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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P41) Cheese vs. Worms: A Comparison of Minnow Trap Bait Types for Assessing Nearshore Fish Communities

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AUTHORS. Scott Jackson, University of Toledo, Department of Environmental Sciences; Edward Roseman, US Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Jason Fischer, University of Toledo, Department of Environmental Sciences; Stacey Ireland, US Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Stacy Provo, University of Toledo, Department of Environmental Sciences

ABSTRACT. Minnow traps are a common type of passive fishing gear that can be deployed in a variety of habitats to assess local fish communities. While some studies investigated the efficiency and biases associated with this type of sampling, few studies have assessed the effects of baiting minnow traps with different types of bait. As part of a shoreline restoration project, we conducted bi-weekly minnow trap sampling from spring to fall 2016 in the St. Clair River. Minnow traps were set from the shore in groups of five parallel to the shoreline at 12 different sites along the river. Each trap was baited with Colby Jack cheese one night of the week, and Nightcrawler worms (Lumbricus terrestris) the other. Traps were set late afternoon to early evening and were fished for an average of 13.9 hours/night. Traps baited with cheese caught 1497 individuals belonging to 23 species and traps baited with worms caught 901 individuals from 22 species. Four species were only caught by cheese baited traps and three species were only caught by worm baited traps. Catch-Per-Unit-Effort (CPUE) was calculated for the number of fish caught at a site over a 12-hour sampling period. CPUE of cheese baited traps was higher (6.5 Fish/12 Hours) than worm baited traps (4.1 Fish/12 Hours) (p-value <0.01). Mean species richness (MSR), calculated as the average number of species caught per sampling event, was greater for traps baited with cheese (1.91 species/night) than for traps with worms (1.59 species/night) (p-value<0.01). Based on CPUE and MSR, cheese catches more individuals and more species than worms, however, using both bait types may provide a more complete measure of species richness by catching species attracted to only one type of bait.

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

Attendees (1)