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Targeting aggregations of telemetered Lake Trout to increase gillnetting suppression efficacy

January 30, 2020

Conserving Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri by suppressing invasive Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush in Yellowstone Lake is a high priority for Yellowstone National Park resource managers. Here, we tested whether targeting telemetered Lake Trout could increase the efficacy of Lake Trout suppression by gill netting. Mobile acoustic tracking surveys were performed to identify aggregations of tagged Lake Trout in summer (June–August) 2017. Lake Trout aggregations were relayed daily to suppression crews by phone, radio, or text and a printed map. Suppression crews set 30 large-mesh gill nets targeting telemetered Lake Trout aggregations (target treatment) and 124 large-mesh gill nets not targeting telemetered aggregations (nontarget treatment). Mean loge(CPUE) was higher for the target treatment (0.37; 95% credible interval [CRI] = 0.08–0.65) than for the nontarget treatment (−0.37; 95% CRI = −0.51 to −0.21). Mean of the target treatment was higher than the mean of the nontarget treatment for over 99% of the 1,000 draws from the joint posterior distribution. Because of telemetry costs, mean CPUE per US$10,000 spent was similar between the target treatment (0.20; 95% CRI = 0.15–0.26) and the nontarget treatment (0.15; 95% CRI = 0.13–0.17). Telemetry is an effective strategy for improving Lake Trout CPUE, which corresponds to an increased efficiency in the Lake Trout suppression program.

Publication Year 2020
Title Targeting aggregations of telemetered Lake Trout to increase gillnetting suppression efficacy
DOI 10.1002/nafm.10401
Authors Jacob R. Williams, Christopher S. Guy, Todd M. Koel, Patricia E. Bigelow
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70227149
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit