Angler Exploitation of Walleye in Norris Reservoir,Tennessee

Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) (TL>381 mm) were collected from February through April 1994 from 4 distinct regions and in March 1997 from 2 distinct regions of Norris Reservoir, Tennessee, and inserted with Hallprint T-bar anchor tags to determine angler exploitation, location of re-capture, and the effectiveness of a reduction in the daily creel limit. Fish were collected with both horizontal gill nets and electrofishing techniques, but only walleye captured by electrofishing gear were used in angler exploitation analysis. A $5 reward was offered to promote tag return. Annual angler adjusted exploitation was 30% (±9) in 1994 and 14% (± 11) in 1997 for the entire reservoir population. Annual angler adjusted exploitation was 42% (±11) in 1994 and 14% (± 11) in 1997 for walleye tagged in 2 riverine spawning areas. Annual angler adjusted exploitation was 11% (±19) in 1994 for walleye tagged in 2 lake spawning areas. No walleye were tagged in lake spawning areas in 1997. Deviation between tagging location and angler capture location was minimal with >80% of walleye captured within the region of tagging. Only 1 riverine tagged walleye was captured in the lower lake region and only 1 lower lake tagged walleye was captured in a riverine region. Total angling mortality for 1994 was estimated to be 30% because none were reported released. Anglers reported that 6% of the tagged walleye caught were released in 1997. Delayed mortality was estimated from 66% (27C) to 1% (7C). Total angling mortality was approximately 14% at all water temperatures because of the extremely low release rate.

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