The phenomenon of hyperstability has been blamed for collapse of multiple fisheries

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The phenomenon of hyperstability has been blamed for collapse of multiple fisheries

Postby WB Staff » Fri May 01, 2020 10:13 pm

The phenomenon of hyperstability has been blamed for collapse of multiple fisheries.jpg


As Wisconsin anglers head out for Saturday’s season opener, a new study suggests their luck at the lake may not reflect the number of fish in the water.

In an experiment done on a small lake in northern Wisconsin, researchers found that anglers continued catching bass even as the population dwindled.

“What comes out of the water is not always representative of what lies beneath the surface,” said study co-author Chris Solomon, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. “Even if the fish are biting, this doesn’t mean there are many of them.”

The phenomenon — known as hyperstability — is not new and has been blamed for the collapse of multiple fisheries, most famously the North Atlantic cod population off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1990s.

But the mechanisms have been less well understood.

For one, fish tend to congregate in their favorite habitat, such as along the shore. When the population is large, some fish will be edged out into other parts of the lake, sort of like a grocery store parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile anglers, armed with ever-improving technology such as sonar and fish finders, have gotten better at catching fish. And as populations shrink, less-skilled anglers tend to give up while those who know where to look continue to bring in fish.

FUll story: https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/envi ... 91982.html

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