Numerous gear and bait types have been used throughout the United States to sample and monitor Channel Catfish (Ictaluris punctatus) populations. Although hoop nets baited with soybean cake consistently catch Channel Catfish as part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program’s Long-Term Resource Monitoring element (LTRM), other baits have not been evaluated with this gear. Recently implemented Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) monitoring using LTRM style hoop nets baited with clam and cottonseed bait allow for a comparison of catch rates and size structure between hoop nets baited with clam, cottonseed, and soybean bait in the La Grange Reach of the Illinois River (IL). Channel Catfish catch per unit effort (CPUE) in large hoop nets was greatest when baited with cottonseed (6.06 +/-1.83 fish per net) compared to clam, (5.82+/-2.06) and soybean cake (2.43+/-0.62) (n=276). Small hoop nets baited with soybean cake caught the most Channel Catfish (8.14+/-2.35), compared to 3.39+/-1.04 and 1.71+/-0.43 for cottonseed and clam bait (n=318). Although CPUE was greater in soybean and cottonseed-based baits, mean total length of Channel Catfish was significantly (p<0.01) greater in clam-baited nets (472mm+/-10) versus cottonseed-baited nets (398mm+/-10). Based on cottonseed and clam bait catch rates, we believe soybean bait is comparably sampling Channel Catfish as part of LTRM efforts. Further, if fisheries managers seek to target larger Channel Catfish, hoop nets baited with clam bait may be beneficial.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2020|
|State||Published - 2020|