Sampling Shallow Water Fish Populations Using the Wegener Ring

The Wegener Ring was designed to sample fish populations of shallow, vegetated habitats in Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida. The sampler is portable and simple to use. Ten transects in water 0-18 inches deep were sampled within consecutive 3 inch contours. As depth of water increased, non-centrarchid forage fish decreased while numbers of centrarchids increased. Total numbers of fish decreased from an average of 216,042 per acre in 0-3 inches to 20,326 per acre in 15-18 inches of water. Standing crop was relatively constant, averaging 91 pounds per acre for all water depths. The monetary values per acre based on the fishery ranged from $6,511 in 0-3 inches to $2,524 in 15-18 inches of water. The average value per acre for water 0-18 inches deep was $3,788.

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