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Fluctuations in production and abundance of commercial species in the Red Lakes, Minnesota, with special reference to changes in the walleye population

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

By:
and
DOI:10.1577/1548-8659(1953)83[131:FIPAAO]2.0.CO;2

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Abstract

The Red Lakes in northwestern Minnesota comprise 275,000 acres of water which support a commercial fishery producing up to 1.5 million pounds of fish per year. Walleye, Stizostedion vitreum vitreum (Mitchill), and yellow perch, Perca flavescens (Mitchill), are the principal species. Statistics for the past 37 years have been analyzed and fluctuations in the abundance of the important species calculated for the 24-year period, 1930–1953. The fishing is carried on exclusively with 3 1/2-inch-mesh (extension measure) gill nets by Chippewa Indians and the catch is marketed through a cooperative fishery enterprise. There have been wide fluctuations in the abundance of principal species but, although fishing effort has increased greatly during the past few years no trends have developed. Changes in walleye abundance have been shown to be independent of changes or levels of fishing effort, and to be determined by strength of individual year classes. Gear competition has no effect on abundance estimates. Strength of year classes is not correlated with size of brood stock, abundance of competing species, or amount of hatchery fish planted. Weather conditions cannot be correlated with observed changes in strength of year classes. Implications for management include provision of adequate prediction of abundance, and annual adjustment of fishing practices to make greatest use of the available stock. Gear limitations should be designed to secure harvest at optimum size of fish and to provide a suitable economic status for the fisherman.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fluctuations in production and abundance of commercial species in the Red Lakes, Minnesota, with special reference to changes in the walleye population
Series title:
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
DOI:
10.1577/1548-8659(1953)83[131:FIPAAO]2.0.CO;2
Volume:
83
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1954
Language:
English
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
30 p.
First page:
131
Last page:
160
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N