John R. Copeland

Variation in Trotline Catfish Catch and Bycatch Rates by Hook and Bait Type in the New River, Virginia

SEAFWA Journal Volume 5, March 2018

The New River, Virginia, supports a trotline fishery for catfish (Ictaluridae) that coexists with popular recreational fisheries for smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), muskellunge (Esox masquinongy), and walleye (Sander vitreus), yet no studies have examined trotline catches or bycatch of these game fish. Trotline effort was estimated by conducting off-site interviews of trotline fishers and field counts of active trotlines. Catch of catfish and bycatch were estimated with experimental trotline sets that used circle or J hooks and two bait types (i.e., live or cut bait). Catch...


Smallmouth Bass Management in the New River, Virginia: A Case Study of Population Trends with Lessons Learned

Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) have been the preferred species of New River anglers since the early 1960s. Since the early 1960s, shifts in New River smallmouth bass population conditions have occurred. Some of these shifts are due to changed size limits which altered angler behavior. However, a number of unexplained changes prevent definitive analysis of causative factors. The New River smallmouth bass fishery of 1982 and 1983 was characterized by high numbers of sublegal fish (< 305 mm), slow growth, poor survival, and low relative weights. These characteristics shifted to...