Catch Composition of Pound Nets and Their Impact on Game Fish Populations in the SI. Johns River, Florida

From December 1981 through March 1983, 71 observations of pound nets were conducted. In 407 net days, commercially important species comprised 93.5% of the total pound net catch while game fish species comprised 4.4%. An average of 1.8 game fish were caught per net day. Harvestable-size game fish (that size retained by sport fishermen) represented 3.6% of the total catch and comprised 81.5% of all sizes of game fish caught. Initial mortality was 3.3% for game fish or 0.06 game fish deaths/ net day. An estimated 68 game fish/km of shoreline/year were caught by the entire pound net fishery in 1981 and 1982, all of which were returned as required by law. Considering their limited use in extensive river area and the small number of game fish caught, it was determined that pound nets had no significant impact on game fish populations in the 8t. Johns River, Florida.

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