Fisheries Science

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 157–162 | Cite as

Stress hormone responses in ayu Plecoglossus altivelis in reaction to different catching methods: comparisons between electrofishing and cast netting

  • Satoshi AwataEmail author
  • Tetsuya Tsuruta
  • Takashi Yada
  • Kei’ichiro Iguchi
Original Article Fisheries


It is important to select the most appropriate method for fish sampling in streams and rivers; the sampling efficiency as well as any negative effect of the method of fish sampling on fishes such as stress, injury, and mortality must be considered. This study aimed to investigate stress hormone responses in ayu Plecoglossus altivelis in reaction to direct current (DC) electrofishing, alternating current (AC) electrofishing, and cast netting in artificial streams. The mortality, injury rate, and catch efficiency of these catching methods were also compared. It was found that immediately after capture, fish caught using a cast net exhibited significantly higher cortisol levels than did control fish that were caught rapidly by a hand net. Cortisol levels did not differ between electroshocked fish and the controls. Time required to catch 12 fish was shorter when DC was used (20 s) than when AC was used (45 s). The time required to catch fish greatly increased when a cast net was used (840 s). Cortisol levels in DC electroshocked and control treatment groups were at resting levels 24 and 48 h after capture. However, higher cortisol levels were found in fish captured using a cast net at both these time points. Cortisol levels in AC electroshocked fish returned to lower levels at 24 h, but increased again at 48 h. Furthermore, 48 h following capture, the fish caught by AC electrofishing exhibited higher mortality (7.5 %) than those captured by other methods (0 %). Spinal injury was also detected in one of the fish in this group. Considering these findings, DC electrofishing is the most effective and least damaging method for collecting P. altivelis in streams with respect to stress, physical damage, and efficiency.


Cortisol Catching efficiency DC electrofishing AC electrofishing Cast net Plecoglossus altivelis 



The authors are thankful to an editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive critique of an earlier draft of this paper. This work was supported by research grants from the Fisheries Agency, Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Care and handling of fish conformed to the guidelines for the use of fishes in research established by the Ichthyological Society of Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoshi Awata
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Tetsuya Tsuruta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takashi Yada
    • 3
  • Kei’ichiro Iguchi
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Ueda Station, Freshwater Fisheries Research Division, National Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceFisheries Research AgencyUedaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Human Life and Environment, Faculty of Human EnvironmentOsaka Sangyo UniversityDaitoJapan
  3. 3.Nikko Station, Freshwater Fisheries Research Division, National Research Institute of AquacultureFisheries Research AgencyNikkoJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Fisheries Science and Environmental StudiesNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  5. 5.Sado Marine Biological Station, Faculty of ScienceNiigata UniversitySadoJapan

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