Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Fisheries Research 183 (2016) 128–137
doi 10.1016/j.fishres.2016.05.025


U.S. government work. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Fishery managers often use catch per unit effort (CPUE) of a given taxon derived from a group of anglers,those that sought said taxon, to evaluate fishery objectives because managers assume CPUE for this group of anglers is most sensitive to changes in fish taxon density. Further, likelihood of harvest may differ for sought and non-sought taxa if taxon sought is a defining characteristic of anglers’ attitude toward harvest.We predicted that taxon-specific catch across parties and reservoirs would be influenced by targeted taxon after controlling for number of anglers in a party and time spent fishing (combine to quantify fishing effort of party); we also predicted similar trends for taxon-specific harvest. We used creel-survey data collected from anglers that varied in taxon targeted, from generalists (targeting “anything” [no primary target taxa, but rather targeting all fishes]) to target specialists (e.g., anglers targeting largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides) in 19 Nebraska reservoirs during 2009–2011 to test our predictions. Taxon-specific catch and harvest were, in general, positively related to fishing effort. More importantly, we observed differences of catch and harvest among anglers grouped by taxon targeted for each of the eight taxa assessed. Anglers targeting a specific taxon had the greatest catch for that taxon and anglers targeting anything typically had the second highest catch for that taxon. In addition, anglers tended to catch more of closely related taxa and of taxa commonly targeted with similar fishing techniques. We encourage managers to consider taxon-specific objectives of target and non-target catch and harvest.