JDJCSET | Watershed Studies Institute Research Symposium

Title

Determining Optimal Boat Electrofishing Settings for Fish Community Sampling

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Aquatic Biology

Minor

No minor

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Timothy Spier

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Global aquatic ecosystems are negatively affected by a variety of mechanisms including habitat destruction, fish overharvesting, climate change, and the introduction of invasive species. Long term monitoring of an ecosystem’s fish community, along with abiotic and biotic factors that influence the fish community, is crucial in establishing effective management and conservation strategies. While there are existing fish community monitoring programs across the United States, a long-term monitoring program that includes non-game and non-commercial fish community dynamics has not been established within Kentucky Lake in Western Kentucky. The purpose of this research is two-fold: To determine which boat electroshocking settings provide the highest catch per unit effort and species diversity and the widest range of total lengths, and to develop a standardized fish community sampling protocol using the most effective boat electroshocking settings. Four centrally located embayments within Kentucky Lake (Turkey, Anderson, Turner Hollow, and Ledbetter Bays) were sampled with a randomized block experimental design. Within each embayment, 6 separate electrofishing samples were obtained from randomly chosen 500-meter shoreline segments; each sample utilizing 1 of 6 different randomly selected electroshocking wave forms (15, 35, 55, 75, 95, and 115 Hz: 25% duty cycle). Each collected specimen was identified to species and total length of each specimen was obtained. Concurrently with Hancock Biological Station’s bimonthly water quality/plankton surveys, this sampling protocol will be used for a long-term fish monitoring program that will track catch per unit effort, body condition, and species diversity of fish communities in Kentucky Lake.

Affiliations

Watershed Research Institute

Other Affiliations

Watershed Studies Institute Symposium

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Determining Optimal Boat Electrofishing Settings for Fish Community Sampling

Global aquatic ecosystems are negatively affected by a variety of mechanisms including habitat destruction, fish overharvesting, climate change, and the introduction of invasive species. Long term monitoring of an ecosystem’s fish community, along with abiotic and biotic factors that influence the fish community, is crucial in establishing effective management and conservation strategies. While there are existing fish community monitoring programs across the United States, a long-term monitoring program that includes non-game and non-commercial fish community dynamics has not been established within Kentucky Lake in Western Kentucky. The purpose of this research is two-fold: To determine which boat electroshocking settings provide the highest catch per unit effort and species diversity and the widest range of total lengths, and to develop a standardized fish community sampling protocol using the most effective boat electroshocking settings. Four centrally located embayments within Kentucky Lake (Turkey, Anderson, Turner Hollow, and Ledbetter Bays) were sampled with a randomized block experimental design. Within each embayment, 6 separate electrofishing samples were obtained from randomly chosen 500-meter shoreline segments; each sample utilizing 1 of 6 different randomly selected electroshocking wave forms (15, 35, 55, 75, 95, and 115 Hz: 25% duty cycle). Each collected specimen was identified to species and total length of each specimen was obtained. Concurrently with Hancock Biological Station’s bimonthly water quality/plankton surveys, this sampling protocol will be used for a long-term fish monitoring program that will track catch per unit effort, body condition, and species diversity of fish communities in Kentucky Lake.