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Size selectivity of sampling gears used to sample Kokanee

August 8, 2019

Kokanee Oncorhynchus nerka provide valued recreational fisheries and also serve as a prey resource for economically, socially, and ecologically important fishes. As such, management of kokanee is a major focus of natural resource agencies. Kokanee are typically monitored using midwater trawls, but the interpretation of data collected using midwater trawls is difficult due to the unknown size selectivity of the gear. We sought to assess the length selectivity of midwater trawls by comparing estimates obtained from midwater trawls with estimates obtained from gill nets adjusted for size selectivity. Experimental curtain gill nets and midwater trawls were used in conjunction to sample kokanee in seven lentic systems in Idaho. The size selectivity of gill nets was estimated by accounting for the probability of encounter and the probability of retention. Estimates of size selectivity were then used to adjust the length distribution of fish sampled in gill nets. The adjusted length distribution of fish sampled in gill nets was compared with estimates obtained from midwater trawls to identify potential size selectivity of midwater trawls. A pattern of size selectivity was apparent for both sampling techniques. The average length of kokanee sampled with midwater trawls was 111 mm; whereas, kokanee sampled with gill nets had a mean length of 235 mm. Our results suggest experimental gill nets are useful for common sampling of kokanee (e.g., trend monitoring) because the gear is less size selective than midwater trawls and is adjustable for size selectivity. However, midwater trawls are likely the best gear for addressing questions associated with early life history. Overall, our results provide a better understanding of gill-net and midwater trawl selectivity and ultimately improve the ability to sample and manage the species.

Publication Year 2019
Title Size selectivity of sampling gears used to sample Kokanee
DOI 10.1002/nafm.10272
Authors Zachary B. Klein, Michael Quist, Andrew M. Dux, Matthew P. Corsi
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70234294
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle