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Tuesday, January 26 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Using Acoustic Telemetry To Compare Walleye and Saugeye Availability to Anglers in an Above-Ground Reservoir

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AUTHORS: Bryan Kinter*, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Due to flat topography, most reservoirs in northwestern Ohio are upground reservoirs, which are built above the ground and filled by pumping water from a nearby river. These reservoirs have nearly uniform depth and lack littoral habitat. Walleye Sander vitreus and saugeye S. vitreus ♀ × S. canadensis ♂ are two sportfish stocked in Ohio’s upground reservoirs. Some reservoirs receive saugeye and some receive walleye, but none currently receive both. If, despite the lack of littoral habitat, saugeye remain closer to shore than walleye in these systems and thus are more available to shoreline anglers, fishing opportunities for shoreline and boat anglers could be maximized by stocking both Sander spp. into the same reservoir. To explore this question, we implanted acoustic transmitters into 15 walleye and 15 saugeye and released the fish into Findlay Reservoir #1, an upground reservoir in northwestern Ohio. Tagged fish were tracked continuously during March 2013–December 2014 with a Vemco VR2W Positioning System. The proportion of total positions within casting distance (defined as less than 25 meters from shore) was estimated by a Bayesian hierarchical modeling approach using species, season, and diel period (day, night, crepuscular) as explanatory variables. Saugeye were more frequently within casting distance of shore than walleye, especially during summer and autumn. These results indicate that stocking both saugeye and walleye may maximize opportunities for shoreline and boat anglers in upground reservoirs. However, saugeye and walleye showed considerable variation with both season and period of day.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST