Differences in Angler Catch and Exploitation of Walleye from Virginia Waters

Walleye (Sander vitreus) were collected during late winter-early spring in 2008 - 2011 at seven sites across Virginia to evaluate angler catch and exploitation. A total of 3116 walleye were tagged with FD94 T-bar Floy tags at four small impoundments (<200 ha), two large impoundments (>200 ha), and the New River during the course of the study. Anglers were offered a US$20 reward for the return of each tag, and 530 tags (17%) were returned. Adjusted annual catch rates ranged from 15% - 61%, with a mean of 29%. Annual exploitation ranged from 2% - 29% with a mean of 12%. Mean total length (TL) of angler-caught walleye was largest in large impoundments (489 mm), next largest in the New River (465 mm), and smallest in small impoundments (418 mm; P < 0.001). Mean TL of walleye harvested from small impoundments (462 mm) were smaller than those harvested from large impoundments (508 mm) or rivers (507 mm) (P < 0.001).

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