Citation McPherson N, Norman R, Hoyle A, Bron J & Taylor NGH (2012) Stocking methods and parasite-induced reductions in capture: Modelling Argulus foliaceus in trout fisheries. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 312, pp. 22-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.07.017
Abstract Argulus foliaceus is a macroparasite which can have a significant impact on yield in recreational trout fisheries, partly by increasing fish mortalities but also by reducing the appetite of infected fish, making them less likely to respond to bait. The aim of this paper is to determine the impact of four commonly used fish stocking methods both on the parasite dynamics, and on fisheries' yields. The wider consequences of the resultant reduction in host feeding are also of interest. To this end four different stocking methods were incorporated into Anderson and May's macroparasite model, which comprises three differential equations representing the host, attached parasite and free-living parasite populations. To each of these a reduction in the fish capture rate, inversely linked to the mean parasite burden, is added and the effects interpreted. Results show that (1) the common practise of increasing the stocking rate as catches drop may be counterproductive; (2) in the absence of any wild population of reservoir hosts, the parasite will be unable to survive if the stocking rate does not exceed the rate of capture; (3) compensatory stocking to account for fish mortalities can have disastrous consequences on yield; and (4) the parasite can, under certain circumstances, maintain the host population by preventing their capture.