Fisheries studies often employ multiple gears that result in large percentages of zero values. We considered a zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) model with random effects to address these excessive zeros. By employing a Bayesian ZIP model that simultaneously incorporates data from multiple gears to analyze data from the Missouri River, we were able to compare gears and make more year, segment, and macrohabitat comparisons than did the original data analysis. For channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus, our results rank (highest to lowest) the mean catch per unit area (CPUA) for gears (beach seine, benthic trawl, electrofishing, and drifting trammel net); years (1998 and 1997); macrohabitats (tributary mouth, connected secondary channel, nonconnected secondary channel, and bend); and river segment zones (channelized, inter-reservoir, and least-altered). For shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, the mean CPUA was significantly higher for benthic trawls and drifting trammel nets; 1998 and 1997; tributary mouths, bends, and connected secondary channels; and some channelized or least-altered inter-reservoir segments. One important advantage of our approach is the ability to reliably infer patterns of relative abundance by means of multiple gears without using gear efficiencies. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.