Date of this Version
The Prairie Naturalist 42(3/4): 116-122; 2010, pp 116-122
Angler effort and fish harvest in South Dakota have historically been quantified through summer and winter creel surveys. However, the late-summer, pulsed recruitment of yellow perch (Perea flavescens) into a fishery combined with an increase in fall movement and feeding activity suggested September and October could be significant periods of perch harvest in South Dakota lakes. Seasonal trends in angler effort and yellow perch harvest during 2005-2007 were compared for high- and low-quality yellow perch fishery types commonly found in eastern South Dakota glacial lakes. High-quality yellow perch fisheries are characterized by fast growth (mean total length at age-3 greater than 200 mm), low density and inconsistent recruitment. Low-quality fisheries are characterized by slow growth (mean total length at age-3 less than 200 mm), high density and consistent recruitment. Angler effort directed at yellow perch (F9, 20 = 6.59, P < 0.001) and the percentage of anglers targeting perch (F9, 20 = 3.82, P = 0.006) were highest during the winter, but perch harvest (F9,47 = 2.75, P = 0.012) was highest during the summer on the low-quality fishery. Angler effort (F9, 20 = 6.59, P < 0.001), percentage of anglers targeting yellow perch (F9,20 = 3.82, P = 0.006), and harvest of perch (F9,47 = 2.75, P = 0.012) were highest during the fall in the high-quality yellow perch fishery. High angler effort and yellow perch harvest during the fall in the high-quality fishery suggests that this period should be sampled to avoid underestimation of effort and harvest. Conversely, exclusion of the fall sampling period in low-quality yellow perch fisheries would likely not bias annual perch harvest estimates.