Comparison Of Various Designs Of Wisconsin-Type Trap Nets In TVA Reservoirs

Wisconsin-type trap nets were investigated to determine methods necessary to adapt this gear to TVA reservoirs, to establish the best operational procedure, and to determine the potential of this gear in an expanded commercial fishery. The study was conducted primarily in Wheeler Reservoir, Alabama. Three trap nets, modified in amount of flooring, mesh size, and floatation, were fished in combination with three lengths of lead. The lead of intermediate length was constructed of a smaller mesh size (4- instead of 5-inchl than the shorter and longer leads. Modifications which resulted in larger commercial catches were a floor constructed in both cribs and the heart, a smaller mesh size in the heart (4- instead of 5·inch), and a 400-foot lead of 4-inch mesh. The smaller mesh in the heart resulted in a larger catch of industrial size freshwater drum, while the smaller mesh in the lead resulted in a larger catch of gizzard and threadfin shad. The most abundant species in the catch were freshwater drum, smallmouth buffalo, and shad. Commercial fish made up 79 percent of the catch. White crappie was both the most common and abundant game fish, occurring in 79 percent of the lifts and accounting for approximately 95 percent of the game fish harvested.

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