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Sampling fish communities in shallow lowland lakes: point-sample electric fishing vs electric fishing within stop-nets

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Fractional or point-abundance sample (PAS) electric fishing was compared with conventional electric fishing within stop-nets in several shallow, structurally complex, lowland lakes. The two methods tended to sample the fish community in different ways. PAS provided significantly higher total population estimates, partly as a result of the higher estimates for the dominant small fish (e.g. 0 + perch, Perca fluviatilis L.). Fish hidden by cover (macrophytes, branches, etc.) or substrate, such as eels Anguilla anguilla (L.) and ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus (L.), were also sampled at a higher rate and for eel, this led to considerable variation in biomass estimates between the two methods. It is argued that PAS, rather than electric fishing within stop-nets, provided more accurate estimates of fish population parameters and that PAS had several distinct advantages when used for qualitative and quantitative stock assessment, particularly in shallow lakes dominated by emergent and submerged vegetation.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: ECON, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2: Centro de Ecología, UNAM, Mexico

Publication date: 1996-12-01

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