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SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Tuesday, October 23 • 8:00am - 8:20am
Fisheries 2 Track: Catch and Harvest of Targeted Sportfishes at Marben Public Fishing Area in Middle Georgia

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AUTHORS: Hunter Roop, Neelam Poudyal, and Cecil Jennings - The University of Georgia

ABSTRACT: Public fishing areas (PFAs) in Georgia are intensively managed freshwater impoundments that provide a variety of excellent fishing opportunities to anglers. Current management efforts and fishing regulations at Marben PFA depend on understanding basic aspects of recreational fishing pressure, catch, and harvest. Accordingly, we conducted a roving creel survey during January – December 2013 to quantify sport fishing effort, catch and release, and fish catch by species, number, and weight in 14 Marben PFA lakes. Almost all of the anglers interviewed (99%) targeted a specific; of these anglers, 34.7% targeted a second species, and 5.7% targeted a third species. Sunfish (Lepomis spp.) ranked highest among primary, secondary, and tertiary targeted species; whereas, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) was the highest ranked quaternary targeted species. Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) ranked second among primary, tertiary, and quaternary target species. Catches and harvest of targeted sportfish in Marben PFA varied considerably by species. Sunfish were the most abundant species by number and weight of fish caught (n=4,130) and harvested (n= 2,137; 252 kg) for the entire survey period. Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) had the lowest reported catch (n = 228) and release (n = 38), while largemouth bass had the lowest observed harvest in number (n = 48) and weight (46 kg). Distribution of species targeted by Marben anglers differed from that of other Georgia anglers, who targeted largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish, respectively. These findings imply that Georgia PFA fishery managers could give consideration to local management objectives when developing or managing local fisheries. Specifically, different angler may express fishing preferences that deviate from the State summary statistics. The smaller profile and intensive management of Marben PFA impoundments benefits anglers of varying skill levels and backgrounds equally, making it an ideal setting for recruiting new anglers while still challenging seasoned anglers.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
Bon Secour Bay I

Attendees (2)