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Tuesday, February 7 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Technical Session. Elucidating Mechanisms Structuring Crappie Recruitment in the Middle Mississippi River

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AUTHORS: Tyler Ham, Southeast Missouri State University; Dr. Quinton Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: Understanding the factors that influence fluctuations in fish populations is key to effective management. In this study, our aim was to elucidate the primary factors driving crappie (Pomoxis spp.) recruitment in the Middle Mississippi River (MMR). The highly variable recruitment patterns associated with crappie life history coupled with the ecological and recreational importance of these fish make crappie an ideal species to gauge recruitment trends over time. To do such, we utilized the Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM) element database to determine crappie catches from 1992-2015 and with this data generated a recruitment index using the residual method (Maceina 1997). We determined which of a set of a priori models best describe crappie recruitment trends in the MMR using Akaike’s Information Criterion corrected for small sample sizes (AICc) as a model selection means. From this, we found that both the preceding number of flood days and mean size of the year, as well as the interaction of the two factors, best described the trends seen in crappie recruitment in the MMR. From this, we developed a conceptual framework to better begin to understand the trends we were seeing with the hopes of broadening our focus to begin to understand shifts in the fish community as a whole in the MMR. The information garnered from this study is valuable to numerous stakeholders, including researchers, managers, and anglers. 

Tuesday February 7, 2017 11:00am - 11:20am
Grand Ballroom C

Attendees (10)