Because the 57-mm-mesh gill net is the predominant gear in the Lake Erie fishery for yellow perch Perca Flavescens, gear selectivity is an important factor operating in that fishery. The selectivity curve for age-groups 2-6 is roughly symmetrical with peak vulnerability at age 4; younger and older perch are substantially less susceptible to the gear. The Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit and Ricker equilibrium yield models were applied to the west-central Lake Erie yellow perch fishery to examine the effect of gear selectivity on yield-per-recruit analysis. All fish older than a specified recruitment age are assumed to be equally vulnerable in the Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit analysis, but the Ricker equilibrium yield model can explicitly accommodate gear selectivity. Optimal fishing rate was estimated with both models, and then recommended allowable harvests were generated based on yellow perch population size estimates. Inclusion of gear selectivity in the yield-per-recruit analysis resulted in a 12% decrease in recommended allowable harvest. When skewed gear selectivity curves were investigated, gear selectivity had a still more pronounced effect on recommended allowable harvest.
Additional publication details
Effect of gear selectivity on recommended allowable harvest with application to the Lake Erie yellow perch fishery