Catch rate (catch per hour) was examined for age-0 and age-1 yellow perch, Perca flavescens (Mitchill), captured in bottom trawls from 1991 to 2005 in western Lake Erie: (1) to examine variation of catch rate among years, seasons, diel periods and their interactions; and (2) to determine whether sampling during particular diel periods improved the management value of CPH data used in models to project abundance of age-2 yellow perch. Catch rate varied with year, season and the diel period during which sampling was conducted as well as by the interaction between year and season. Indices of abundance of age-0 and age-1 yellow perch estimated from night samples typically produced better fitting models and lower estimates of age-2 abundance than those using morning or afternoon samples, whereas indices using afternoon samples typically produced less precise and higher estimates of abundance. The diel period during which sampling is conducted will not affect observed population trends but may affect estimates of abundance of age-0 and age-1 yellow perch, which in turn affect recommended allowable harvest. A field experiment throughout western Lake Erie is recommended to examine potential benefits of night sampling to management of yellow perch. Published 2010. The article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
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Night sampling improves indices used for management of yellow perch in Lake Erie