Intra-season Variation in Largemouth Bass Electrofishing Catch-Per-Unit-Effort: Implications for Management Decisions

The objective of this study was to determine if largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) electrofishing catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) varied within the traditional spring sampling season. Shoreline electrofishing for largemouth bass was conducted on Chowan River and Sutton Lake in 1990 and on Tuckertown Reservoir in 1989 and 1990. There were at least 6 sample stations per body of water. Each of the 3 study locations was sampled 3 times from March through June. The number of bass >200 mm captured and effort were recorded by sample station and date. Effort was measured in electroshock time at Chowan and Sutton and shoreline distance at Tuckertown. Friedman's nonparametric test was used to test for differences in CPUE among the 3 repeated samples (sample replicates) within each spring for each location. A significant difference was found only at Tuckertown in 1989. Failure to consider temporal changes in CPUE during spring electrofishing samples may cause errors in study conclusions and poor management decisions.

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