The effects of season, presence of vegetation, and time of day on seine capture efficiency for fish were evaluated using test enclosures in the upper Mississippi River. Overall capture efficiency of the seine haul was 49% (53% during the day and 43% at night). During daytime tests, the efficiency ranged from 39% to 74% but did not differ statistically between sites or among dates. At night, the efficiency was higher at the vegetated than at the nonvegetated site (55% vs 32%) and declined through time from 56% in May to 28% in October. Although susceptibility to capture differed among taxa, we could not predict either total catch efficiency or efficiency within a given taxon for a given sample. Adjustment of catch data with various estimates of efficiency reduced the mean absolute error for all sampling dates from 51% to 24%, but the error of the adjusted data still ranged from -58% to +54% on any given sampling date. These results indicate that it is difficult to make accurate adjustment of catch data to compensate for gear bias in studies of seasonal habitat use.
Additional publication details
The influence of seine capture efficiency on fish abundance estimates in the upper Mississippi River