Increasing the Efficiency of Florida&#39s Freshwater Fisheries Long&#45term Monitoring Program

In an effort to evaluate the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)'s long-term fisheries monitoring program for inland water bodies, we conducted a power analysis utilizing fish data from electrofishing, mini-fyke net, and gill net samples. We resampled data and simulated the effects of different combinations of gear and sample size for collecting presence - absence information. Our objective was to determine whether the use of either mini-fyke nets or gill nets could be eliminated or reduced in the monitoring program. Thirty fyke net/gill net gear combinations were evaluated to determine how many samples were needed to collect at least 80% of the known species when combined with FWC's standard 25 fall electrofishing samples. The best option (i.e., the gear combination that would require the least amount of sampling effort to achieve our target detection)included an additional 16 mini-fyke net sets and three field days for a crew of two. Because some recreationally important species, in particular white catfish (Ameiurus catus) and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), would not be well represented in the monitoring program without gill nets, it is recommended that all three gears be used in lakes where these fisheries occur. Using a simple resampling and simulation procedure, we demonstrate how fisheries managers can make informed decisions for improving the efficiency of a monitoring program.

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