Comparison of Methods for Estimating Relative Abundance of White Crappie

We investigated the relation among estimates of abundance and size structure of white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) determined with electrofishing, trapnetting, and rotenone sampling in 4 Mississippi lakes in 1987-1989. We also examined the relations between angler harvest and estimates provided by each gear to determine whether estimates made by sampling could be used to index angling success. Electrofishing yielded 4 fish/man-hour in fall and 6 in spring, and trapnetting yielded 24 fish/manhour in fall and 9 in spring; rotenone sampling during summer yielded 8 fish/man-hour. Estimates of abundance of fish ≥20 cm long were usually correlated among gears and between seasons, but those of fish <20 cm long were not. These correlations suggest that any of these gears could be used to monitor trends in abundance of white crappie ≥20 cm long, but each would give different trends in abundance of fish <20 cm long. Indices of size structure provided by the gears generally differed significantly within seasons, and between seasons for the same gear. Estimates of relative abundance of fish ≥20 cm long based on spring electrofishing and trapnetting were correlated with angling success.

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