The Science of Recreational Angling

Within fisheries science, new areas of research have emerged that are devoted to studying the impacts of recreational angling on sport fish populations, including the long-term effects of catch-and-release angling. Much of this work has been centered in Illinois or has been done by fisheries scientists who have studied in Illinois. A list of key peer-reviewed scientific publications is provided below. Author's names that appear in bold have conducted research in Illinois.

Recreational Fishing Gear

Cooke, S.J., V.M. Nguyen, K.J. Murchie, A.J. Danylchuk and C.D. Suski. In Press. Scientific and stakeholder perspectives on the use of circle hooks in recreational fisheries. Bulletin of Marine Science 00:000-000.

Wilson, A.D.M., T.R. Binder, K.P. McGrath, S.J. Cooke and J. Godin. 2011. Capture technique and fish personality: angling targets timid bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68:749-757.

Fobert, E., P. Meining, A. Colotelo, C. O'Connor, and S.J. Cooke. 2009. Cut the line or remove the hook? An evaluation of sublethal and lethal endpoints for deeply hooked freshwater recreational fish. Fisheries Research 99:38-46.

O'Toole, A.C., K.C. Hanson, and S.J. Cooke. 2009. The effect of shoreline recreational angling activities on aquatic and riparian habitat within an urban environment: implications for conservation and management. Environmental Management 44:324-334.

Arlinghaus, R., T. Klefoth, A. Kobler and S.J. Cooke. 2008. Size-selectivity, capture efficiency, injury, handling time and initial hooking mortality of angled northern pike (Esox lucius) in Germany and Canada: the influence of bait size and type. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:123-134.

Donaldson, M.R., R. Arlinghaus,K.C. Hanson, and S.J. Cooke. 2008. Enhancing catch-and-release science with biotelemetry. Fish and Fisheries 9:79-105.

Rapp, T., S.J. Cooke, and R. Arlinghaus. 2008. Conservation and exploitation of specialized fisheries resources: the importance of hook size in recreational angling for trophy common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Fisheries Research 94:79-83.

Arlinghaus, R., T. Klefoth, A.J. Gingerich, M.R. Donaldson,K.C. Hanson, and S.J. Cooke. 2008. The behaviour and survival of pike (Esox lucius L.) with a retained lure in the lower jaw. Fisheries Management & Ecology 15:459-466.

Arlinghaus, R., S.J. Cooke, J. Lyman, D. Policansky, A. Schwab, C.D. Suski, S.G. Sutton, and E.B. Thorstad. 2007. Understanding the complexity of catch-and-release in recreational fishing: an integrative synthesis of global knowledge from historical, ethical, social, and biological perspectives. Reviews in Fisheries Science 15:75-167.

Siepker, M.J., K.G. Ostrand, S.J. Cooke, D.H. Wahl, and D.P. Philipp. 2007. A review of the effects of catch-and-release angling on black bass, Micropterus spp.: implications for conservation and management of populations. Fisheries Management and Ecology 14:91-101.

Ostrand, K.G., M.J. Siepker, and S.J. Cooke. 2006. Capture efficiencies of two hook types and associated injury and mortality of juvenile muskellunge angled with live baitfish. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:622-627.

Ostrand, K.G., M.J. Siepker, S.J. Cooke, W.F. Bauer, and D.H. Wahl. 2005. Largemouth bass catch rates and injury associated with non-offset and offset circle hook configurations. Fisheries Research 74:306-311.

Cooke, S.J., B.L. Barthel, C.D. Suski, M.J. Siepker, and D.P. Philipp. 2005. Influence of circle hook size on hooking efficiency, injury, and size selectivity of bluegill with comments on circle hook conservation benefits in recreational fisheries. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25:211-219.

Cooke, S.J., and C.D. Suski. 2004. Are circle hooks effective tools for conserving freshwater and marine recreational catch-and-release fisheries? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 14:299-326.

Cooke, S.J., C.D. Suski, B.L. Barthel, K.G. Ostrand, B.L. Tufts, and D.P. Philipp. 2003. Injury and mortality induced by four hook types on bluegill and pumpkinseed. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:883-893.

Cooke, S.J., C.D. Suski, M.J. Siepker, and K.G. Ostrand. 2003. Injury rates, hooking efficiency and mortality potential of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) captured on circle hooks and octopus hooks. Fisheries Research 61:135-144.

Cooke, S.J., B.L. Barthel, and C.D. Suski. 2003. Effects of hook type on injury and capture efficiency of rock bass, Ambloplites rupestris, angled in southeastern Ontario. Fisheries Management and Ecology 10:269-271.

Effects of Angling on Sport Fish

Philipp, D.P., S.J. Cooke, J.E. Claussen, J.B. Koppelman, C.D. Suski, and D.P. Burkett. 2009. Angling-induced Selection in Largemouth Bass: Implications for Conservation and Management of Recreational Fisheries. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138:189-199.

