alexa Influence of Party Size and Trip Length on Angler Catch Rates on Oneida Lake, New York
Agri and Aquaculture

Agri and Aquaculture

Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal

Author(s): Anthony J VanDeValk

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Angler catch rates have been used to compare angler success in sport fisheries among years or systems, to assess relative fish abundance, and to evaluate management efforts. Understanding the factors that influence angler catch rates is critical for the proper interpretation and application of these data. Information for 10,998 angler trips was collected through an angler diary program conducted during 1994–1998 and direct-contact roving creel surveys conducted during 1997 and 2002–2004 to examine the influences of angler party size and trip length on the catch rates for walleye Sander vitreus, smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu, and yellow perch Perca flavescens at Oneida Lake, New York. Party size and trip length were correlated; therefore, we constructed separate models combining data for year, party size, and trip length to examine the relationship between these factors and the angler catch rate. In both the diary program and the creel survey, the angler catch rates for all species decreased significantly as the party size increased. For diary program data only, trip length also was negatively related to the angler catch rate, but party size typically accounted for more of the variation in angler catch rates than did trip length. Our results indicate that when party size or trip length varies among systems or years, failure to account for these factors may hinder the ability to accurately measure and compare angler catch rates. In addition, angler catch rates calculated with data from roving interviews (incomplete trips) may be biased because of party size. Catch data should be collected from each angler individually for parties consisting of more than one angler.

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

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