Anthony V. Fernando

Lessons Learned While Establishing an Unmanned Aircraft Program at a State Natural Resource Management Agency

SEAFWA Journal Volume 6, March 2019

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) conducted 56 h of unmanned aircraft operations between February 2017 and April 2018. Operations involved video and still photography for both scientific and public outreach purposes, mapping, and live surveillance. Some operations were conducted under the small unmanned aircraft rule (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations §107) established by the Federal Aviation Administra- tion (FAA), while some were conducted under the terms of a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA. The initial training program consisted of a 32-h in-person class. After...

Comparison of Angler Pressure Counts by Manned and Unmanned Aircraft on an Arkansas Tailwater Fishery

SEAFWA Journal Volume 6, March 2019

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) budgeted approximately $US250,000 for air operations in fiscal year 2017, 74% of which was for aerial observation by manned aircraft. Small unmanned aircraft (sUAS) have lower operating costs than manned aircraft, and thus significant cost savings could be experienced were sUAS to replace manned aircraft. However, it is first necessary to evaluate that data from sUAS are comparable to data from manned aircraft. Therefore, angler pressure counts were conducted simultaneously using both manned aircraft and sUAS within the four management zones of...

Ageing Precision and Error Analysis of Whole-view and Sectioned Otoliths in Largemouth Bass and Spotted Bass

SEAFWA Journal Volume 1, March 2014

The objectives of this study were to quantify ageing precision for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and spotted bass (M. punctulatus), and to evaluate the effect of ageing errors on the estimation of common fisheries metrics. Sagittal otoliths were extracted from 2164 largemouth bass and 738 spotted bass collected from throughout the Arkansas River, Arkansas. Largemouth bass collections occurred during 2004, 2005, and 2010; spotted bass collections were limited to 2004 and 2005. Annuli were counted by two independent readers from digital images of each whole otolith. For individuals...