Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2010Peer reviewed

Time trends in angler compliance with harvest regulations in stream fisheries

Eriksson, Torleif; Hannersjö, David; Bergwall, Lars; Jacobsson, Gunnar; Leonardsson, Kjell


P>Harvest regulations in stream fisheries are used to improve fisheries and protect vulnerable fish stocks, but objectives are often not fulfilled. Roving interviews of grayling, Thymallus thymallus L., and brown trout, Salmo trutta L., anglers in north Swedish streams were performed during a 15-year-period to reveal the effects of regulation changes and levels of compliance. Harvest of fish below minimum size limits declined with time in river sections with 25- and 30-cm minimum size limits. No clear time trend was found for the 35-cm size limit. In addition, the proportion of voluntary released legal-sized fish increased over time, indicating a change in angler attitudes. The overall effect of increasing the minimum size limit was lowering of angler-induced fishing mortality. Interview data revealed perception, shared by many anglers, of an acceptable fish size to take home for food. From a management perspective, the realised effect of angler behaviour on the fish populations needs to be considered.


angling; compliance; harvest regulations; minimum size limit; salmonids; streams

Published in

Fisheries Management and Ecology
2010, Volume: 17, number: 1, pages: 52-62