Current Trends in Catfish Sampling Techniques and Information Needs

Catfish managers and researchers were asked to participate in an online survey describing current information needs, sampling techniques, and known gear biases for projects during 2002-2006. One hundred eighty two responses were collected in a four-month period in early 2006. Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were the most targeted species, followed by flathead (Pylodictis olivaris) and blue (I. furcatus) catfish, respectively. A variety of methods were used to collect catfishes. Flathead and blue catfish were most often sampled by low-frequency electrofishing (30 Hz or less), whereas channel catfish were often sampled with a variety of gears. Sixty-one percent of respondents indicated a need for information concerning sampling gear efficiency and gear bias. Limited quantitative information exists regarding bias of gears used to sample catfish, especially low-frequency electrofishing. As catfish sampling increases, future research should focus on quantifying the bias associated with various collection techniques so that the associated population metrics can be validated.

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