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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Estimating Angling Effort on Four of Minnesota’s Fishing in the Neighborhood Lakes via Time Lapse Cameras

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AUTHORS: Jon Hansen, Jim Levitt, Tim Ohmann - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources started the Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program in 2001 to offer angling opportunities close to population centers throughout the twin cities metro area. Under increasingly tighter state budgets, program evaluation is critical both to determine if FiN efforts are paying off and to use limited resources more efficiently across the 40 ponds in the FiN program. Arguably the most important metric for evaluating program effectiveness and resource efficiency is angler effort at each pond, however conducting in person creel surveys is expensive. Fisheries professionals are increasingly utilizing technologies such as trail cameras and image processing software to estimate angling effort. We initiated a pilot project to estimate angling effort on four FiN lakes for the 2016-2017 angling season. If successful and cost-effective the camera creel effort would be integrated into the standard sampling rotation with the ultimate goal of identifying what ponds are used the most and why. Effort was successfully and cost-effectively estimated on four ponds. A customizable software (TimeLapse2) was critical in making image processing cost-effective. Annual effort ranged from 64 hours per acre to 428 hours per acre. Early summer saw the highest fishing effort, with June being consistently the most popular month. Some interesting patterns emerged, including the fact that the most popular pond was the farthest from dense populations but offered the greatest angling experience suggesting the importance of providing quality fishing opportunities. This project is continuing and likely expanding to incorporate camera based angling estimation into other statewide fisheries applications. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer