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Long-term shifts in the growth and maturation size of Miyabe charr Salvelinus malma miyabei [Erratum: May 2018, v.84 (3), p.435]

Yamamoto, Yuki, Yoshiyama, Taku, Kajiwara, Keitaro, Nakatani, Toshikuni, Matsuishi, Takashi
Fisheries science 2018 v.84 no.3 pp. 425-433
Salvelinus malma, fish, fish communities, issues and policy, lakes, life history, overfishing, population size, sport fishing
Overfishing can affect life history traits, resulting in population collapse and oftentimes a decrease in length-at-age and maturation size in fish populations. However, little is known about the recovery mechanisms and time scales of these traits in exploited wild populations. In the study reported here, we documented long-term shifts in growth and mature size in Miyabe charr Salvelinus malma miyabei associated with a history of recreational fishing in Lake Shikaribetsu for approximately 80 years. Downsizing in the charr was observed when the charr population collapsed due to intensive recreational fishing. However, subsequent moratoriums and the introduction of fishing regulations, especially the implementation of a catch-and-release policy, during the following 10–30 years facilitated the recovery of population size, length-at-age and mature fish size. This study provides important insights into the biological changes and required recovery time scales of a heavily harvested population and supports management and conservation strategies.