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Fisheries Behavioral Ecology - Abstracts

Stoner, A.W. and E.A. Sturm. 2004. Temperature and hunger mediate sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) feeding motivation: implications for stock assessment. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 61:238-246.


Laboratory experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that temperature (2–8 °C) and recent feeding history (1–6 days of food deprivation) influence feeding motivation and attacks on baits by adult sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria). Activity level after introduction of a bait-related olfactory cue increased with increasing water temperature and food deprivation. Fish at the lowest temperature (2 °C) attacked and consumed fewer squid baits (33–71%) than those at higher temperatures (100% at 8 °C). Baits were frequently inspected or handled multiple times before consumption in low temperatures, and time to attack (seconds to >40 min), time to consume, and time to handle baits (2–20 s) all decreased significantly with increasing temperature, with some temperature x feeding history interactions. The total ration consumed increased (<1–8% of body weight) with increasing water temperature. The observed variability in activity and feeding motivation in sablefish may have a large impact on the effective area of baited gear but is rarely considered in stock assessment models. In particular, population sizes based upon baited gear surveys may be underestimated in conditions where temperature is low, natural prey density is high, or where other environmental variables reduce feeding motivation.


Last updated 31 March, 2009

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