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Monday, January 25 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Using Historical Creel Survey Data For Southern Lake Michigan To Identify Drivers of Fishery Change

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AUTHORS: Mitchell Zischke*, Purdue University; Charlie Roswell, Illinois Natural History Survey; Ben Dickinson, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Ben Gramig, Purdue University

ABSTRACT: Routine creel surveys of recreational anglers in southern Lake Michigan have been conducted by Illinois and Indiana state agencies since the mid-1980s. These surveys have produced a wealth of data that may yield insights into how the recreational fishery has changed through time and help identify biological, social and economic drivers of these changes. This project collated data from 55 creel surveys: 29 surveys by the Illinois Natural History Survey (1985-2013) and 26 surveys by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (1988-2013). These surveys focused on shore- and boat-based anglers during summer months (April-October), with additional surveys directed towards stream fishing, winter fishing and other specialized fishing (i.e. smelt, ice and snagging). Total fishing effort has varied through time but is currently less than 50% of peak effort during the last 30 years, and has decreased significantly for anglers targeting salmon and trout. Catch rates have also varied considerably through time. Yellow perch catch rates were highest in the early 1990s and mid-2000s, and lowest in the mid-1990s and 2010-2013. Salmonid catch rates remained relatively stable throughout the 1990s but have decreased by more than half since the early 2000s. Expenditure information was only reported from surveys conducted in Illinois, and while annual totals also vary considerably through time, current values are significantly lower than the historical mean. Annual variation and decadal trends may be attributed to a number of factors including the effect of extreme weather events on fish life history and angler participation, changes in management (e.g. stocking, regulations), ecosystem change (e.g. invasive dreissenid mussels), and the health of regional and global economies. This project highlights the utility of historical data in identifying previous challenges and future opportunities for management of recreational fisheries.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am
Gerald Ford

Attendees (15)