Evaluating the power to detect temporal trends in fishery-independent time surveys: A case study based on gill nets set in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie for walleyes

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Fishery-independent (FI) surveys provide critical information used for the sustainable management and conservation of fish populations. Because fisheries management often requires the effects of management actions to be evaluated and detected within a relatively short time frame, it is important that research be directed toward FI survey evaluation, especially with respect to the ability to detect temporal trends. Using annual FI gill-net survey data for Lake Erie walleyes Sander vitreus collected from 1978 to 2006 as a case study, our goals were to (1) highlight the usefulness of hierarchical models for estimating spatial and temporal sources of variation in catch per effort (CPE); (2) demonstrate how the resulting variance estimates can be used to examine the statistical power to detect temporal trends in CPE in relation to sample size, duration of sampling, and decisions regarding what data are most appropriate for analysis; and (3) discuss recommendations for evaluating FI surveys and analyzing the resulting data to support fisheries management. This case study illustrated that the statistical power to detect temporal trends was low over relatively short sampling periods (e.g., 5–10 years) unless the annual decline in CPE reached 10–20%. For example, if 50 sites were sampled each year, a 10% annual decline in CPE would not be detected with more than 0.80 power until 15 years of sampling, and a 5% annual decline would not be detected with more than 0.8 power for approximately 22 years. Because the evaluation of FI surveys is essential for ensuring that trends in fish populations can be detected over management-relevant time periods, we suggest using a meta-analysis–type approach across systems to quantify sources of spatial and temporal variation. This approach can be used to evaluate and identify sampling designs that increase the ability of managers to make inferences about trends in fish stocks.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluating the power to detect temporal trends in fishery-independent time surveys: A case study based on gill nets set in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie for walleyes
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1577/M08-197.1
Volume 29
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Publisher location Lawrence, Kan
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Country United States
State Ohio
Other Geospatial Lake Erie Waters
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N