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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P24) Enhancing Management of Post-stocked Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) by Investigating Gear Detection

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AUTHORS. Kevin Lambert, Southeast Missouri University

ABSTRACT. Alligator Gar were once considered very abundant throughout their range; however, due to issues such as the loss of floodplain habitat and overexploitation from eradication efforts, biologists have documented major declines in both the abundance and individual size of Alligator Gar populations. In Missouri, Alligator Gar were ranked as extirpated, which led to the development of the Alligator Gar Management and Restoration Plan and subsequent reintroduction efforts throughout Southeast Missouri. Despite stocking efforts, management decisions have been slowed due to the inability to efficiently sample the species. Low capture success rates due to inefficient sampling gears, leave fisheries management biologists without the information needed for informed decision making and evaluation of the population characteristics needed for management and conservation of Alligator Gar. Assessment of gear efficiency is necessary for effective population monitoring in both juvenile and adult Alligator Gar.  The objective of this research is to evaluate which gear seasonally should be used to maximize Alligator Gar capture success within the reintroduction sites. We plan to sample both active and passive gears throughout the year to determine the most effective timing and best gear(s) to sample Alligator Gar of all sizes.   After polling the Alligator Gar Technical Committee, we selected 5 standardized gears (experimental gill net, trammel net, electrofishing, juglines, mini-fyke nets) to employ in Marquette  Lake. This research will be used to develop a standardized sampling protocol to enhance management of post-stocked Alligator Gar and guide biologists in management decisions to build a self-sustaining population and a unique trophy fishery. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD

Attendees (1)