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Tuesday, January 30 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
SYMPOSIA-07: Spatial and Temporal Distribution Affects Standardized Sampling Results of Two Sportfish Species in a Midwestern Reservoir

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AUTHORS. Benjamin J. Schall, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks / University of Nebraska Kearney; Keith D. Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Casey W. Schoenebeck, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources / University of Nebraska Kearney

ABSTRACT. Effective standardized sampling protocols can be difficult to establish, particularly in large reservoirs exhibiting a gradient of available habitats. Research on the impact of seasonal fish distribution on population dynamics information can be limited. Therefore, developing a better understanding of fish aggregation patterns can assist managers in sample design and the interpretation of potential influences on sampling data. Lake McConaughy is a large irrigation and hydroelectric reservoir over 35 km in length located in western Nebraska and covers more than 14,000 hectares. Investigation of spatial and seasonal distribution of two common sportfish species was performed to determine potential biases related to sampling design. Significant seasonal differences in distribution occurred in catch per gill net night and mean total length (mm). Results of population dynamics assessments also indicated seasonal differences in age (years), projected growth, and mortality, which has the potential to impact management objectives. However, trends were not consistent for Walleye (Sander vitreus) and Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). The information obtained from this research indicates that a stratified sampling approach may be necessary in large reservoirs, and sample timing should reflect research or management objectives.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm

Attendees (22)