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. 
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Tuesday, October 23 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Fisheries 3 Track: River Herring Population Monitoring and Exploratory Occurrence Surveys in the Neuse River Basin, North Carolina

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AUTHORS: Courtney Buckley, Ben Ricks – North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

ABSTRACT: By the spring of 2008, the state fisheries agencies in North Carolina, citing extremely low abundances, had established a statewide harvest moratorium on river herring (Blueback Herring Alosa aestivalis and Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus). Beginning in 2007, annual river herring surveys were conducted by North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) biologists using boat electrofishing in two tributaries (Village Creek and Core Creek) of the Neuse River. Catch-per-unit effort was used as a measure of relative abundance, and lengths (mm) and weights (g) were recorded to evaluate river herring size structure for each tributary. Population characteristics in these creeks were compared over the 11-year sampling period (2007-2017) with increasing trends in Blueback Herring abundance observed toward the end of the time series. Despite a marked increase in catch per unit effort in 2017 (104.2 fish/h in Village Creek and 55.9 fish/h in Core Creek) that contrasts with the previous ten years of data (ranging between 4.7 to 63.5 fish/h in Village Creek and 2.2 to 21.8 fish/h in Core Creek), relative abundance of river herring remains below target levels that would suggest significant population expansion. Population size structure over the time series consists of relatively small fish (males averaging 246 mm and females averaging 263 mm in length). Exploratory sampling is being conducted in historic river herring spawning areas to provide updated occurrence data in additional Neuse River tributaries. Continuation of annual sampling is imperative to monitor population trends, and to inform management decisions regarding potential river herring harvest.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm CDT
Bon Secour Bay I

Attendees (8)