Bachelor of Science
School or Department
Mike Mitchell, Michael Patterson, Lisa Eby
Westslope Cutthroat, Hook Scarring, Angler Satisfaction, Barbless Hooks, Catch and Release
Anglers in Montana are shifting towards a catch and release ethic. This shift is causing increased hook scarring in fish populations. Despite these increasing trends few studies have quantified the rate of hook scarring anglers observe, and their attitudes about hook scarring. We developed and conducted an angler survey on the West Fork of the Bitterroot, a section of river with over 30% scarring rates in Westslope Cutthroat in a 2014 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) electrofishing survey. We surveyed floating anglers as they pulled out at the end of the fishing day to get complete catch data, satisfaction information, observed hook scarring rates, attitudes about hook scarring, and equipment used. We surveyed 47 anglers of which 94% were fly-fishing and 72% were using barbless hooks. Anglers observed lower hook scarring rates than the previous MFWP electrofishing survey. On average anglers reported hook scarring rates to be very acceptable. There was no correlation between the rate of hook scarring anglers observed and satisfaction with their catch. As densities of anglers increase, more research is needed to understand the effects of angler gear type on hook scarring rates and the effect of hook scarring on angler satisfaction.
Honors College Research Project
GLI Capstone Project
Rich, Benjamin, "The Effect of Hook Scarring on Angler Satisfaction on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River" (2016). Undergraduate Theses and Professional Papers. 216.
© Copyright 2016 Benjamin Rich