Catch Of Commercial And Game Fish With Four-Foot Trap Nets Of Various Mesh Sizes

The catch of commercial and game fish with 4-foot trap nets having minimum mesh sizes of 0.5,2, and 3-inch, square measure, were compared. A small trap net having 0.5-inch webbing in the crib has been used for many years to sample fish from Oklahoma reservoirs. Various investigators have indicated that this gear has potential as a commercial fishing device. However. large catches of game fish, especially white crappie, was a serious detriment to this potential. Two designs of large mesh trap nets were therefore dcveloped to determine if by enlarging the mesh size of the standard design, the catch rate of game fish would decline while the catch rate of commercial fish would remain constant. An investigation was conducted on Keystone Reservoir during 1971 and 1972. The results indicated that the large mesh trap nets did take significantly fewer game fish. The catch of commercial fish was also reduced, but to a lesser extent, as the mesh size increased. However, this reduction was not deemed significant when considering the advantages of a smaller game fish catch.

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