The secret is out. Sportfishermen all over the world have discovered the awesome fighting characteristics of peacock bass, payara and other amazing Amazon gamefish. Almost too quickly, they've become a fishing sensation. Although popular interest is a good thing for the sportfishing business, sometimes it can be a direct threat to the health of a sensitive, unprotected fishery. With the overnight advent of a slew of new, sometimes less-than-careful, trip operators, it's time to take steps to protect these unique tropical fisheries.
Conservation efforts in the U.S. have helped to reverse decades long deterioration of fish stocks in dozens of regions. Florida's inshore fisheries have blossomed anew; New Jersey's stripers have made a triumphal return; and most U.S. fishing destinations are better than they've been in the last fifty years. With an improved scientific understanding of Amazonian fisheries, preemptive steps can be taken to assure that these exciting species and their delicate habitat never suffer serious declines and remain protected and vital in spite of the increased pressure of current popular interest.
What's good for fish is good for anglers, and for Acute Angling as well. So we've joined forces with several academic and conservation organizations to lend our support on several fronts in this effort. We're using our access to peacock bass to collect DNA samples and catch and release data throughout our peacock bass fishing range, to be used in an exhaustive study of all Brazilian Cichla species. We've also taken the lead on a historical first project to study the life cycle of payara (Hydrolicus species) on the Urariquera river. This important work will help to separate the myth from the facts, so that conservation and fishing activity can be optimally coordinated to help preserve these exotic fisheries. Finally, Acute Angling’s CEO, Dr. Paul Reiss, has recently completed a thorough analysis of the life history characteristics of Cichla temensis (the giant peacock bass) and its interaction with the Amazon’s flood pulse ecology. The first two of three publications in this series, can be accessed on this site or in the Journal Neotropical Ichthyology.
The Amazon basin is under constant destructive pressure. Acute Angling, recognizing the critical need for conservation of the region if it is to continue as a productive sportfishery, has begun the study and implementation of a series of conservation efforts in its fisheries.