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Wednesday, February 8 • 8:00am - 8:20am
Technical Session. Linking Creel Survey Data with Biotic and Abiotic Data to Identify Drivers of Fishery Change in Southern Lake Michigan

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AUTHORS: Mitchell Zischke, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant; Charles Roswell, Lake Michigan Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey; Benjamin Dickinson, Lake Michigan Office, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; David Bunnell, Great Lakes Science Center, United States Geological Survey; Benjamin M. Gramig, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

ABSTRACT: Ongoing data collection programs have yielded a wealth of fishery-dependent and –independent data in Lake Michigan. The aim of this research was to utilize these datasets to explore the drivers of change in recreational fishing in southern Lake Michigan. We collated effort, harvest, harvest rate, expenditure, species preferences and angler satisfaction data from creel surveys conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey (1985-2013), and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (1988-2013). From these data, we developed temporal and spatial indices of recreational fishing and included these indices as response variable in linear and non-linear models. Explanatory variables in these models included fish stocking data (1985-2013), fish prey density estimates from USGS bottom-trawl (1983-2013) and pelagic fish surveys (2004-2013), environmental data from multi-agency monitoring (1983-2013), and fishing site characteristics data relevant to both shore- and boat-based fishers. Typically, fishing indices in Illinois displayed stronger correlations with explanatory variables than indices in Indiana. Fishing effort correlated most with the previous year’s effort and harvest. Harvest and harvest rates of some species correlated with stocking numbers and prey densities; however, many species displayed no correlation with these variables. This research has provided interesting insights into the potential drivers of change in the recreational fishery in southern Lake Michigan.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 8:00am - 8:20am CST
Grand Ballroom A