Dynamics of an introduced and unexploited Lake Whitefish population in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

To evaluate biological potential of a commercial fishery for an unexploited Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis population in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, we estimated population parameters related to production and yield. The length frequency based on trap-netting in autumn 2005 was normal with a mean of 448 mm TL, whereas the length frequency based on gillnetting in spring 2006 was bimodal with a mean of 390 mm TL. Sex composition was skewed toward females (0.66) during autumn trap-netting. Shape parameters β of weight–length models for females (β = 3.38) and males (β = 3.45) were similar to those of other unexploited populations. Instantaneous growth rates K for females (K = 0.144 per year) and males (K = 0.153 per year) were among the lowest for unexploited populations across the species’ range. Age at 50% maturity (females: 6.5 years; males: 6.0 years) and length at 50% maturity (females: 390 mm TL; males: 378 mm TL) were high for unexploited populations. The natural mortality rate M (0.149 per year, ages 11–36) was among the lowest observed for unexploited populations. Adult population density was lower than that of other populations based on total surface area (mean = 1.35 fish/ha; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11–1.78 fish/ha) but was average based on lake area shallower than 70 m (4.07 fish/ha; 95% CI = 3.35–5.35 fish/ha). Population density of juveniles and adults averaged 84 fish/ha (95% CI = 52–143 fish/ha) over the entire surface area and 278 fish/ha (95% CI = 173–474 fish/ha) over depths shallower than 70 m. The difference between the low M of the unexploited population in Lake Pend Oreille (M = 0.149 per year; annual mortality rate A = 14%) and the high sustainable total mortality Z of exploited stocks in the Laurentian Great Lakes (Z = 1.204; A = 70%) suggests a large scope for sustainable fishing mortality F (1.055 per year; exploitation rate u = 61%) that is equivalent to a sustainable Lake Whitefish harvest of 55,000 individuals (50,000–60,000 individuals) and 49,000 kg (45,000–54,000 kg) from Lake Pend Oreille.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Dynamics of an introduced and unexploited Lake Whitefish population in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2014.943862
Volume 34
Issue 5
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Publisher location Lawrence, KS
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 1014
Last page 1027
Country United States
State Idaho
Other Geospatial Lake Pend Oreille
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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