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Title:The population dynamics of shortnose gar in the Illinois River to inform management of an emerging recreational fishery
Author(s):Molinaro, Sarah
Advisor(s):Stein, Jeffrey A
Contributor(s):Suski, Cory; Casper, Andrew
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):fisheries
management
harvest
gar
bowfish
angling
tournament
recreation
Abstract:Understanding the impact of recreational harvest is crucial for the effective management of ecologically and economically important fisheries. The extent of participation in and magnitude of harvest from bowfishing is largely unknown; however, this lethal angling method may be the primary source of fishing mortality for some native species. Among the “rough” fishes bow anglers target, gars (Lepisosteidae) may be at greater risk of overharvest because of their periodic life history strategies. In my first study, I utilized standardized population assessments to estimate the relative abundance, stock structure and vital rates of Shortnose Gar (Lepisosteus platostomus) in the lower Illinois River. The findings indicate that Shortnose Gar exhibit slow growth rates, large body size, variable recruitment and long life spans characteristic of a periodic life history strategy. In my second study, I utilized a creel survey of Illinois bowfishing tournaments to characterize bow angler fishing habits and harvest with an emphasis on gars. Although invasive carp species (Cyprinidae) dominate the harvest composition, gar populations may be vulnerable to overharvest as bow anglers favor targeting them and selectively harvest large individuals. Together these studies provide the necessary information to develop management strategies that promote sustainable gar fisheries and provide quality recreational opportunities to anglers.
Issue Date:2019-07-15
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105813
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Sarah Molinaro
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08


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