Passive fishing techniques: a cause of turtle mortality in the Mississippi River

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 


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We investigated variation of incidentally captured turtle mortality in response to environmental factors and passive fishing techniques. We used Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) data collected from 1996 to 2001 in the unimpounded upper Mississippi River (UMR) adjacent to Missouri and Illinois, USA. We used a principle components analysis (PCA) and a stepwise discriminant function analysis to identify factors correlated with mortality of captured turtles. Furthermore, we were interested in what percentage of turtles died from passive fishing techniques and what techniques caused the most turtle mortality. The main factors influencing captured turtle mortality were water temperature and depth at net deployment. Fyke nets captured the most turtles and caused the most turtle mortality. Almost 90% of mortalities occurred in offshore aquatic areas (i.e., side channel or tributary). Our results provide information on causes of turtle mortality (as bycatch) in a riverine system and implications for river turtle conservation by suggesting management strategies to reduce turtle bycatch and decrease mortality of captured turtles.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Passive fishing techniques: a cause of turtle mortality in the Mississippi River
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume 68
Issue 4
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Missouri Dept of Conservation
Publisher location Jackson, MO
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description pp. 1145-1150
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 1145
Last page 1150