Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. William Stark
Several fish populations in Kansas are heavily exploited. To obtain insight into the response of fish populations to management actions, fisheries biologists must obtain as much information as possible with limited resources. To address these challenges, biologists often use age and growth information to understand the age structure of the populations, estimate recruitment and mortality, and gain insight into environmental and genetic factors influencing growth. In addition, age and growth data are used to generate yield-per-recruit models, which allow biologists to extrapolate population trends and make broad predictions about population responses to different management actions. Cheney and El Dorado reservoirs are in south-central Kansas near urban areas and receive heavy use by anglers. Additionally, both reservoirs contain invasive White Perch Morone americana and Zebra Mussels Dreissena polymorpha, which adds incentive to provide the most informed decisions that minimize the impact of the invasive species but maintain user enjoyment. This study was conducted to provide age and growth information to assess the status of current fish populations and to model potential outcomes from management decisions by using Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit models. I collected age and growth data from populations of Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus, Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris, Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum, Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides, Walleye Sander vitreus, White Bass Morone chrysops, White Crappie Pomoxis annularis, White Perch, and palmetto bass (female Striped Bass Morone saxatilis × male White Bass M. chrysops) at both Cheney and El Dorado reservoirs from May 23 to November 15, 2013. These data were analyzed and used to create inputs for yield-per-recruit models in Fisheries Analysis and Modeling Simulator (FAMS). Results suggested that more restrictive length limits could be justified for Walleye at both reservoirs and palmetto bass at Cheney Reservoir; however, unless certain populations aid in the control of invasive species, current restrictions on other fish populations were acceptable.
Copyright 2014 Brian Serpan
Serpan, Brian, "Age, Growth, and Simulation Modeling to Characterize Fish Populations at Two Reservoirs in South-Central Kansas" (2014). Master's Theses. 77.