hybrids; Stizostedion vitreum vitreum x S. canadense) since 1985. Saugeye stockings have become an important part
of Oklahoma's fisheries management program (saugeye were stocked in 18 lakes in 1996). The ODWC has developed
specific stocking criteria and objectives for the saugeye stocking program (Gilliland and Boxrucker 1995). One of these
objectives has been to control slow-growing and/or stunted crappie populations. However, for saugeye to be effective
predators on crappie, they must be approximately 50 cm TL (Horton and Gilliland 1991). Current saugeye sampling
procedures (night electrofishing and gill netting) do not adequately sample adult saugeye populations (ODWC survey
data; F-44-R, Project 5). As a result, it has not been possible to set realistic target catch rates for adult saugeye to
provide effective control of overcrowded crappie populations. A statewide 18-inch length limit on saugeye is also in
effect. Without adequate sampling techniques in place, it is difficult to reliably assess the effect the regulation is having
on adult saugeye densities.
ODWC staff routinely collects spring daytime electrofishing samples for largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides.
These samples are concentrated in cove-type habitat. Preliminary data from Thunderbird Reservoir indicate that catch
rates of saugeye from samples collected off points and main-lake shoreline are higher than those from cove samples
(ODWC, unpublished data). If day time sampling in habitat typically electrofished for bass would also be conducive to
collecting quality data on saugeye, sampling efforts for these two species could be combined and overall sampling
efficiency would be improved.
Sampling was conducted on three reservoirs; Holdenville, Jean Neustadt, and Thunderbird. These reservoirs
were chosen for study largely based on past stocking history; saugeye have been stocked long enough for adult
populations to develop. The objective of this study was to determine the differences in saugeye electrofishing catch rates
and associated variability of the samples for each of four size groups by 1) month and season; 2) time of day; and 3)
III. Project Objective:
To determine the differences in saugeye catch rate and associated variability along with length distribution of
electrofishing samples by month, time of day, and habitat type on three reservoirs as a method to improve sampling
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