Do carbonated beverages reduce bleeding from gill injuries in angled Northern Pike? [article]

Alexandria Trahan, Auston Chhor, Michael J Lawrence, Jacob W Brownscombe, Daniel Glassman, Connor Reid, Alice Abrams, Andy J Danylchuk, Steven J Cooke
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
The premise of catch-and-release angling is that most fish survive fisheries interactions. Therefore, it is common for anglers, management agencies, and other organizations to share information on handling practices and other strategies that are believed to improve fish welfare and survival. Recent media coverage has sensationalized the use of carbonated beverages to treat bleeding fish, an intervention that is purported to stop bleeding but has yet to be validated scientifically. We captured
more » ... ally. We captured Northern Pike (Esox lucius) via hook and line, experimentally injured their gills in a standardized manner, and treated them with either Mountain Dew, Coca Cola, or carbonated lake water and observed the duration and intensity of bleeding, as well as overall blood loss (using gill colour as a proxy) while the fish was held in a lake water bath. As a control, we had a group of experimentally injured fish that did not have liquid poured over their gills before the observation period. All treatments and the control were conducted at two different water temperatures (11-18 °C and 24-27 °C) to determine if the effects of pouring carbonated beverages over injured gills is temperature dependent. When compared to the control, we found that the duration and intensity of bleeding increased regardless of the type of carbonated beverages used in this study, and there was no effect of water temperature. Use of chilled versus ambient temperature beverages similarly had no influence on outcomes. As such, there is no scientific evidence to support the use of carbonated beverages for reducing or stopping blood loss for fish that have had their gills injured during recreational angling based on the context studied here. This study reinforced the need to scientifically test angler anecdotes and theories when it comes to best practices for catch-and-release fishing.
doi:10.1101/2020.06.15.150797 fatcat:n3ejvdoq6fahrn6nigredqw6qu