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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Tuesday, October 18 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Fisheries. Old Dogs Learning New Tricks: American Eel Studies in Louisiana and the Gulf States

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AUTHORS: Robert Maxwell, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Daniel Hill, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; and Sean Kinney, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ABSTRACT: The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) has received increased attention in recent years due to world pressure on United States stocks, passage barriers, and lack of available life history information. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviewed the status of the American eel in 2007 and 2015, and found that protection under the Endangered Species Act was not needed. Gulf of Mexico populations of American eel are data deficient compared to Atlantic populations, so we set out to capture eels to gather sex, size, age, and genetic data from eels in Southwest Louisiana. Using trapping methods similar to Savoie and Casanova (1982), we set traps monthly for a year in Lake Misere and Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish, LA. Though we caught bycatch consisting of preferred prey items, we failed to catch eels in our study pots, and only caught one in a “test pot” run parallel to the study. Failure to catch eels led us to reach out to multiple state and federal agencies in the region. It was discovered that very little interstate communication concerning eels was taking place, and many research goals and methods were overlapping. Failures were being repeated, and successes were not being shared. In early 2016, in conjunction with the University of Texas, we set up a listserv to share information about Gulf eel populations. It currently has 49 subscribers, and is growing. With increased communication across Gulf States, research can proceed more efficiently and effectively in the future.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Riverview A

Attendees (7)