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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Exploitation of Paddlefish in the Mississippi River

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AUTHORS: Nick Kramer, Kansas Dept. Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism; Quinton Phelps, Missouri Dept. Conservation; Sara Tripp, Missouri Dept. Conservation; Dave Herzog, Missouri Dept. Conservation

ABSTRACT: The American Paddlefish Polyodon spathula is an ancient species native to the Mississippi River and its larger tributaries. This species exhibits a unique combination of morphology and life history characteristics that sets it apart from most fishes swimming in our freshwater systems. It is these traits, coupled with extensive river modifications and overexploitation, which have led to population declines from historic values. Concern over exploitation rates from sport and commercial fisheries has increased in recent decades and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species is now seeking information from state agencies regarding the sustainability of commercially harvested Paddlefish Populations. The Missouri Department of Conservation is addressing this through the implementation of a five year study on exploitation of Paddlefish in the Mississippi River. The first two years of this project found that exploitation of Paddlefish along Missouri’s eastern border was equal to 4.01% (SE=0.02). Previous spawning potential ratio modeling completed by Hupfeld et al. (In Press) used estimates of exploitation derived from un-validated ages. By replacing the information from that study with the more accurate estimates determined in this study it becomes apparent that Paddlefish populations of the Mississippi River are currently at sustainable levels. However, precautionary adjustment of regulations is advised to protect Paddlefish through maturation and to counteract the possibility of increased harvest intensity resulting from increased demand of domestic caviar.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lancaster Ballroom

Attendees (3)