Evaluation of the Relative Selectivity of Sampling Gear on Ictalurid Populations in the Neuse River

Five techniques (electrofishers, hoop nets, gill nets, wire traps, and trotlines) were used to sample ictalurids in the Neuse River above New Bern, North Carolina, between July 1984 and May 1985. Hoop nets were the most effective of the sampling gears tested. They collected white catfish (lctalurus catus), channel catfish (l. punctatus), blue catfish (l. furcatus), yellow bullhead (l. natalis), and margined madtom (Noturus insignis) and accounted for 76% of the total number of fish caught. Electrofishing (low voltage) captured white catfish, yellow bullhead, and margined madtom, which represented 14% of the total number of fish caught. White catfish, channel catfish, blue catfish, and brown bullhead (l. nebulosus) were caught with trotlines, but this accounted for only 8% of the total number caught. Wire traps, gill nets, and electrofishing (high voltage) were ineffective in sampling catfish in the Neuse River. White and channel catfish collected with trotlines and white catfish collected with the electroshocker were significantly larger than those captured in hoop nets. Significant differences were also indicated between the species composition of hoop nets and electrofisher samples.

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