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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 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Fisheries. Evaluation of the Commercially-Exploited Paddlefish Fishery in the Lower Mississippi River

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AUTHORS: Jeremy T. Risley, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; Ronald L. Johnson, Arkansas State University; Jeffrey W. Quinn, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

ABSTRACT: Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) are a commercially-exploited species harvested primarily for their roe. The objectives of this study were to describe population characteristics of paddlefish in the Lower Mississippi River (LMR), and use population simulation software to determine the length limit required to prevent recruitment overfishing by maintaining spawning potential ratios over 30%. In cooperation with commercial fishers, paddlefish were collected from the LMR during the 2008 – 2011 commercial seasons (n = 534). Sizes ranged from 150 – 1,095 mm and ages from 2 – 24 years. Total annual mortality was estimated at 28%, and exploitation was derived to be 11% with 17% conditional natural mortality. Only 10% of gravid females were protected by the existing 864-mm minimum length limit (MLL), and changing to 889-mm protected an additional 10%. Growth curves were used to predict fish require 10.8 and 11.8 years to reach 864-mm and 889-mm, respectively. Population simulations predicted SPRs would fall below 30% at 26% and 37% exploitation for 864-mm and 889-mm MLLs. Exploitation in excess of 72% was required to lower SPR below 20% with an 889-mm MLL. Simulations predicted an 889-mm MLL would only reduce flesh yield by 9% versus the existing MLL. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission instituted an 889-mm MLL in 2013, based on the results of this study, to protect the sustainability of the paddlefish population in the LMR.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Riverview A

Attendees (6)