucida, high luminous sensitivity (Warrant 1999, Horodysky et al.
2008), and/or may have enhancements in chemosensory and mechanosensory sys-
tems for food search (Pohlmann et al. 2004). Examples of such fishes include walleye
[Sander vitreus (Mitchill, 1818)], adult brown trout (Salmo trutta Linnaeus, 1758) and
bull trout [Salvelinus confluentus (Suckley, 1859)], channel catfish [Ictalurus puncta-
tus (Rafinesque, 1818)], weakfish [Cynoscion regalis (Bloch and Schneider, 1801)], and
swordfish (Xiphias gladius Linnaeus, 1758). By contrast, predators of daylight hours
have smaller eyes, higher cone:rod ratios, faster vision, better acuity, wider chromatic
sensitivity, and moderate luminous sensitivity (Horodysky et al. 2008). Examples of
these fishes include bonefish (Albula spp.), striped bass (Morone saxatilis ( Wa lbaum,
1792)], yellow perch [Perca flavescens (Mitchill, 1814)], and northern pike (Esox lucius
Linnaeus, 1758). Of course, the latter species can still be captured under low light
Within a species, luminous sensitivity can be extended under falling light levels
as permitted by physical and physiological bounds by widening pupils, increasing
temporal and spatial summation of ganglion cells, and/or via circadian retinomo-
tor movements that withdraw the pigment epithelium protecting rod photoreceptors
from daylight (Fig. 1B, Warrant 1999). However, because of unavoidable tradeoffs,
physiological responses that increase sensitivity come at the cost of slower temporal
resolution, reductions in acuity due to reduced spatial summation, and constrained
chromatic sensitivity (Horodysky et al. 2010). Under natural low-light conditions,
diurnal predatory fishes may be forced to cease visual foraging when image forma-
tion is impaired, and turn increasingly to encounter-based chemosensory, acous-
tic, and/or mechanoreceptive cues to locate and track prey as per species-specific
adaptations and abilities (Hara and Zielinski 2006). Some dim-light and nocturnal
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 20174
foragers such as burbot [Lota lota (Linnaeus, 1758)] and flathead catfish [Pylodictis
olivaris (Rafinesque, 1818)] may cue predominantly on chemosensory cues (Døving
and Gemne 1965, Hinkens and Cochran 1988, Daugherty and Sutton 2005), which
are dependent on water flow, and may be less affected by aquatic photodynamism.
Crepuscular periods are brief photodynamic windows enveloping the night in
which the solar elevation is low, light intensity and spectra change rapidly, and many
Figure 1. Mechanistic examination of light conditions, ecophysiological processes, and behav-
ioral strategies during crepuscular periods. (A) Changes in light intensity during dawn and dusk.
(B) Mechanistic pathways (blue ar rows) of changes in light intensity at dusk on physiology and
behavior, with feedbacks (dashed gray arrows). (C) Effects of low solar elevation and changing
light intensities characteristic of crepuscular periods on prey visual contrast and behavioral for-
aging strategies of a predator (following Johnsen 2003, Johnsen and Sosik 2003).
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 5
prey countershading and camouflage strategies can be counteracted by predators
and exploited by anglers (Fig. 1C) (Johnsen 2003, 2012). It is thus not surprising that
much fishing effort is exerted, and angling success experienced, at these times. Light
intensity cha nges by roughly 2 log units between 0° and 5° of solar elevation, as the su n
is near the horizon (Johnsen 2003, 2012). Below the horizon, light changes by 104–107
units from the time of first/last light (−18°) to sunrise/sunset (i.e., 0°), and is intense-
ly dominated by shorter (UV and blue) wavelengths (Warrant and Johnsen 2013).
Once the sun is >18° below the horizon (i.e., true night), the blue twilight is replaced
by dimmer and redder starlight, airglow, and zodiacal light (new moon), by a dim
spectrum that resembles slightly red-shifted daylight in spectral composition (full
moon), or a combination (intermediate moon phases) (Warrant and Johnsen 2013).
At low solar elevation, the rising or setting sun can illuminate the lateral flanks of
animals to a much higher degree than the overhead noon sun. Viewing backgrounds
away from the low-elevation sun are dark/shaded, whereas those into the sun are
bright (Johnsen and Sosik 2003). When viewed away from the sun, dark-flanked prey
become slightly less cryptic than at noon, but the flanks of mirrored, light-colored,
countershaded prey contrast strongly against the dark background (Fig. 1C; Johnsen
2003, Johnsen and Sosik 2003). Conversely, when viewed into the plane of the low-
elevation sun, dark-flanked and countershaded prey contrast strongly against the
bright background, and mirrored and light-colored prey experience better crypsis
(Fig. 1C; Johnsen 2003). Mirrored organisms can never be completely cryptic when
backlit by the sun because this requires the physical impossibility of a reflectance >1
(Johnsen and Sosik 2003). In fact, both mirrored and light-flanked prey block sun-
light, leaving silhouettes that are darker than the veiling spacelight.
During crepuscular periods, predators can increase the visibility of prey by search-
ing in circular patterns relative to the low solar elevation, creating background opti-
cal mismatches (Fig. 1C). Predators can then drive prey toward the surface, where
the asymmetry of the aquatic light field will be most pronounced (Johnsen 2003).
Interestingly, countershading coloration patterns that are effective at noon can leave
prey highly conspicuous at dawn and dusk, as either their dorsum or ventrum will
contrast strongly against the optical background into or away from the sun. Finally,
predators transition between circling and encounter-rate strategies when light be-
comes a factor limiting image formation (early in dawn or late into dusk). Once all
sunlight is extirpated, the natural conditions of true night can impede schooling
and visual foraging in many fishes, depending on moon phase (Helfman 1993, Fréon
et al. 1996). Diurnal game fishes such as largemouth bass [Micropterus salmoides
(Lacépède, 1802)] may be able to visually forage under a full moon’s light intensity,
but not under starlight typical of a new moon (McMahon and Holanov 1995).
Objects viewed from below block downwelling light from the night sky and may
be silhouetted against the surface (Johnsen 2003), thus anglers fishing under waxing,
waning, and new moons often opt for large, dark, water-displacing lures to attract
fish to the silhouette, sound, and vibration. Others select odoriferous baits that gen-
erate a chemical plume to stimulate olfactory and gustatory systems. Chemical light
sticks, where legal, may also be added to bait in an attempt to enhance catchability. In
commercial fisheries, Hazin et al. (2005) compared the catch-per-unit effort (CPUE)
of squid-baited hook baskets illuminated by light sticks to those without light sticks
for catching swordfish with an artisanal longline vessel fishing at 30–150 m depth.
Hazin et al. (2005) found that using a light stick on alternating hooks (i.e., on three
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 20176
out of six hooks) significantly increased CPUE relative to using no light stick or a
light stick on every hook. Similar evaluations of light sticks in recreational fisheries
are lacking.
