Yield-per-recruit Simulation Analyses for a Largemouth Bass Population in Lucchetti Reservoir, Puerto Rico

Minimum size limits of 279, 305, and 330 mm total lengths (TL) were evaluated using Beverton-Holt yield modeling for the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) population in Lucchetti Reservoir, Puerto Rico. Growth, estimated from micro-tagged fish, was faster until maturity compared to the populations in the contiguous United States. The von Bertalanffy growth coefficient (k) was 1.44 with L∞ estimated at 404.4 mm TL. Survival rates for adult largemouth bass (>250 mmTL), calculated from mark-recapture studies, were estimated to be 40% for 1998 and 30% for 1999. Simulations revealed that a 305-mm length limit results in higher yield when instantaneous natural mortality exceeds 0.4. Higher harvest rates would be achieved with a 279-mm length limit, whereas a 330-mm length limit would result in greater mean-fish-size at any of the instantaneous natural mortality rates addressed (0.3, 0.4, and 0.5). Since reservoirs in Puerto Rico are relatively small and therefore subject to heavy fishing pressure, fishing regulations would be feasible and beneficial management options.

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