Predatory Fish Responses to Prey Odors (Chemical Lures)

  • Dietland Müller-Schwarze


Predatory fish locate their prey primarily by scent or vision. Here, we are concerned with the chemical sense. Chemical hunting is particularly adaptive for nocturnal species or those living in turbid waters. Many marine and freshwater fishes hunt by smell. The chemical compounds responsible for this attraction have been identified. Most of them are amino acids, and particularly active as mixtures of several amino acids.

Chemical lures impregnated with prey scent have been developed for different species of carnivorous fish. Lures for different game fish species are supposed to contain different chemicals, although usually not revealed on the labels of the products. The artificial lures are made of cellulose ether, a polyalkylene glycol, plasticizers, and other chemicals, and are impregnated with amino acids.

In this exercise, we test the efficacy of chemical fish lures in catching small fish in streams and lakes near the campus. These species are not necessarily “sport fish,” but any carnivorous species occurring in three different freshwater habitats.


Yellow Perch Freshwater Habitat Carnivorous Species Cellulose Ether Carnivorous Fish 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietland Müller-Schwarze
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New York-SyracuseSyracuseUSA

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