Trawls of various designs and sizes were compared to evaluate their use for monitoring and harvesting fish populations in Lake Oahe. Catches of a 10.7-m semiballoon trawl, selected to monitor changes in the fish populations from 1965 to 1970, showed a downward trend in the abundance of all species, except walleye; the decline was largest in the lower area of the reservoir with a slight increase in the upper area. Of two trawl designs tested, semiballoon trawls captured more fish per hour than high-rise trawls, and a 15.9-m semiballoon trawl with a 3.8-cm mesh cod end captured fish at the highest and most consistent rate. The size and species composition of fish caught in small-mesh trawls differed from those caught in trap nets. Trawl catches were too small to recommend or warrant their use as a commercial fishing gear, but the use of both small mesh trawls and trap nets should improve accuracy in monitoring fish populations in this reservoir.
Additional Publication Details
Federal Government Series
Evaluation of trawls for monitoring and harvesting fish populations in Lake Oahe, South Dakota