A Comparison of Nearshore Fish Sampling Gears in Oneida Lake, New York
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Sampling and assessment of nearshore fish communities is difficult due to the wide variety of habitats, substrates, and often complex structures. During the summers of 2005 and 2006, we conducted a comparison of ten different gear types, with the intent to develop a long-term sampling protocol of nearshore communities in Oneida Lake, NY. Gear types consisted of nine configurations of fyke nets and one seine. Fyke nets varied by frame size (large vs. small), mesh size (large vs. small), orientation (parallel vs. perpendicular), and the inclusion/exclusion of wings. Summers were broken into two sampling periods, during which 2 different sites were chosen for each of three major substrate types (sandy, rocky, and muddy) for a total of six sites. Student?s t-test indicated significantly higher species richness and total catch during sampling period two. However, few significant differences were observed in any net-to-net comparisons using Tukey?s Honestly Significant Difference (HSD). Catches of key sport fishes, such as smallmouth bass and largemouth bass were significantly higher in smaller meshed nets. In order to maximize ease, efficiency and accuracy, we recommend assessments of nearshore communities take place in sampling period two, using a combination of perpendicularly set medium frame fyke nets, with both large and small mesh sizes. Additional species, not caught by fyke nets, can be supplemented by seining at all sites.
dissertation or thesis