N F
For a variety of sensory and environmental reasons, some species of fishes be-
come active at night (Emery 1973, Munz and McFarland 1977; Fig. 2). ere is diel
variation in catchability with sampling gears (e.g., electrofishing, netting; Pope and
Willis 1996); however, diel variation in CPUE with recreational fishing gear has not
been well studied. Yet, some anglers like to go fishing in the evenings or early in the
morning before daybreak, suggesting that fishing during crepuscular periods and at
night is productive. In some specialized fisheries, anglers will specifically wait for
nightfall to go fishing. Although the fishing can be rewarding, fishing at night is
logistically challenging depending on the target species, particularly due to visibility
and navigational issues. However, urbanization has led to the installation of artificial
lights along coasts and embayments, which shine into the water (Nightingale et al.
2006; Fig. 3). Such lighting attracts baitfish (Ben-Yami 1976, 1988) and insects, which
in turn draws predatory fishes close to shore (Browder 2012). At night, anglers can
target these artificially lit areas. For example, anglers often target common snook
[Centropomus undecimalis (Bloch, 1792)] that follow baitfish into the shallow, illu-
minated areas. Some fishing guides explicitly mention “fishing under lighted docks”
in their advertising materials emphasizing how artificial lighting (in this case, light
pollution) can be exploited by anglers.
Sometimes fishing is best without light, especially when target species have evolved
to feed in darkness and/or are photophobic. Nightingale et al. (2006) described how
weakfish forage only below 0.5 lux and anglers avoid fishing during the full moon
because their targets are inactive. For other species, feeding/vulnerability can be en-
hanced during full moon phases when visual predators have more light with which to
perceive potential food items (Fig 2). However, fish feed using many different senses
(see above, Pavlov and Kasumyan 1990) meaning that visual cues are not entirely
necessary for catching fish. New et al. (2001) ablated the eyes of muskellunge (Esox
masquinongy Mitchill, 1824) and found that they used somatosensory cues to inform
their angles of prey attack. Benthic feeding species such as catfishes (Siluriformes)
feed at night using olfactory and gustatory cues, sweeping the benthos with external
tastebuds (such as on barbels) to inform feeding (Atema 1971). Anglers can fish at
night for these benthivores with passively fished set lines by sinking baited hooks to
the benthos and waiting for fish to ingest the bait, generally hooking themselves (of-
ten in the throat or stomach because the hook is ingested with the bait). Fishing with
set lines is illegal in some jurisdictions, particularly because set lines can increase the
probability of deep hooking and mortality of fish that are captured. To indicate when
a fish strikes, tools such as bells or alarms can be fixed to the rod. Electronic bite
alarms are marketed to carp (Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758) anglers that fish from
shore at night so that when they fall asleep with their bait set, the battery-powered
alarm will sound to indicate a strike. Setting baits under floats or bobbers that are
reflective or glow-in-the dark can also increase strike detection in the dark (Johnson
2013). Some manufacturers produce fishing rods that have tips intended to glow at
night (often in the presence of black light) to facilitate strike detection. e angling
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 7
industry (including the outdoor media) are acutely aware of the market for night fish-
ing with many books, videos, television segments and magazine articles on the topic.
ere are also a number of charters advertised as being specific to fishing at night
(e.g., fishing off head-boats off the shores of North Carolina and South Carolina for
deepwater reef fish; fishing for swordfish off the Atlantic coast of Florida).
One of the oddest night-specific fisheries issues that emerges is for specialized carp
angling where it is common to place fish captured at night in “carp sacks” to hold the
fish until the daylight when photographic opportunities are better. However, during
Figure 2. Night shing under natural and anthropogenically-inuenced conditions. Human ar-
ticial lighting can increase nocturnal light intensities to within 104 units of high noon, leading
to changes in sh aggregation, available sensory modalities, foraging strategies, and catchabil-
ity (q). Management strategies for nat ural and anthropogenically-inuenced nocturnal sheries
should consider spatiotemporal proper ties, terminal gears, and size and bag limits. SS = species
specic. Senses are: audition (A), gustation (G), mechanoreception (M), olfaction (O), and vision
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 20178
retention in the carp sack, the fish become quite vigorous so it is necessary to inten-
tionally air expose the carp (often by hanging them from a tree in the carp sack) to
induce some level of physiological exhaustion so that the fish can be held for photos.
Although this practice may seem to be one that would be deleterious to fish, research
on the topic suggests that carp are extremely robust to both carp sack retention and
prolonged air exposure such that there is negligible mortality and rapid recovery
from the associated stress (Rapp et al. 2012).
Figure 3. Two cate gories of anth ropoge nic arti c ia l light, wit h inuences on aqu at ic habit at s. (A)
general illumination of the urban night sky can increase aquatic light up to 10,000 times brighter
than the new moon, enabling visual foraging by piscivores such as cutthroat trout (Mazur and
Beauchamp 2006). (B) Point source illumination typical of docks, piers, bridges, marinas, and
waterfront restaurants. Light is far more limited and concentrated by point sources, increasing
asymmetries of prey contrast under the light and predator crypsis in the shadow lines. Both arti-
cial light conditions increase nocturnal foraging and catchability of predators that would not be
able to forage visually under natural conditions.
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 9
N S  A
Where fisheries management exists globally, the general governing principle is
that the management strategies follow a science-based approach. Differences among
target species and the behaviors anglers employ to catch fish vary widely among fish-
eries, such that research to identify species-specific impacts due to recreational fish-
ing have been recommended, particularly for catch-and-release (C&R) fishing (e.g.,
Cooke and Suski 2005). Similarly, it cannot be assumed that conditions that affect
daylight fishing apply broadly to night fishing. Yet, night fishing is often explicitly
excluded from fisheries assessment surveys (e.g., Brouwer et al. 1997, Smallwood et
al. 2006, Zeller et al. 2007), including the Marine Recreational Information Program
(MRIP) of the US National Marine Fisheries Service that did not include night sam-
pling in their surveys until 2013. is lack of inclusion may reflect the position that
night fishing is not widely popular. In a study of the Majorca Island recreational
fisheries, nighttime anglers represented only 2.4% of fishing activity (Morales-Nin et
al. 2005), yet in a survey of angling behaviors in the South African shore fishery, 54%
of anglers interviewed indicated that they participated in night fishing, and 34% of
their fishing activity took place at night (Brouwer et al. 1997), indicating that popu-
larity of the practice is globally variable. erefore, the dearth of available literature
on night angling survey results speaks to the presence of a knowledge gap, and likely
speaks to the challenges in conducting such surveys, rather than to a lack of interest
or need. Researchers may look to studies documenting impacts of devices and behav-
iors commonly used to target fish at night to inform research priorities, but it must
be determined whether these results apply to fishing at night.
As discussed in the earlier sections, fish biology and behavior is influenced by diel
patterns. Diel migrations, whether from benthic to littoral zones, from offshore to
inshore regions, or vertical migrations in the water column, can result in differences
in species composition between day and night (Bassett and Montgomery 2011). is
suggests that there potentially may be significant differences in expected outcomes
of recreational fishing behaviors. For example, the increased presence of predators
in a nocturnal community may result in an increase in post-release predation after a
C&R event because predation rates can increase at night (Danilowicz and Sale 1999).
