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1 May 2018 Blue Catfish Density and Biomass in a Tidal Tributary in Coastal Virginia
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Abstract
Ictalurus furcatus (Blue Catfish) provide trophy recreational fishing opportunities in Virginia's tidal rivers; however, potential ecological impacts are of concern. We used mark-recapture techniques and electrofishing in 2007 and 2014 to estimate Blue Catfish density and biomass in Powell Creek. A 66% decline in fish density occurred between 2007 (708 fish/ha) and 2014 (239 fish/ha) and biomass declined by 31% over the same timeframe (266 kg/ha to 185 kg/ha). These findings are supported by long-term monitoring trends in the tidal James River. Here, we provide: (1) data relative to temporal shifts in abundance and biomass, (2) data for use in subsequent population-dynamics analyses, and, (3) points of caution when assuming temporally static populations for introduced species. We demonstrated the feasibility of low-frequency electrofishing and mark—recapture methods to estimate Blue Catfish abundance, and recommend use of the approach where catfish abundance estimates are important.
Aaron J. Bunch, Robert S. Greenlee and Eric M. Brittle "Blue Catfish Density and Biomass in a Tidal Tributary in Coastal Virginia," Northeastern Naturalist 25(2), (1 May 2018). https://doi.org/10.1656/045.025.0215
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