About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Autopsy at the shore

When I went fishing yesterday morning, I found fish bones spread around at the shore. It was large fish. Nothing much left, but only white bones. My curiosity urged me to start my own autopsy.

Without skull, total length was 50 cm. Including skull, it might be about 60 something fish. Decent size fish. It seems like carp.

After taking the picture, I found its skull nearby, and it confirmed that it was carp. I carefully inspected the skull, but could not figure out cause of death. I expected to find fish hook at its gills. Considering size of the fish, it was tool young to die naturally. Carp's life span is 40 to 50 years. I didn't count rings at its ear bone, but it look like 5 to 7 years old.

What killed the carp?
  1. Predator: there is pike in the Hudson river. I am skeptical about pike attack. Because there are plenty of small preys that pike munch on.
  2. Pollution or disease: Possible. I have never seen a dead fish at the shore though.
  3. Deep hooking: I think it is very possible. All fishermen are very careful not to hurt their catch when they release them. But sometimes, fish swallow hook, and it is fatal. From my experience, lure fishing has rare chance to deep-hook. I can set hook before fish eat the hook. But in case of bait fishing, there is greater chance of deep-hooking. To prevent deep hooking, I often use circle hook for bait fishing. I will write about circle hook in the future. For catch-and-release, we need to be more careful.

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