Suski, C. D. and D.P. Philipp. 2004. Factors affecting the vulnerability to angling of nesting male largemouth and smallmouth bass. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 133:1100-1106.

Suski, C. D. J. H. Svec, J. B. Ludden, F.J.S. Phelan, and D.P. Philipp. 2003. The effect of catch-and-release angling on the parental care of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 132: 210-218.

Suski, C.D., F. Phelan, M.F. Kubacki, and D.P. Philipp. 2002. The use of sanctuaries to protect nesting black bass from angling. American Fisheries Society Symposium 31:371-378.

Kubacki, M., F. Phelan, J.E. Claussen, and D.P. Philipp. 2002. How well does a closed season protect spawning bass in Ontario? American Fisheries Society Symposium 31:371-378.

Physiology of Angling Sport Fish

Note: Conservation Physiology is an emerging discipline that studies the physiological responses of organisms to environmental changes, as a result of human alterations, that might cause or contribute to the decline of a population.

Rapp, T., J. Hallermann, S.J. Cooke, S.K. Hetz, S. Wuertz, and R. Arlinghaus. 2012. Physiological and behavioural consequences of capture and retention in carp sacks on common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.), with implications for catch-and-release recreational fishing. Fisheries Research 125-126:57-68.

Landsman, S.J., H.J. Wachelka, C.D. Suski and S.J. Cooke. 2011. Evaluation of the physiology, and survival of adult muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) captured and released by specialized anglers. Fisheries Research 110:377-386.

Redpath, T.D., S.J. Cooke, C.D. Suski, R. Arlinghaus, P. Couture, D.H. Wahl, and D.P. Philipp. 2010. The metabolic and biochemical basis of vulnerability to recreational angling after three generations of angling-induced selection in a teleost fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67:1983-1992.

Arlinghaus, R., T. Klefoth, S.J. Cooke, A. Gingerich, and C.D. Suski. 2009. A combined laboratory and field study to understand physiological and behavioral disturbance and recovery from catch-and-release recreational angling in northern pike (Esox lucius). Fisheries Research 97:223-233.

Henry, N.A., S.J. Cooke, and K.C. Hanson. 2009. Consequences of fishing lure retention on the behaviour and physiology of free-swimming smallmouth bass during the reproductive period. Fisheries Research 100:178-182.

Thompson, L.A., M.R. Donaldson, K.C. Hanson, R. Arlinghaus, S. J. Cooke. 2008. Physiology, behavior and survival of angled and air exposed largemouth bass. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1059-1068.

Suski, C.D., S.S. Killen, S.J. Cooke, J.D. Kieffer, D.P. Philipp, and B.L. Tufts. 2004. Physiological significance of the weigh-in during live-release angling tournaments for largemouth bass. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 133:1291-1303.

Recreational Anglers' Attitudes and Behavior

Arlinghaus, R., T.D. Beard, Jr., S.J. Cooke, and I.G. Cowx. 2012. Benefits and risks of adopting the code of practice for recreational fisheries. Fisheries 37:165-172.

Hasler, C.T., A.H. Colotelo, T. Rapp, E. Jamieson, K. Bellehumeur, R. Arlinghaus, and S.J. Cooke. 2011. Opinions of fisheries researchers, managers, and anglers towards recreational fishing issues: an exploratory analysis for North America. American Fisheries Society Symposium 75: 51-74.

Arlinghaus, R., S.J. Cooke, and I.G. Cowx. 2010. Providing context to the global code of practice for recreational fisheries. Fisheries Management and Ecology 17:146-156.

Cowx, I.G., R. Arlinghaus, and S.J. Cooke. 2010. Harmonising recreational fisheries and conservation objectives for aquatic biodiversity in inland waters. Journal of Fish Biology 76:2194-2215.

Arlinghaus, R., and S.J. Cooke. 2008. Recreational fishing: socio-economic importance, conservation issues and management challenges. Pages 39-58 in B. Dickson, J. Hutton, and B. Adams, Eds. Recreational Hunting, Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Science and Practice. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.


Philipp, D.P. and M.S. Ridgway. Editors. Black Bass: Ecology, Conservation, and Management. American Fisheries Society Symposium 31, Bethesda Maryland, 724 pp.

Cooke, S.J. and D.P. Philipp. Editors. Centrarchid Fishes: Diversity, Biology, and Conservation. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd publications. London, UK, 552 pp.

T. Douglas Beard, Robert Arlinghaus, and Stephen G. Sutton, editors (2011). The Angler in the Environment: Social, Economic, Biological, and Ethical Dimensions. Proceedings of the 5th World Recreational Fishing Conference.

Conference of the 6th World Recreational Fishing Congress: Toward Resilient Recreational Fisheries