Title

Evaluation of fish population estimation by removal sampling in King's Creek, Kansas

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2000

Advisor

Gordon Brown, Biology

Abstract

Population estimation is an integral part of fisheries science. Using electrofishing to conduct a multiple-pass depletion-removal method to estimate population parameters is common. However, this method is time consuming and labor intensive. Recent research suggests that, under certain circumstances, reliable population estimates from a single-pass electrofishing event can be obtained. The objectives of this study were 1) to determine if fish density and catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) from a single-pass electrofishing event is correlated with population density estimates obtained from the depletion-removal method and 2) to describe relationships among habitat variables and probability of capture from electrofishing. The study was conducted on Kings Creek, within Konza Prairie Research Natural Area in the Flint Hills region of eastern Kansas. Two species of fish, southern redbelly dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster) and central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum), were studied. Significant correlations were found between CPUE and estimated density (fish/m2) and first-pass catch and estimated density (r2 = 0.42, p = 0.03; r2 = 0.85, p = 0.0001, respectively) for southern redbelly dace but not for central stonerollers (r2 = 0.37, p= 0.06; r2 = 0.30, p= 0.1). There were no significant correlations between any of the measured habitat parameters and probability of capture for either species. These results suggest that it would be effective and time-efficient to use first-pass catch values as an index to abundance of southern redbelly dace populations in Kings Creek. However, first-pass catch values may not adequately index density of central stonerollers.

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