In a study of recreational bycatch affecting the critically endangered gray nurse shark
(Carcharias taurus Rafinesque, 1810) in Australia, no diel patterns in hooking were
found, though authors noted that C. taurus was the only predator in the area taking
bait at night (Robbins et al. 2013), a finding that also raises the potential implication
of diel patterns in recreational bycatch. Tropical mangrove estuaries are predomi-
nantly comprised of nocturnal fish (Ley and Halliday 2007), and a third of fish fauna
in any ecosystem may be nocturnal (Helfman 1978, cited in Bassett and Montgomery
2011), supporting the idea that conditions for night fishing may be different, and
species assemblages at night may differ. Further, diel variations in catchability have
been noted for some species (Benoít and Swain 2003), which could potentially impact
recommendations for catch limits.
Night fishing may result in different species-specific impacts due to changes in key
angling variables, such as extended handling times and air exposure as a result of
reduced visibility in darkness. Rates of deep hooking, injury, and post-release mor-
tality may also be tied to reduced visibility as anglers may be slower to register bites,
particularly if using “passive” techniques such as bobbers (Lennox et al. 2015) or set
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 201710
lines. Moreover, handling and unhooking times can increase at night as a result of
poor visibility. Differences in angling methods between day and night could result in
different hooking mortality rates for released fish that are independent of difference
in handling time due to poor visibility. Anecdotally, night fishing involves more use
of artificial lights and scent-based attractants than day fishing. ere is much vari-
ability among species in response to light (i.e., differences among and within species
according to life stage) and there is a high degree of plasticity in these responses
(Nightingale et al. 2006), which could influence the extent to which anglers using
light can directly or indirectly impact populations. Further study of recreational
fishing at night can inform regulations for night fishing; for example, the use of circle
hooks may be warranted to reduce deep hooking associated with using passive fish-
ing techniques at night (Cooke and Suski 2004).
Differences in angling communities and angler behavior at night should be anoth-
er integral component of night surveys, including attempts to understand motivation
and external relationships with other users. For example, Arlinghaus (2005) noted
that there might be conflict among nighttime recreational fishers in areas where
these activities overlap with some types of commercial fishing (e.g., those that use
fyke nets). Differences may also exist within the angling community; in the Maldives,
recreational fishing is not popular among locals, focusing mainly on tourists, yet
locals do participate in recreational night fishing (FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture
Department 2009), which suggests that angling communities may exhibit diel varia-
tion in composition in some areas. is conclusion is supported by the suggestion to
relax the ban on night fishing in urban Berlin, Germany, as a way to promote urban
fishing experiences, because night fishing is more popular with urban than rural
anglers (Arlinghaus et al. 2008). To some extent, this pattern may be driven by the
prevalence of anthropogenic illumination.
ere are challenges inherent in conducting surveys of night fisheries, including
considerations of safety and unintended contributions of safety and research gear
to study outcomes. Safety considerations, both perceived and actual, have been sug-
gested as one of the driving factors in a lack of night studies (Smallwood et al. 2011).
In addition to reduced visibility constraining safe operation of equipment, increased
activity of land- or water-based predators (e.g., crocodiles) at night is also a con-
cern in some areas. e use of surveys and interviews conducted during the day can
be used to gather information regarding angler behaviors and perspectives, and for
some fisheries, creel surveys can safely be performed at night. Roving creel surveys
were used at night in a study of a prawn fishery in New South Wales, Australia, where
researchers were able to identify prawn fishers because of artificial light bobbers af-
fixed to the scoop nets they used (Reid and Montgomery 2005).
New technologies, such as the use of remote and infrared cameras, may be help-
ful in alleviating some of the safety concerns associated with night surveys. Remote
cameras using infrared to observe shore-based angling activities at night found that
camera placement was integral to ensuring that the number of people in a party could
be identified, and to identifying which activity types were taking place (Smallwood
et al. 2011). Conversely, a study conducted to identify night assemblages found that
use of infrared light (as opposed to white light) resulted in improved surveys because
infrared light allowed researchers to distinguish among individuals more effectively
(Harvey et al. 2012). In a study comparing underwater assessment techniques us-
ing bait and infrared video to conduct underwater surveys, the authors found that
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 11
olfactory-driven species arrived at video sites sooner, whereas non-olfactory driven
species were captured more readily in traditional underwater survey techniques (us-
ing scuba and/or snorkel; Bassett and Montgomery 2011). e authors concluded
that the type of survey will yield different species-specific encounter and catch-
ability rates depending upon the sensory capabilities of the organisms (Bassett and
Montgomery 2011).
In addition to new technologies, more traditional methods may prove suitable for
night surveys, though diel differences in efficiency should be tested. When electro-
fishing for smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu Lacépède, 1802), Paragamian
(1989) suggested fishing at night would improve gear efficiency and catch numbers,
because CPUE was higher. Questions regarding night fishing activities might also
represent an opportunity to invest more fully in sources of local knowledge for as-
sessment (Hamilton et al. 2012). Concerns about using local knowledge include po-
tential for recollection bias, that such information has been devalued as being purely
anecdotal, and that integration into formal assessment methodologies is challenging
(Johannes and Neis 2007), but these concerns can be addressed by approaching the
collection of local knowledge in a scientific and verifiable way (e.g., see Arlinghaus
and Krause 2013). With such concerns accounted for, local fisher knowledge can help
to close gaps in scientific understanding (Johannes and Neis 2007), and can be useful
in identifying likely research priorities and safety concerns.
M  N
Fisheries management activities can often be categorized as managing habitat,
managing people, and managing fish(es) (Krueger and Decker 1999, Arlinghaus et al.
2015a). Here we briefly discuss the relevance of night to those three elements of rec-
reational fisheries management. We also provide two recent high-profile case studies
that involved regulating recreational angling activities for white sturgeon (Acipenser
transmontanus Richardson, 1836) and walleye [Sander vitreus (Mitchil l, 1818)].
Managing people is one of the more common recreational fisheries management
strategies as it relates to elements of angler access, effort, and harvest. Questions re-
garding diel differences in angler behavior can inform management decisions related
not only to outcomes for fishes, but issues of compliance, enforcement, and even
promoting the practice of angling. For example, differences in compliance with fish-
ing regulations among night anglers could be a factor in informing the need for more
enforcement at different times of day. Enforcement and compliance monitoring is in-
herently more difficult (and dangerous) at night. Of course there are developments in
night vision goggles and aircraft or drone-based night imaging [e.g., forward looking
infra-red (FLIR) thermal imaging] that do provide enforcement staff with some tools
for peering into the dark. Motivations for angling may also differ at night, impact-
ing which management or enforcement strategies are likely to be successful. Anglers
who prefer to fish at night have expressed a desire to avoid increasing boat traffic,
warm temperatures, and to increase catch rates that may decrease in times when
fish are subjected to higher amounts of angling pressure (Quinn 2014). Some anglers
have even indicated preferences related to the phases of the moon, believing catch-
ability of their target species to be influenced by moonlight (Quinn 2014).
