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Wednesday, January 27 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Decision Analysis Via Stochastic Simulations In Support of The Development of New Management Initiatives For Saginaw Bay

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AUTHORS: David G. Fielder*, Michigan DNR; Michael L. Jones, Michigan State University QFC; James R. Bence, Michigan State University QFC

ABSTRACT: The management of Saginaw Bay’s walleye and yellow perch fisheries have long been based on recovery objectives for walleye and statewide harvest regulations. Walleye reached recovery targets in 2009 but yellow perch declined to record lows. Needed were new state-based management targets and strategies tailored to the needs and opportunities in the bay’s fish community. With the aid and input of fishery managers, we identified critical uncertainties affecting the future of walleye in the bay. They included alewife futures (a strong determinant of walleye recruitment) and the magnitude of commercial by-kill of walleye in the bay. Similarly, two sustainability criteria were identified; first a walleye spawning stock no less than 20% of the unfished level and secondly a growth rate criteria (a previously used recovery target and surrogate for population at carrying capacity) at no more than 110% of the state average rate. We then developed a stochastic simulation model of the walleye population and fisheries including the effect of alewives on recruitment. The simulation model was then used to forward project the likely future of the walleye population and fisheries in light of chosen management sustainability criteria across the two critical uncertainties. The objective function of the analysis being the greatest sustainable walleye harvest. The result was a decision analysis that enabled us to inform fishery managers of the intensity the walleye fishery could sustainably be fished at. This presentation is a precursor to a companion talk on the extension of these findings to new harvest regulations for walleye and yellow perch.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am EST
Atrium