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Using angling and electric fishing to estimate smallmouth bass abundance in a river

Mycko, S. A., Kanno, Y., Bettinger, J. M.
Fisheries management and ecology 2018 v.25 no.1 pp. 77-84
Micropterus dolomieu, boats, fish, fisheries management, gears, habitats, mark-recapture studies, models, rivers, sport fishing, South Carolina
Estimating abundance is fundamental to effective fishery management but can be challenging in a river where spatial and temporal heterogeneity may preclude the consistent use of a single sampling gear and different gears have differing size selectivity and capture probabilities of fish. In this study, the number of smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu Lacepède, was estimated based on mark–recapture data from angling and boat electric fishing in a 4.2‐km regulated section (mean width = 115 m) of the Broad River, South Carolina, USA. Closed‐population capture–mark–recapture models were fit in the Bayesian hierarchical modelling framework with an estimated number of 2,380 fish (95% credible interval: 1,578–3,693) over 200 mm TL, although simulations indicated that abundance would be slightly overestimated (<20%) when two gears selected for different individuals. Integrating two gear types into a mark–recapture study can provide a method for assessing abundance in spatially or temporally heterogeneous habitats.