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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 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Fisheries 3 Track: Comparison of Angler Pressure Counts by Manned and Unmanned Aircraft on Beaver Tailwater, Arkansas

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AUTHORS:  Anthony Fernando, Kristofor Nault – Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; Wilson Short, Arkansas Tech University

ABSTRACT:  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) budgeted approximately $250,000 for air operations in fiscal year 2017, 74.2% of which was for aerial observation by manned aircraft. Small unmanned aircraft (sUAS) have lower operating costs than manned aircraft. Cost savings could be experienced were sUAS to replace manned aircraft; however, it is necessary to validate that the data from sUAS are equivalent to data from manned aircraft. The sUAS (DJI Mavic Pro) and manned aircraft were used to conduct angler pressure counts within the four management zones of Beaver Tailwater. These flights commenced simultaneously. Paired counts of bank/wade anglers, boats, boat anglers, and boat occupants were compared using the Wilcoxon paired signed rank test. A significant difference was found between paired counts of boat anglers (v = 55, P 0.05). The sUAS may better discriminate whether a boat occupant was fishing than the manned aircraft. Cost estimates developed using data derived from this study suggest AGFC may save 71-84% on costs related to aerial observation when sUAS can be substituted for manned aircraft.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Bon Secour Bay I

Attendees (4)