alexa Accuracy of Angler-Reported Harvest in Roving Creel Surveys
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal

Author(s): Craig T Mallison

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Harvest data obtained during roving creel surveys are often based on angler-reported information without validation. Angler creels were inspected following interviews during roving creel surveys on three Florida lakes. Comparisons between reported and counted harvest revealed significant differences for anglers targeting sunfish Lepomis spp. (22% error) and black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus (7% error). Differences were negligible for anglers targeting sunshine bass (female white bass Morone chrysops × male striped bass M. saxatilis), palmetto bass (male white bass × female striped bass), and largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides. Accuracy among species was inversely related to bag limit size; this was attributed to a combination of factors, including species, number and size of fish harvested, limit-conscious behavior of anglers, and differences among angler groups. Accuracy within species was not significantly influenced by the reported number of fish harvested or trip duration, nor was the interaction of the two significant. Daily total harvest estimates based on reported data were biased for sunfish (19% error) and black crappies (5% error), but correction factors were effective in reducing total errors to 2% for both species. Inspection of creels is recommended for all roving creel survey interviews when accuracy is critical to meeting study objectives. When moderate accuracy is sufficient, angler-reported harvest may be used if validated or adjusted with a correction factor if found to be inaccurate.

This article was published in North American Journal of Fisheries Management and referenced in Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal

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