Regulations surrounding night fishing are also variable; for example, the activity
is permitted in some areas of Portugal but prohibited in others such as the Parque
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 201712
Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina (Veiga et al. 2010). Night fishing is
banned entirely in Greece, but is widely permitted in Cyprus, where licenses are only
required if fishers intend to spearfish at night (Pawson et al. 2008). In the Back Bay
National Wildlife Refuge (and indeed in all such refuges) in the Virginia, USA, night
fishing activities were banned (see USFWS 2009). However, local angling groups lob-
bied successfully for opening limited night fishing opportunities for striped bass (M.
saxatilis). A special lisence was required to fund the additional staff time (for as-
sessment, management, and enforcement) to ensure that the fishery was properly
regulated and monitored. A practical aspect of any efforts to limit nighttime fishing
involves defining “nighttime” in a manner that is enforceable. Typically, nighttime
periods are identified relative to “published” sunrise and sunset periods (e.g., a clo-
sure from dusk until dawn starting 1 hr after sunset until 1 hr before sunrise). Other
common regulations relevant to night involve placing restrictions on specific gears.
For example, use of artificial lights (for fish attraction) are prohibited in many juris-
dictions. Also typically restricted are lures/baits that contain a light source, but lures
that “glow” (e.g., using glowing paint) tend to be allowed.
M C S: L F R S N F
C.—e Fraser River is a large river system in British Columbia (BC), Canada,
that originates near the Alberta border and drains a significant portion of the prov-
ince. e lower Fraser River comprises the >180 km section from its mouth upstream
to Hells Gate in the Fraser Canyon, and supports large populations of all five species
of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), steelhead [Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum,
1792)], coastal cutthroat trout [Oncorhynchus clarki (Richardson, 1836)], bull trout,
and white sturgeon. e Lower Mainland, which includes the lower Fraser and BCs
largest metropolitan city (Vancouver), also supports BC’s largest human population.
e number of federal and provincial fishery enforcement staff is small relative to
the size of the human population, the extent of the fisheries, and area to enforce. e
lower Fraser currently supports important cultural and multi-million dollar First
Nations (FN), commercial and recreational salmon fisheries, and a multi-million
dollar recreational C&R white sturgeon fishery.
e lower Fraser River is split into two jurisdictions: the river is designated as tidal
downstream of the CPR rail Bridge at Mission BC, and non-tidal upstream of the
bridge. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) manages and regulates all fisheries in
tidal waters. FN, recreational and commercial Pacific salmon fisheries, in both tidal
and non-tidal waters, are also managed by DFO. Tidal and non-tidal nighttime an-
gling closures on the lower Fraser, and some tributaries, were implemented by DFO
to better manage the recreational salmon fisheries, including the sockeye salmon
[Oncorhynchus nerka (Walbaum, 1792)] fishery. e nighttime closure includes 1 hr
after sunset until 1 hr before sunrise, and was implemented in 2002.
e white sturgeon fishery on the lower Fraser has been a C&R only fishery since
the early 1990s, and has grown significantly since the late-1990s. However, recent
studies (Nelson et al. 2014) indicated that the population was not growing as ex-
pected. e province has had concerns with respect to sturgeon night fishing for
more than a decade because white sturgeon typically feed in the dark, making them
vulnerable to capture by angling at night. However, darkness is also the primary
time when poachers operate on the lower Fraser. Due to its high value for its flesh
and its eggs, white sturgeon can bring large sums in the illegal trade market, and due
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 13
to the size of the Lower Mainland human population, the potential market is large.
Poaching for sturgeon in the lower Fraser is conducted by angling, setline, or net.
Nighttime poaching is typically from shore by angling, but has also been conducted
by boat and with other methods. e province has been concerned about the han-
dling of white sturgeon in the C&R fishery for more than a decade, with evidence
that there is risk of injury and mortality, especially when handling large adult fish
which can be much harder to handle in the dark. Further, it was brought to the at-
tention of provincial fisheries staff by enforcement during the consultation that a
sturgeon angler died in 2013 when a large sturgeon pulled him off a bridge onto an
abutment while he was fishing in the dark.
In 2013, after several years of scoping the issue with stakeholders, the province de-
cided to initiate formal consultation on the potential implementation of a nighttime
closure to sturgeon fishing on non-tidal waters of the lower Fraser River, lower Pitt
River, and Harrison River for the better management and protection of the species,
and for the safety of anglers. Federal and provincial enforcement staff also recom-
mended this closure as being the only way to effectively ensure that nighttime stur-
geon poaching could be enforced. Upon further consultation with legal, regulatory,
and stakeholder advisors, it was determined that it would be necessary to consult on
a total fishing closure rather than a sturgeon only night fishing closure. e extent of
the nighttime sturgeon fishery at the time was unknown, but fisheries and enforce-
ment staff had observed that the majority of sturgeon angling occurs by boat during
daylight hours. Also, numerous nighttime sturgeon poaching enforcement cases had
recently proceeded to conviction, even with extensive education of the general public
and anglers of the importance of protecting white sturgeon.
A number of concerns were identified during stakeholder consultation on the pro-
posed lower Fraser nighttime closure, including concern that this would take “eyes
and ears” off the river to watch for poachers, that enforcement was inadequate to en-
sure compliance, and that the closure should pertain to both tidal and non-tidal wa-
ters. Provincial fisheries staff indicated that they expected DFO to mirror the change
for tidal waters. On April 1, 2015, the nighttime regulatory closure to all fishing in
non-tidal waters of the lower Fraser, lower Pitt, and Harrison rivers came into effect
with the timing of the closure extending from 1 hr after sunset to 1 hr before sunrise,
which is consistent with other recreational night closures, and the provincial hunt-
ing regulations.
To date, DFO has not mirrored the nighttime fishing closure for the tidal waters
of the lower Fraser River and Pitt River. Communication on social media appeared
to be limited as a consequence of the closure, and no recent communications with
regard to the closure have been received by provincial fisheries staff, which suggests
that anglers and angling guides have adjusted their activities around the closure.
Monitoring efforts are underway to identify compliance with the regulatory change
and to assess the population-level responses.
M C S: M L L W N F
C.—Mille Lacs Lake is a 53,620 ha lake in north central Minnesota and is one
of Minnesota’s most important walleye (S. vitreus) fisheries averaging 3 million hours
of angling pressure annually (Jensen 2013). Public interest in Mille Lacs management
dates back to the late 1940s with concerns about declining catch rates and increased
fishing pressure. e first documented concern over night fishing occurred in 1961
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 201714
after decreased angling success was noted the previous year. In response to numer-
ous stakeholder requests over several decades, the Minnesota Department of Natural
Resources (MNDNR) enacted a night fishing ban in 1984 from 22:00 to 06:00 hrs for
the first 4 wks of the open water season, which begins in early May. e next year, a
size restriction limiting harvest of walleye >508 mm (total length) was also imple-
mented. ese regulations remained unchanged through 1996. e primary intent
of the night closure was to redistribute harvest over the fishing season rather than
reduce total harvest.
From 1984 to 1996, the median night harvest was about 15,000 kg (range 5000
50,000 kg) comprising about 7% of the total annual angler harvest, including esti-
mated hooking mortality (Reeves and Bruesewitz 2007). In 1997, Mille Lacs became
a shared fishery between state licensed anglers and Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribal fishers.
From 1997 to 2013, the total allowable annual harvest of walleye was determined by
a fixed exploitation policy using age-structured stock assessment model estimates
of total population biomass and averaged 200,000 kg (harvested fish and hooking
deaths). Tribal fishers declared a fixed quota each year, on average 25%–30% of the
total allowable harvest, with the remainder allocated to state recreational anglers.
e state recreational angling fishery was managed using size-based regulations and
bag limits to remain within allocation. During this period, the spring night fishing
ban remained in effect while 10 different size-based regulations and two different
bag limits, along with mid-season changes to either more or less size restrictive regu-
lations, were implemented to control harvest.
Despite intensive management, the population did not increase (Venturelli et al.
2014). In 2014, a suite of alternative regulations was presented to stakeholders and
the open water season-long night fishing closure was the most supported additional
restriction, followed by mandatory use of circle hooks and a more restrictive sea-
son-long night closure (18:00–06:00 hrs). What became evident is that night fish-
ing regulation is one management tool and it is unlikely to work in isolation unless
Table 1. Research needs specic to recreational sheries science and management at night.
Identify sh habitat needs at night to ensure that critical habitats are protected and to inform
various enhancement and restoration activities
Determine the extent to which light attracts different life-stages and species to determine the
relevance of regulations that ban light attraction and to exploit light to improve night assessment
activities (e.g., as is done with larval light traps)
Identify survey designs that accurately quantify catch and effort over 24 hrs given that without
accurate quantication of catch and effort by day and night, management cannot be effective
Examine the potential for selective effects of night vs day shing (are we catching the “same”
sh by day and night?)
Characterize the “articial light food web” to understand how light pollution inuences key
sportssh and their prey (e.g., exigent need to study the sh–articial light–foraging relationship)
Determine if sh handling and associated injury, stress, and mortality are elevated at night in the
context of catch-and-release shing
Evaluate the extent to which post-release predation is mediated by night
Conduct social science surveys to understand angler perspectives on night shing and associated
regulations (usually bans)
Cooke et al.: Recreational shing in the dark 15
combined with other tools (e.g., bag and slot limits and seasonal closures). Also rele-
vant is that all of these management tools rely on projections of anticipated outcomes
that do not necessarily occur due to interannual variability in catch rates and fishery
conditions. Long-term monitoring to assess fish population responses to regulatory
changes as well a human dimensions work to evaluate stakeholder perspectives are
underway. What is clear is that night-specific regulations expand the toolbox for
fisheries managers.
S  C
It is evident from our review that recreational fishing at night is popular, but not
universally so. e sensory and foraging ecologies of some species provide anglers
with unique opportunities to access fish during the night. To that end, the fishing
industry has developed a variety of products intended to facilitate fish capture at
night. In general, less is known about the ecology and biology of fishes at night, partly
driven by the inherent challenges of studying fish in darkness. Fisheries management
efforts can specifically target the night, often in the form of temporal closures or gear
restrictions. When such management efforts are enacted, there may be additional
resource needs and associated costs that need to be considered by natural resource
management agencies, particularly related to assessment and compliance monitor-
ing at night. e two case studies we presented exemplify high-profile fisheries for
which night time fishery closures have been applied in an effort to reduce directed
harvest (walleye), poaching (white sturgeon), and poor fish handling (both). e bio-
logical effectiveness of these closures is still being assessed (e.g., did fish populations
respond as expected), but significant effort is also being devoted to understanding
stakeholder perspectives and compliance.
With efforts by some anglers to be alone when fishing, one might anticipate that
night fishing may become more popular in the future as some anglers attempt to
avoid the masses that may fish during the day. We encourage the fisheries manage-
ment community to think creatively about how nighttime recreational fishing can
be promoted, but in a manner that is supported by effective stock assessment and
management. ere are a number of outstanding research needs that were identified
throughout the review (see Table 1). Moving forward, we anticipate that the rec-
reational fishing community may have more opportunities for fishing in the dark
provided that management agencies can address the significant assessment and com-
pliance monitoring challenges such that they are not “managing in the dark.”
Cooke is supported by NSERC and the Canada Research Chairs Program. Danylchuk is
supported by the National Institute of Food & Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture,
the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station and Department of Environmental
Conservation. Horodysk y is supported by the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative
Science Center and the NSF Educational Partnership in Climate Change and Sustainability.
We thank the Bulletin of Marine Science for organizing the Fish at Night conference and pro-
viding us the opportunit y to develop this paper.
Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol 93, No 0. 201716
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... Compliance of fishers to bait digging byelaws was observed to be low in some areas, such as Newton, where night time collection was high in order for fishers to evade enforcement (and Regulations were scored to be of low importance by experts within the suitability model weightings). The prevalence of night time collection and its associated darkness poses a major difficulty for management, creating additional practical challenges compared to day time collection (Cooke et al., 2016). It is important for resource management agencies to decide if and how they manage night fisheries (Cooke et al., 2016). ...
... The prevalence of night time collection and its associated darkness poses a major difficulty for management, creating additional practical challenges compared to day time collection (Cooke et al., 2016). It is important for resource management agencies to decide if and how they manage night fisheries (Cooke et al., 2016). A major management implication of these fisheries is the requirement to observe and enforce at night, when logistics can be challengingsafety, staffing effort, etc. (Cooke et al., 2016). ...
... It is important for resource management agencies to decide if and how they manage night fisheries (Cooke et al., 2016). A major management implication of these fisheries is the requirement to observe and enforce at night, when logistics can be challengingsafety, staffing effort, etc. (Cooke et al., 2016). Effective enforcement is critical to achieve a high level of compliance (Ceccherelli et al., 2011;Cooke et al., 2013;Watson et al., 2015), an important issue in marine management (e.g. ...
Robust evidence of fisheries impacts, fishing intensity, and spatial distribution of fishers are required, driven by a push towards evidence based management, and the trend towards Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). Intertidal fisheries have received considerably less research and management attention to date compared to inshore and offshore counterparts. The need for additional intertidal fisheries data, specifically within European Marine Sites (EMS), has been identified. This research focusses on the collection of lugworms Arenicola marina and Arenicola defodiens, and periwinkle Littorina littorea within the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast European Marine Site (BNNC EMS), UK. This thesis aims to provide an interdisciplinary evidence base for marine managers and future research to build upon. Comparisons of sites experiencing a gradient of fishing pressure at the EMS scale, combined with small scale experimental disturbances, revealed the potential and actual impacts of local harvesting regimes. Data on the target species revealed no significant impacts between sites, suggesting that at current collection intensities, Northumberland populations of neither periwinkle nor lugworm are reduced or altered by fishing beyond naturally occurring levels. Community assessments revealed no observable impacts on the rocky shore, but sediment communities were negatively impacted with reductions in infaunal abundance and taxonomic richness, and altered community structure observed between sites and treatments. Recovery timescales were investigated and discussed. Fisher distribution was mapped from shore observations, highlighting collection hotspots, and combined with questionnaire data to estimate biomass removal, with economic value discussed. Adherence to current fisheries regulations were investigated, revealing a shortfall in existing enforcement measures, with illegal night time collection especially prevalent at some sites. Commercial and recreational collection characteristics were contrasted, and identification features recommended. Finally, spatial models of habitat suitability, sensitivity, and vulnerability were produced for the lugworm fishery, assessing the appropriateness of current spatial management measures. The spatial extent of existing bait digging byelaws included most of the highly vulnerable areas identified in the model outputs, with suggestions to further improve the coverage discussed.
... The fact that the Peel-Harvey Estuary is the most popular site for crabbing in the state, combined with its large area (surface area 134 km 2 ), means that enforcing the P. armatus fishery regulations is challenging. Furthermore, despite the use of thermal camera technologies that allow night-time monitoring (Taylor et al., 2018), the difficulties and dangers of monitoring fishing activities and enforcing regulations are much greater at night than in the day (Cooke et al., 2017), which is likely to contribute to the high rate of non-compliance in the estuary. The high rate of documented non-compliance could be due to higher rates of infringement, and also because more observers report suspicious fishing activities due to greater population and concentration of fishers in the Peel-Harvey. ...
... The assessment of the significance of night-time fishing for crabs in the Peel-Harvey Estuary is very recent (Taylor et al., 2018). Since no night surveys were carried out for this study, we cannot determine whether night fishers have different motivations, concerns, and views on management to those fishing during the day, which has been recorded in studies of various finfish species worldwide (Cooke et al., 2017). Recreational night-fishers' perspectives might vary from recreational crab fishers fishing during the day. ...
Fisher perceptions are a useful source of information that allows changes in stocks to be detected quickly and indicate the social acceptability of different management regulations. Yet traditionally, such information is rarely employed when developing management approaches. Face-to-face interviews were used to elicit recreational and commercial fishers’ perceptions of a crab (Portunus armatus) fishery in three south-western Australian estuaries. Differences in the perceived changes in the average size of crabs and fishing effort, reported concerns and supported solutions were detected among the recreational fishers utilizing the three estuaries and between recreational and commercial fishers in the Peel-Harvey Estuary. However, some common views were expressed by recreational and commercial fishers, with both sectors stating concerns over recreational fisher compliance and increased fishing and environmental pressures. While both sectors believed that reducing fishing and increasing compliance would benefit crab stocks, the mechanisms for achieving this differed. Recreational fishers favoured increasing the length of the seasonal closure, while commercial fishers favoured the introduction of a recreational shore-based fishing licence. These findings suggest that sector- and estuary-specific management rules may better facilitate the amelioration of pressures affecting individual estuaries and could contribute towards a more socially and biologically sustainable fishery.
... Waluda et al. [40] used satellite-derived nighttime lights to show that fish catch was positively correlated with estimated fishing extent. Indeed, light intensity at night affects fish activity levels and aggregation [41,42]. Because monthly fish catch data at the study sites are not available, we used nighttime light intensity to approximate the temporal changes in fishery activity levels. ...
... High radiance levels correspond to higher light intensities, indicating that greater fishing fleets and fish abundance were at sea [40]. Indeed, it was previously reported that many fisheries worldwide use artificial light to attract pelagic fish and increase fish catches, e.g., [41,47]. Our results suggested that there might have been a considerable number of fishing fleets operating near the fishing grounds of area B due to the relative abundance of fish during February and March 2017 (Figure 12a). ...
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Two large fish assemblages were recorded in the overwintering fishing grounds of the East China Sea in February and March 2017. In this study, available time series of satellite-derived sea surface temperature, wind, chlorophyll a, and reanalysis data were used to explore the relationships between the observed large fish aggregations and environmental factors. The bottom waters of the fishing grounds were abnormally warm in winter 2017, and then experienced significant cooling due to the eastward movement of the Yellow Sea Cold Current, which was driven by the increased northwesterly wind from January to mid-March 2017. Fishing areas in the affected region, including No. 1891, which was abnormally warm, and No. 1592, which had a strong thermal front and high chlorophyll a concentration, might have provided suitable environments for the warm-temperature fish, resulting in the observed large fish assemblages. The abnormal temperature changes between winter and early spring 2017 may have been associated with changes in local ocean circulation.
... With improved lighting technology, night bowfishing favors bowfishers in several ways over day bowfishing: 1) there is less water disturbance at night because of less activity of the general public; 2) there is reduced glare from the sun and clouds, resulting in greater prey visibility; 3) there is typically less wind at night, so that the calmer waters increase prey visibility at a given depth; 4) some fish species are more vulnerable at night because they may be less active, may move into shallower water, and are often less skittish; 5) bowfishers can "shine" fish with their lights against the dark backdrop of night and in many cases fish will sit motionless as they appear to be stunned, and 6) enforcement of regulations is typically more of a challenge for agencies at night. Although much more study is needed in all of these areas, the limited available evidence reviewed in Cooke et al. (2017) supports these conclusions. ...
... J. Rider, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, personal communication), and used toward conservation and sustainability efforts, enforcement, and creel and tournament data acquisition needed for management (Fig. 24); 2. how to cost-effectively manage and monitor the fisheries, amid increasing participation and technology-driven fishing power, with its potential effects on native species; 3. how to evaluate and manage these fisheries with necessary regard to age, size, and sex specific data needed on the stocks (Fig. 20); 4. the lack of productive use of the vast majority of fish, especially native fishes, killed by bowfishing and when wanton waste constitutes a problem (Figs. 18,23); 5. the increase in night bowfishing and its potential challenges and consequences for effective management and enforcement (Cooke et al. 2017); 6. a commitment to research nonharvest mortality and consideration of regulatory options to reduce the likelihood of escape of maimed fish (e.g. mandating dip nets); 7. how to work with enforcement branches of agencies, bowfishers, and the industry in developing regulations amenable to scientifically and socially defensible, cost-effective, enforcement (Rider et al. 2019). ...
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In this paper we review the history and development of bowfishing, provide a case study of a high-profile bowfishing tournament in Oklahoma, survey and summarize management of the sport in all 50 states, and provide scientifically-based approaches for its management. Bowfishing has a distinct niche in the evolution of the bow and arrow and in fishing, as one of several methods practiced by many and scattered indigenous cultures worldwide. In the past century, advances in technology, including the development of the compound bow, custom boat and lighting systems for night bowfishing, and improved information transfer have opened the sport to many people previously unable to participate in the sport at a satisfying level. Bowfishing poses some distinct challenges for fisheries managers compared to angling, including the impracticality of catch-and-release, noncatch (wounding) mortality, and by-catch mortality of non-targeted native species. In 2019, we conducted a survey of 50 state fish and wildlife agencies that indicated only nine states had bowfishing education programs and none had articulated management goals or plans specific to the sport. Evidence indicates that bowfishing may provide plentiful opportunities for harvesting nuisance invasive species such as Asian carps (Cyprinidae) and the Common Carp Cyprinus carpio, but must be practiced much more judiciously, and in some instances, not at all, depending on locality, for higher valued native species such as buffalofishes (Catostomidae: Ictiobus spp.), Paddlefish Polyodon spathula, gars (Lepisosteidae), and rays (Batoidea). Whereas in the terrestrial and avian species that bowhunters most commonly target, males reach a larger size than females, in fish species targeted by bowfishers, the opposite is the case. The result is selective depletion of large, older, mature females and evolutionarily disruptive truncation of life histories. We suggest ten of many potential topics for consideration in agency management planning for bowfisheries. We seek to provide agencies information for developing historical, ecological, and socioeconomic perspectives for managing bowfisheries, as other fisheries, as instruments of species conservation, public benefit, and sound long-term public policy.
... The effects of ALAN on fish attraction/aggregation are not lost on recreational fishers; recreational fishers often target artificially lit areas for night fishing, as they know certain target game species will follow baitfish into the illuminated areas [99]. Urbanisation has led to an increase in artificial light installations in coastal areas, illuminating a substantial portion of shallow aquatic habitats at night [100,101], and has therefore created ample opportunities for recreational fishers to exploit artificial lighting (i.e., light pollution) to increase catch rates. ...
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Terrestrial, marine and freshwater realms are inherently linked through ecological, biogeochemical and/or physical processes. An understanding of these connections is critical to optimise management strategies and ensure the ongoing resilience of ecosystems. Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a global stressor that can profoundly affect a wide range of organisms and habitats and impact multiple realms. Despite this, current management practices for light pollution rarely consider connectivity between realms. Here we discuss the ways in which ALAN can have cross-realm impacts and provide case studies for each example discussed. We identified three main ways in which ALAN can affect two or more realms: 1) impacts on species that have life cycles and/or stages in two or more realms, such as diadromous fish that cross realms during ontogenetic migrations and many terrestrial insects that have juvenile phases of the life cycle in aquatic realms; 2) impacts on species interactions that occur across realm boundaries, and 3) impacts on transition zones or ecosystems such as mangroves and estuaries. We then propose a framework for cross-realm management of light pollution and discuss current challenges and potential solutions to increase the uptake of a cross-realm approach for ALAN management. We argue that the strengthening and formalisation of professional networks that involve academics, lighting practitioners, environmental managers and regulators that work in multiple realms is essential to provide an integrated approach to light pollution. Networks that have a strong multi-realm and multi-disciplinary focus are important as they enable a holistic understanding of issues related to ALAN.
... The effects of ALAN on fish attraction/aggregation are not lost on recreational fishers; recreational fishers often target artificially lit areas for night fishing, as they know certain target game species will follow baitfish into the illuminated areas [99]. Urbanisation has led to an increase in artificial light installations in coastal areas, illuminating a substantial portion of shallow aquatic habitats at night [100,101], and has therefore created ample opportunities for recreational fishers to exploit artificial lighting (i.e., light pollution) to increase catch rates. ...
Full-text available
Terrestrial, marine, and freshwater realms are inherently linked through ecological, biogeochemical and/or physical processes. An understanding of these connections is critical to optimise management strategies and ensure the ongoing resilience of ecosystems. Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a global stressor that can profoundly affect a wide range of organisms and habitats and impact multiple realms. Despite this, current management practices for light pollution rarely consider connectivity between realms. Here we discuss the ways in which ALAN can have cross-realm impacts and provide case studies for each example discussed. We identified three main ways in which ALAN can affect two or more realms: 1) impacts on species that have life cycles and/or stages on two or more realms, such as diadromous fish that cross realms during ontogenetic migrations and many terrestrial insects that have juvenile phases of the lifecycle in aquatic realms; 2) impacts on species interactions that occur across realm boundaries, and 3) impacts on transition zones or ecosystems such as mangroves and estuaries. We then propose a framework for cross-realm management of light pollution and discuss current challenges and potential solutions to increase the uptake of a cross-realm approach for ALAN management. We argue that the strengthening and formalisation of professional networks that involve academics, lighting practitioners, environmental managers and regulators that work in multiple realms is essential to provide an integrated approach to light pollution. Networks that have a strong multi-realm and multi-disciplinary focus are important as they enable a holistic understanding of issues related to ALAN.
... Pope et al., 2017;Veiga et al., 2010), complicating the quantification of nocturnal recreational fishing effort. Nocturnal fishing can comprise a substantial portion of fishing activity (reviewed in Cooke et al., 2017) and nocturnal effort may be very different to that measured from diurnal fishing (Diogo and Pereira, 2016;Hammerschlag et al., 2017). Therefore, relying solely on data derived from surveys that provide incomplete coverage of the temporal scope of the fishery will lead to biased or imprecise estimates of recreational catch and effort (Steffe et al., 2008;Taylor et al., 2018). ...
The collection of fine-scale recreational fishing data can assist in assessing the potential impacts on target species and sensitive biota. We employed a thermographic camera, laser rangefinder, compass and custom-designed mobile application to estimate fine-scale recreational fishing effort for blue-swimmer crabs (Portunus armatus) within Peel-Harvey Estuary, a Ramsar-listed wetland. Geo-referenced locations for shore-based recreational fishers were recorded for sixty 18-h fishing days in a 12-month period. Annual fishing effort was estimated to be 100,815 (SE 12,521) fisher hours, 16.3 % greater than estimates that excluded nocturnal fishing from the analysis. Generalized linear models were applied to determine significant factors describing the variability in fishing activity and for planning future cost-effective surveys. The main effects of time of day and wind condition, and the interaction of season with day type and season with region, were significant at the α = 0.05 level. These data suggest that fishers respond to the abundance of legal-sized crabs within the estuary, with peak fishing activity concentrated on discrete areas and times of the year. The methods used in this study can be applied to quantify nocturnal recreational fishing effort, optimize cost-effective recreational fishing surveys, and determine where recreational fishing activity overlaps areas of sensitive biota.
... MRF is supporting nutrition and food security , and acts as an important driver of the science on aquatic species and ecosystems . MRF involves various active and passive fishing gears (e.g., rod and line, spear, nets, traps and set lines) but is dominated by rod and line fishing (angling) ( Cooke et al., 2017). Because MRF is predominantly carried out from small boats or shorelines, the associated environmental impacts concentrate on the coastal zones. ...
Marine recreational fishing (MRF) is a popular activity that involves millions of people worldwide. While the impacts of recreational fishing on freshwater ecosystems received increasing attention in recent decades, the consequences of MRF on marine fish and ecosystems are largely unstudied. MRF takes place mainly in coastal areas where most of its impacts concentrate. This review identified and ranked the activities and potential risks associated with MRF using a risk assessment matrix based on ecological and fisheries-related literature. The majority of the impacts were rated to be of minor importance (impacts that occur locally, are reversible, and comparably easy to manage on local scales). Three impacts were ranked as high-risk impacts (severe impacts that are difficult to reverse and to manage, and that may require management measures on a broad spatial scale): (1) the direct and indirect impacts of high and selective fishing mortality (truncation of the natural age and size structure, depensatory mechanisms, loss of genetic variability, evolutionary changes, and food web changes) because they potentially contribute to the decline of fish stocks and undermine biodiversity and ecological resilience, (2) the use of live bait organisms that originate from water bodies elsewhere because released or lost live bait organisms potentially impact the genetic, species, and ultimately ecosystem diversity, and (3) the loss of lead containing fishing tackle that potentially causes environmental contamination. The separation of MRF-induced impacts from other anthropogenic impacts is difficult and the impacts vary according to country-specific fishing practices, legislation, and cultural backgrounds. It can nonetheless be concluded that MRF can impact fish populations and coastal environments. In particular, the high-risk impacts require further investigations as information on their effects on marine fish stocks and ecosystems are generally sparse. Finally, the review outlines management implications for sustainable marine recreational fisheries that match the temporal and spatial scale of both the marine environment affected and the recreational fishing effort and proposes areas for future research.
In response to lacking information on bowfishing, bowfishers, and management planning nationwide, a survey was sent to 15,000 licensed Oklahoma anglers (bowfishers and non-bowfishers) in 2021. Respondents (n = 1,346) were mainly male (73%) and white (74%), had an annual/5-year license (46%) or a lifetime license (39%), and had an average age of 48 (1,182 respondents provided demographics). Questions to bowfishers gauged the importance of bowfishing compared to other fishing activities; trip frequency and motivation; where, when, and which species were targeted; the utilization of fish taken; and attitudes regarding bowfishing regulations. An estimated 24% of licensed anglers had bowfished before. Bowfishing participation in the previous year had more than doubled (4% in 2018 to 9.1% in 2020). Most (57%) had bowfished for 3 years or less; 49% identified as beginners, 43% identified as intermediate, and 8% identified as advanced. Overall, most bowfishing occurred by day (54%), in early summer (May–July), from shore (49%), and in rivers and streams (67%) or reservoirs (53%). Bowfishers sought carps (85%), gars (74%), and buffalofishes (32%). Bowfishers typically used shot fish for fertilizer or buried them (48%), used them for animal consumption (35%) or human consumption (32%), or returned them to the water (20%). Compared to non-bowfishers, bowfishers reported a wider diversity of acceptable outcomes for fish species taken with any fishing method, particularly the nongame fishes. Most bowfishers (86%) and non-bowfishers (94%) trusted the state management agency to appropriately manage native, nongame fishes. Bowfishers were mixed on their support for or opposition to having bowfishing regulations for these species. Some respondents noted that regulations would result in them bowfishing less (23%) or quitting bowfishing completely (6%). Thirty-two percent of non-bowfishers expressed interest in bowfishing in the future. The results of this survey will be used in Oklahoma and elsewhere to aid in designing sustainable bowfisheries that serve the broader public interest while conserving native, nongame species.
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This chapter describes approaches to the management of habitat, people and fish stocks that make up freshwater fisheries. Habitat management is advisable whenever habitat bottlenecks limit the productivity of a fishery. Harvest regulations are a useful conservation strategy when fishing mortality is high or specific sizes of fish are to be protected. Finally, stocking may be useful in situations where natural recruitment is lacking or extirpated species are to be restored. Planning of interventions necessitates a rigorous approach based on principles of adaptive management and structured decision-making. Given the many stakeholders affected by fisheries management measures in fresh water, an integrative, stakeholder-inclusive approach is recommended.
This chapter is concerned mainly with the evolutionary adaptation of visual systems in bony fishes living in aquatic environments. Some of the ideas, however, may be more'generally applicable, both to other aquatic animals and to terrestrial vertebrates. Adaptations in all parts of the visual apparatus could be considered here. We shall concentrate on retinal mechanisms, especially on the receptors themselves. For more general reviews, see Walls (1942), Rochon-Duvigneaud (1943), Prince (1956), and Rodieck (1973). Among more primitive fishes, a good deal is known about cyclostomes, and this has been recently reviewed by Crescitelli (1972) and Bridges (1972). Much less is known about the vision of elasmobranchs; this was also discussed by Crescitelli (1972).
Optics--a field of physics focusing on the study of light--is also central to many areas of biology, including vision, ecology, botany, animal behavior, neurobiology, and molecular biology.The Optics of Lifeintroduces the fundamentals of optics to biologists and nonphysicists, giving them the tools they need to successfully incorporate optical measurements and principles into their research. S nke Johnsen starts with the basics, describing the properties of light and the units and geometry of measurement. He then explores how light is created and propagates and how it interacts with matter, covering topics such as absorption, scattering, fluorescence, and polarization. Johnsen also provides a tutorial on how to measure light as well as an informative discussion of quantum mechanics. The Optics of Lifefeatures a host of examples drawn from nature and everyday life, and several appendixes that offer further practical guidance for researchers. This concise book uses a minimum of equations and jargon, explaining the basic physics of light in a succinct and lively manner. It is the essential primer for working biologists and for anyone seeking an accessible introduction to optics.
Fish are one of North America’s most valuable renewable resources. Although recreational anglers harvest a portion of their catch, modern recreational fisheries are based on the principle of sustainable use, and most are highly regulated using the best available science, fisheries data and risk assessments. Recent surveys indicate that approximately 10–20% of the North American population participates in angling, and the resulting economic impact is greater than that from commercial fishing and aquaculture; it even exceeds the combined annual revenue from several of the top major league sports in North America. The relationship between man and certain fish species that arises through activities such as recreational angling is an important driver of the science on aquatic species and their ecosystems. There are many other ways that recreational anglers contribute to conservation, with benefits for sportfish and non-sportfish species alike, as well as for North America’s aquatic ecosystems.
*Gender and social protection *Cash transfers *Pensions *Social protection and migration *Manuals *Organisations
Nearshore fisheries in the tropical Pacific play an important role, both culturally and as a reliable source of food security, but often remain under-reported in statistics, leading to undervaluation of their importance to communities. We re-estimated nonpelagic catches for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and summarize previous work for American Samoa for 1950-2002. For all islands combined, catches declined by 77%, contrasting with increasing trends indicated by reported data. For individual island entities, re-estimation suggested declines of 86%, 54%, and 79% for Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa, respectively. Except for Guam, reported data primarily represented commercial catches, and hence under-represented contributions by subsistence and recreational fisheries. Guam's consistent use of creel surveys for data collection resulted in the most reliable reported catches for any of the islands considered. Our re-estimation makes the scale of under-reporting of total catches evident, and provides valuable baselines of likely historic patterns in fisheries catches.