Hoop nets are one of the most common passive gear types used in commercial fishing and are frequently used to sample and monitor riverine fish communities throughout the Mississippi River basin. Further, hoop nets can be baited with various attractants to target species of interest and increase catch rates. Since 1993, the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) has used small and large hoop nets baited with soybean cake as part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program’sLong-Term Resource Monitoring element (LTRM). These LTRM hoop nets are intended to sample the breadth of the benthic fish community. Starting in 2019, LTRM style hoop netting efforts were implemented with two specialized baits (clam and cottonseed) to specifically monitor for invasive Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus). The use of hoop nets baited with soybean, clam, and cottonseed baits in the La Grange Reach of the Illinois River also allows for catch comparisons among the three baits. Using LTRM and Black Carp monitoring data, we compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) from 2019-2020 of fish species of interest to both fisheries managers and commercial and recreational anglers, including Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus), Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis), and White Bass (Morone chrysops). We also examined turtle by-catch in our hoop nets with the three aforementioned baits. Based on our results, we believe fisheries managers can use different bait types in hoop nets if they wish to gain additional insight regarding specific species, while also potentially minimizing turtle by-catch.
|Title of host publication
|15th Annual Emiquon Science Symposium
|Published - 2021