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Tuesday, January 30 • 10:20am - 10:40am
SYMPOSIA-07: Standardization of Fish Sampling Gears in South Dakota

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AUTHORS. Brian G. Blackwell, South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks; Bradley J. Smith, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The first step in standardizing fish sampling in South Dakota was a gear comparison between the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) standard gill nets and modified fyke nets and the recommended North American (NA) equivalent nets. Gill net catch per unit effort (CPUE) was higher for the longer SDGFP nets than the NA nets and modified fyke net catches were similar. Conversion factors were calculated that allow for continued use of historic CPUE data. Species richness and diversity were not found to differ between the SDGFP and NA nets. Additional research found that modified fyke nets with restricted throats retained fish better than non-restricted throats resulting in higher CPUE. Selectivity curves for common species were developed for mesh sizes contained within the NA gill nets. No difference in CPUE was found between random and non-random modified fyke net locations in small waters. The comparisons between the gears and supplemental research provided the necessary information to allow South Dakota to make the transition from SDGFP standard nets to the NA nets. South Dakota began using the NA nets statewide in 2017. In addition to using the NA nets, net locations are now randomized and the number of gill nets used in a standard survey is double the previous number. Concerns with the changes have included that fewer fish are being collected per gill net, portion of sampling period occurs outside the recommended sampling times, and random net placement has resulted in longer boat travel times. Overall, few issues have occurred during the standardization with the NA nets.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am CST