Catch of White Crappie in Trap Nets in Relation to Soak Time and Fish Abundance

The effects of soak time and fish density on number and size of white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) caught with trap nets were investigated in Mississippi lakes. Catch/set (1-7 days) of large white crappie (≥200-mm total length) increased asymptotically with soak time, but that of small and medium fish (<130 and 130-199 mm, respectively) decreased after the first 2-3 days. Catch/day of all length groups of white crappie, increased sharply with soak time, peaked in 1-3 days, and decreased thereafter. These trends indicated that catch could be optimized if nets were run every 2-3 days, and that longer soak times could result in the underestimation of small and medium-size fish. Trap net samples taken within 0.4- to 2.4-ha lake enclosures prior to treatment with rotenone indicated that catch/effort in nets reflected absolute abundance of medium and large white crappie within these areas.

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