Trolling may intensify exploitation in crappie fisheries

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

In some parts of the USA, anglers targeting crappies Pomoxis spp. are transitioning from mostly stationary angling with a single pole around submerged structures to using multiple poles while drifting with the wind or under power. This shift in fishing methods could result in a change in catch efficiency, possibly increasing exploitation rates to levels that would be of concern to managers. We studied the catch statistics of anglers fishing while trolling with multiple poles (trollers) and those fishing with single poles (polers) in Mississippi reservoirs. Specifically, we tested whether (1) various catch statistics differed between trollers and polers, (2) catch rates of trollers were related to the number of poles fished, and (3) trollers could raise exploitation rates to potentially unsustainable levels. Results showed that participation in the crappie fisheries was about equally split between polers and trollers. In spring, 90% of crappie anglers were polers; in summer, 85% of crappie anglers were trollers. The size of harvested crappies was similar for the two angler groups, but the catch per hour was almost three times higher for trollers than for polers. Catch rates by trollers were directly correlated to the number of poles fished, although the relationship flattened as the number of poles increased. The average harvest rate for one troller fishing with three poles was similar to the harvest rate obtained by one poler. Simulations predicted that at the existing mix of about 50% polers and 50% trollers and with no restrictions on the number of poles used by trollers, exploitation of crappies is about 1.3 times higher than that in a polers-only fishery; under a scenario in which 100% of crappie anglers were trollers, exploitation was forecasted to increase to about 1.7 times the polers-only rate. The efficiency of trolling for crappies should be of concern to fishery managers because crappie fisheries are mostly consumptive and may increase exploitation rates to unsustainable levels.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Trolling may intensify exploitation in crappie fisheries
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2012.678563
Volume 32
Issue 2
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 325
Last page 332
Country United States
State Mississippi
Other Geospatial Enid Lake, Grenada Lake, Sardis Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N