Angler Exploitation and Angling Mortality of Largemouth Bass and Spotted Bass at Norris Reservoir, Tennessee

Angler exploitation, sex and size selection, temporal and spatial capture patterns, and angling mortality were determined in 1996 and 1997 for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), spotted bass (M. punctulatus) in Norris Reservoir, Tennessee. Adjusted annual angler exploitation was 20% (± 4) for 1996-tagged largemouth bass and 14% (±4) for 1997-tagged largemouth bass. Adjusted annual angler catch was 47% (±8) for 1996-tagged fish and 34% (±7) for 1997-tagged fish. No significant differences (P>0.05) were detected between years for either exploitation or catch. No significant differences (P>0.10) by sex or size were detected for largemouth bass in either year. Anglers caught the majority of largemouth bass in the spring and 86% were captured within the embayment of tagging. Total angling mortality was estimated at 23% (± 1) in 1996 and 16% (± 1) in 1997 for largemouth bass. Mortality attributed to harvest represented approximately 85% of total angling mortality in 1996 and 86% in 1997. Spotted bass were subjected to annual angler exploitation rates of 22% (+ 11) in 1996 in 1996 and 17% (±9) in 1997. No significant differences (P>0.05) were observed between years. Adjusted annual angler catch was 48% (± 19) in 1996 and 38% (± 16) in 1997. No significant differences (P>0.10) by size were detected for spotted ass, but a significance difference (P≤0.10) was detected for sex. Spotted bass were primarily captured by anglers in the late spring and displayed a strong tendency to remain in their embayment of tagging. Spotted bass had a slightly elevated total angling mortality in both years with total angling mortality estimated at 25% (±1) and in 1997 20% (±1). Harvested related mortality represented approximately 87% of total angling mortality.

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